No one had predicted before that youthful irruption in the Chilean Metro, that this year was going to present us with the conflict scenario that we are now seeing. A scenario that demonstrates that after the agreed withdrawal of the Pinochet dictatorship from the government and the emergence of a pseudo-democracy overseen by the empire (called Concertación) the system smells of rot.
That is precisely what the young people (13 to 25 years old) are shouting when they participate daily in the flaming barricades while confronting the criminal repression of the pacos, the militarized police force that acts as a machine to do as much damage as possible.
These courageous youths, whose adrenaline and political awareness are needed to go out into the streets unarmed to confront the machinery of hate promoted by President Piñera, are the ones who have set in motion the restoration of Chilean dignity, who have awakened society as a whole and who, in the process, have recalled that solidarity, comradeship and tenderness are a treasure that has not been lost.
Christmas has been prodigious with actions that prove that “there is nothing to celebrate but struggle,” as a poster we saw in one of Santiago’s streets read. While a group of girls in red outfits and hoods slipped into one of the large shops in the capital to sing feminist and anti-government carols, another battalion of youths hung banners in downtown supermarkets urging support for the popular uprising.
The highlight was in the emblematic Plaza de la Dignidad, on the evening of the 24th when entire families and members of social and popular organizations arrived with plates of food and drink to hold an improvised vigil on the very stage of so many battles against repression since this great movement began. However, the sadistic attitude of the pacos, who could not tolerate such a peaceful challenge, once again made their own way, repressing anyone they identified as an “enemy”.
Nevertheless, many people stood up to them, chasing or cursing them for being “miserable repressors”. Hours earlier, another group of uniformed officers had arrested a teenager who was taking part in a children’s birthday party, just because they thought the group of neighbours gathered there looked suspicious. And since no one here gives up, it was the children’s mothers who repudiated their authoritarian and brutal attitude.
All of these displays of dignity are happening all over the country, and at the same time, many people were marching in the extreme north of the country, in Iquique, other groups of young people were fighting hand-to-hand with the carabineros in Antofagasta and Villa Portales, and everyone is preparing for the great concentration and vigil on December 31st in the Plaza de la Dignidad.
That day, at the end of a year that began with difficulty and ends in a sea of rebellions and new insurgencies, will not only be a celebration between brothers and sisters, but also a tribute to that powerful “front line” that is made up of the youngest people, armed with improvised shields, who defend the rest of the mobilized from the ferocious attacks of the repressors.
So that the gratitude may be shared, each organization and also many self-convoked people will bring contributions to create a massive and supportive forum.
Will there be repression? You never know, but that doesn’t paralyze anyone, because this struggle is not just any struggle, but one that seeks to show the world that between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific there are people who no longer believe in bourgeois politicians and their hard-line parties (including those of a social democratic left that no longer take to the streets, and even less so in protests against the system, because they have long opted to maintain it).
That’s how this 2019 ends in this country for which Salvador Allende and Miguel Enriquez gave their lives, and that’s how people think that 2020 will continue, and beyond that the anger in the streets will decrease somewhat, because summer is summer, and they are preparing protests at the famous Viña del Mar Festival and others like it.
All this is to warm up the atmosphere for March, where if everything continues like this and predictions are fulfilled, there could be a great national uprising.
And Piñera? Not so good. His popularity is on the ground, and he is not falling because Trump hasn’t decided yet, but that is not the most significant thing, because these fighting multitudes know that the great challenge that lies ahead for the insurgent movement is to build, from the streets and by fighting, a different society.
It won’t be immediately, but the seed has been planted so that what we now observe and are amazed at (and which is no different than Ecuador, Colombia or Paris) is a turning point and no return. As a 17-year-old boy in the streets of Santiago told us: “There is a smell of Revolution in the air, and it is stronger than the corrosive gases of the pacos”.
Translation by Internationalist 360°
The symbol and mascot of rebellion is the dog MataPacos (CopKiller) La historia del “Negro”: el perro símbolo de las protestas en Chile
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