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Chile: over 100,000 march against neoliberalism

Photo credit: greanvillepost

By BO Staff Writer

On Sunday the Chilean masses marched in their thousands towards congress against the neo liberal policies of the government led by President Sebastian Piñera.

The march, said to be the biggest since the uprising started, was attended by over 100,000 protesters. Many demonstrators were met with police and army repression.

The country has been in state of emergency for some time now. Recent statistics by the National Institute of Human Rights of Chile indicate brutal repression of Chileans. Over 1,420 people have been injured; 3,193 people have been arrested; 17 complaints of sexual abuse have been lodged; and at least fifteen people have been killed since the protests started on October 17.

The protests, which were initiated by the Chilean student movements, have since grown to include all sectors of society. Moreover the demand to reverse the metro fare increase (temporarily suspended by the government following the protests) has been extended to include the president‘s resignation, the eradication of all the neo liberal measures, and the realization of basic rights. These include free quality education for all; proper public health; economic transformation; affordable cost of living; increase in wages and pensions; corrupt free governance; and eradication of inequality.

President Piñera has responded with measures such as pension increases to limited groups of retirees, a minimum wage to some workers based on a tax contribution, tax levy on those earning more than US$11,000 per month, and the firing of the cabinet.

Andile Mngxitama, the President of the black consciousness (BC) organization, Black First Land First (BLF), applauded the Chilean people for uniting around a minimum program of demands towards ending the unjust system.

“Chile!!! The people want the overthrowal of the system of neoliberalism. They aren’t the hired guns of London and Stellenbosch for Louis Vuitton lifestyles. When revolutionary theory meets a radicalized mass, anything is possible!!! BLF supports all the demands of the Chilean people”, Mngxitama said.