Mass demonstrations in Chile, background

This 29 October 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Protests in Chile Were Sparked By a Subway Fare Hike, But Come After “30 Years of a Social Crisis

In Chile, a new set of mass protests took place Monday as President Sebastián Piñera fulfilled the promise to appoint new members to his cabinet. As Piñera addressed the nation Monday, hundreds of protesters had already gathered outside the presidential palace in Santiago, waving flags, honking horns and demanding for Piñera’s resignation. The reshuffling of his cabinet came after more than a million people flooded the streets last Friday in massive peaceful demonstrations over inequality, high cost of living and privatization. The protest drew more than 5% of Chile’s population and followed days of widespread civil unrest and a violent police and military crackdown across Chile. At least 18 people have died, with more than 1,000 more protesters shot and wounded since the mobilizations erupted Oct. 19. We speak with Pablo Abufom, a member of the Solidarity Movement, an anti-capitalist and feminist organization in Chile. His recent article published in Jacobin magazine is titled “It’s Not About 30 Pesos. It’s About 30 Years.”

Meaning 30 years after the fall of the Pinochet dictatorship; in which not enough was done to erase remnants of that dictatorship.

By Matt Trinder:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Protests continue in Chile despite firing of hard-line ministers

DEMONSTRATIONS are continuing in Chile despite President Sebastian Pinera’s replacement of eight key cabinet ministers.

“Chile has changed and the government must change”, Mr Pinera said on Monday, axing hard-line ministers in a bid to quell mass protests which have swept through the country for days.

But his government announced no deviation from neoliberal policies which have seen the country become one of the richest in the region — enjoyed by a privileged few while the majority struggle with a lack of quality public services, a high cost of living and grotesque inequality.

A 2017 United Nations report found that the richest 1 per cent of the population earns 33 per cent of the nation’s wealth. Mr Pinera is a billionaire, among the country’s richest people.

Despite the reshuffle, protesters have again clashed with security forces in Valparaiso, Concepcion and the capital Santiago.

“A new cabinet isn’t enough, we need real changes in healthcare, education, pensions”, said Omar Soto, 34, who runs a mobile phone shop.

And 70-year-old activist Amelia Rivera told Vice: “I’m marching against inequality, against the abuses, against classism … I realised many years ago that this country was only for rich men. I have met thousands of children that live on the street, homeless, ill-fed, bullied in school, without rights.”

During a massive protest in the capital Santiago on Friday, thousands of people played guitars and sang The Right to Live in Peace by Victor Jara. An artist and communist activist, he was brutally tortured and killed by dictator Augusto Pinochet’s soldiers five days after the US-backed coup brought him to power in September 1973.

“Last Friday we had a peaceful protest and being peaceful they didn’t listen to us,” said Sebastian, a 25-year-old welder who declined to give his last name for fear of repercussions by the authorities. “You have to get their attention somehow.”

Buildings, stores and train stations have been set on fire after some demonstrations turned violent. Police have used water cannon on protesters and at least 20 people have been killed since the protests began more than a week ago.


4 thoughts on “Mass demonstrations in Chile, background

  1. Pingback: Governmental bloodbath, Iraqi people don’t give up | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Chilean musical protest against governmental bloodshed, austerity | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Chilean right-wing government blinds people, people protest | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Chilean trade unionist Ernesto Leal Jimenez dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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