Santiago, Chile: Nov 18 – 31st Day of Social Revolt

[Translated from the latest of an ongoing series of updates distributed via social media networks in Chile]


Behind the hood… An inextinguishable smile!

We breathe the mixture of smoke and tear gas. Looking around us, the scene overwhelms us, thousands are still fighting. An immense emotion runs through us and behind the hood an inextinguishable smile is drawn. We are living what we read a hundred times!

There is no certainty of anything, our impulse continues to be the search for freedom. But almost always our desire is antagonistic with that of the crowd, we are still a black minority… But a very active minority.

The weekend saw five arson attacks against banks in Peñalolén, Cerro Navia, Lo Espejo, El Bosque and Santiago and a Molotov cocktail attack against a police station in Maipu that ended with two people detained.

Today, Monday, in the Plaza de Puente Alto, there were confrontations with the henchmen and an an attack on their police station. In the Plaza de Maipu there were riots and a cannon was dropped from the Plaza Monument, students took the CODEDUC (1).

In Antogasta, unknown people painted the anchor, the icon of the city, black. In Iquique, a regimental sentry box was attacked with Molotov bombs. In Valdivia, the headquarters of the Socialist Party was set on fire. In Concepción the flags of all the parties were burned, a sign that this Revolt has no leaders and no political parties. In Santiago, former presidential candidate Beatriz Sánchez was expelled from “Ground Zero”, accused of being part of the negotiations with the elite.

Among thousands of people in the “Plaza de la Dignidad”, black anarchist flags and anarcho-ecologist flags fluttered. Encapuchadxs (Hooded Ones) distributed anarchist newspapers and a brass band played “Bella Ciao”.

When the sun went down, the police unleashed all their artillery, firing shotgun pellets and tear gas in large quantities. Today, in the face of this police violence, some preferred to risk throwing themselves into the Mapocho River in order to escape.

The emergency central medical post treated more than forty shotgun pellet wounds, the sum is multiplied if we add other medical centres and those who did not attend any assistance centres. A demonstrator was injured from a fractured skull when they were directly impacted by a tear gas grenade, they will have to undergo emergency surgery.

In Valparaiso, the police left a young man who was shot in the neck in a critical condition. Demonstrators denounced 2nd degree burns from the toxic water of the armored water launcher.

Revenge comes at night, when unknown people take advantage of the data released by Anonymous and continue their nocturnal attacks against the private cars and houses of police.

Deputies call for the resignation of the General Director of the Carabineros, from the government, in spite of the accusations of violations against human rights, they reaffirm it in their position.

There are viral videos of food stalls, commercial and service premises – where they literally expel plainclothes policemen, they don’t want them operating or to attend them because of their repressive work.

Recruiting centres are collapsing due to the huge number of young people who refuse to perform military service. A resounding rejection of the murderous work of the armed wing of the State and capital.

Large forest fires in different parts of Valparaiso are accelerating and everything points to them being deliberately lit. Residents accuse the State of trying to demobilize them via this emergency.

There are still no answers to the demands of the people. The professional bureaucrats are delaying the increase in pensions, minimum wages, cancellation of the CAE debt (2), and so on. They say that there are no resources and they offer crumbs in the long term. We have never believed them, let alone now.

Union groups announced a 48-hour strike for November 19 and 20. GENERAL STRIKE for the 21st and the teachers’ college reiterates the call to boycott the Simce test (3).

Graduates ceremonies are filled with canvases in support of the Revolt and sportsmen make gestures in solidarity with the mutilated, covering an eye with their hand to protest while they receive medals on podiums or pose for the classic team photos.


Translation notes:
(1) A school in Maipu.
(2) Tuition fee credit system (CAE), which results in university graduates having 20 years to repay massive debts for the cost of their education.
(3) Education Quality Measurement System, a battery of tests used in Chile to measure certain aspects of school curricula. Currently, a state agency, The Agency for Quality of Education, is in charge of administrating the tests to students in 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th grade (basic education) and 10th and 11th grade (2nd and 3rd years of secondary education).

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