Tuesday, 29 October 2019

When Is The Time To Vent Your Righteous Anger?



        As a rule most people want to get on with their lives, see their friends and family, indulge in some sort of pastime, listen to a bit of music, whatever. What they don't want is to confront armed police, face brutal beatings, arrests and killings. However when a population comes on to the streets in vast numbers, and faces these situations, then you must accept they are very dissatisfied, angry and want something to change. 
This photo is actually from Catalunya, not Chile, but state treatment of protestors is the same.
 
      Even in the appearance of placidity that that goes as normal in most societies, for the ordinary people, in this capitalist society there is always struggle, and there is always a rumbling undercurrent of dissatisfaction and anger. Sometimes it doesn't take much of a spark for that anger to vent itself, in Chile it was the increase in fares on public transport. Once that anger is out, the original spark can fade into insignificance and all the other resentments and injustices come out into the open. That is what is happening in Chile today.
      If anyone wants to see who our so called democracies deals with those who show anger and discontent with the system, need look no further than what is happening in Chile right now, twenty first century representative democracy at work.
  This from Act For Freedom Now
        There is a State of emergency currently in Chile, decreed by the right-wing government of Sebastián Piñera as a result of the outbreak of a revolt that exploded on Friday October 18 2019.
        This text is born from the need to communicate the situation that currently exists in this territory with comrades in various latitudes of the world. We are sharing what we consider to be some of the main points to be made known to contribute to understanding the present moment from an anarchist viewpoint.
        PRELUDE: THE YOUTH IN STRUGGLE AND THE SPARK THAT LIT THE FIRE
     After a week of mass fare evasions of the underground train service, mainly by high school students during the month of October before the price increase in the transport services, multiple episodes of individual and collective disobedience spread through various parts of the city of Santiago that resulted in destruction of infrastructure and clashes with police forces inside and outside underground train stations. On Friday, October 18, the spread of these massive evasions and the level of radicality they reached was a surprise for many and unforeseen by the government which, along with its loyal journalists and social researchers, still can’t explain why these events led to a situation of widespread chaos that is still going on to this day.
       ACT ONE: OUTBREAK OF A REVOLT WITHOUT PRECEDENT IN POST-DICTORSHIP CHILE
       On Friday, October 18, the revolt radicalized at the moment when clashes with the police and the destruction of capitalist infrastructure took the streets of Santiago city centre. Initiated outside the government palace, actions of street violence quickly spread well into the night in various parts of the city. Faced with a situation of widespread rebellion and diffuse chaos in multiple urban sectors, the police forces were unable to contain the explosion of rage. Since that day this has infected broad sectors of a society that had seemed to be sleeping, tired by various forms of oppression and precariousness of life that originated in the continuity of the neoliberal economic system and from the police State installed in Chile during the recent civil and military dictatorship (1973-1990). These conditions of existence and domination were then strengthened by the centre left and right governments that have alternated in power since the return to democracy.
      To the disturbances that exploded in the city centre were soon added thousands of people demonstrating in the neighbourhoods, banging on empty pots as a form of protest. Outbreaks of rebellion, arson and destruction materialized concerning dozens of buses; public and commercial buildings were attacked, looted and burned, and, crucially, dozens of underground train stations were vandalized and set fire to by hordes of enraged individuals until late into the night.
       Clearly surpassed, the government did not lose much time before decreeing a State of emergency in the city of Santiago, a state of exception that includes the military in the streets and the armed forces in charge of order. However, a wild, inorganic, massive and unprecedented revolt in the post-dictatorship scenario was already underway, destroying in practice the obedience submission and fear imposed by decades of capitalist dominance in Chile.
   ACT TWO: EXTENSION OF DESTRUCTIVE INSUBMISSION AND BEGINNING OF THE CURFEW
      On Saturday, September 19, in the face of the persistence and heightening of the unrest the armed forces deploy in various points of the city. Soldiers guard the streets, commercial facilities and underground train stations in the centre of Santiago and suburbs. However, the protesters of every kind do not retreat and all repudiate the military presence with the vivid memory of the repression experienced a few decades ago during the years of the dictatorship. That same day the number of buses, cars and underground train stations burned by protesters increases. In parallel, the looting of supermarkets and huge shopping centres becomes uncontrollable and the image of hundreds of people taking back their lives by snatching goods in the centres of consumerism has been one of the most transcendent images of the days of revolt and were an important factor for the government, overwhelmed by the looting violence, imposing the curfew in the city of Santiago that same night.
      Quite unashamedly the President and the military chief in charge of the city communicate to the media that the restriction of “civil liberties” would take effect that day from 7 pm until 6 the next morning. That night, the demonstrations, riots, looting, fires and clashes with the repressive forces continued again into the small hours of the morning all over the city.
     Between Saturday and Sunday the spark of rage spread even more, igniting mass demonstrations and scenarios of wild violence in other parts of the country. This gave way to an ensuing moment of generalised chaos with multiple acts of rebellion and riots in various cities within a couple of days, leaving a good part of the urban infrastructure under siege, in ruins and ashes with barricades, vandalism and incendiary attacks on municipal dependencies, government buildings, shopping centres and official media premises.
      By that time the revolt had gone beyond any specific demands, meaning that people from diverse origins and places find themselves and others amid protests and riots opening up a huge critical fracture in the Chilean neoliberal system and its model of capitalist/ extractivist exploitation that affects the whole territory.
      From Sunday October 20, the State of Emergency and a curfew were decreed by the government against the cities in revolt, but nevertheless the riots continued to extend until late into the night, ignoring the impositions and demonstrating that the rage and violence unleashed by people against the established order had broken the fear and passivity that had reigned for decades in broad sectors of the Chilean population.
      ACT THREE: DIGNITY AND STRUGGLE AGAINST THE STATE’S STRATEGY OF REPRESSION
      Since the beginning of the state of emergency, State repression has heightened and has also spread openly to the various territories in revolt.
      As anarchists, we are clear that we do not hold a victimistic position, however, it is always good to share information about the tactics that dominion puts into practice as part of the confrontation with the insurgents, the rebels and the population in revolt generally.
      In the current context, the repressive arsenal of the Chilean State has materialised as:
        – More than two thousand people arrested and more than 15 people killed in addition to an unknown number of people reported missing.
      – Shooting with various types of projectiles, including tear gas bombs, rubber pellets and weapons of war against protesters leaving an increasing and not known number of people injured and killed in public roads in addition to animals and people living in the street also wounded and killed as shooting targets.
       – Beatings and physical, psychological and sexual torture in the road and inside police vehicles and police stations against people who were detained.
        – People kidnapped inside police and civilian vehicles. Images have been seen of persons being locked inside the trunks of police vehicles.
        – Shooting from behind of people in the street who are given a false chance to escape arrest.
        – False police and military authorizations to loot supermarkets that end with arrests and murders later reported as deaths from the riots.
        – Fires in large commercial premises caused by repressive forces so that companies can claim insurance. Burned corpses have appeared in some of these fires.
       – Throwing people out of moving police cars then shooting them.
       – Hanging of bodies of people killed in abandoned sites and of people alive in police barracks.
       The widespread use of social networks on the internet such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook has allowed immediate circulation of massive audiovisual evidence of the situations described above, which is being disseminated by “alternative” groups and linked to struggles, succeeding in breaking through the communication strategy deployed by the government and historically supported by the official media in the service of power.
Read the full article HERE: 

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2 comments:

  1. The second photograph is from Catalonia.

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    1. Thanks Loam for that correction, don't know how it slipped in, but glad it did, it allows me to make another point.

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