• Reflecting on Local Power and Insurrection

    December 14, 2019 by

    We left Chile a couple weeks early because of a health emergency (todo está bien ahora). It was hard to leave, but we will be returning in 2020. We’ve been writing from the front lines since mid-August, informed by our first-hand experiences and the perspectives of our friends and comrades of the generation who fought… Read more

  • Piñera to Chile: It’s all about “public order”

    December 1, 2019 by

    On Nov. 15, the Piñera government and the left opposition agreed to an acuerdo por la paz [see previous blog], for a national referendum (April 2020) to vote on whether or not to create a new constitution, and if so, with what process. It seemed that no sooner had the ink dried than the right-wing state went… Read more

  • It’s Complicated

    November 25, 2019 by

    It’s complicated. Chile has re-awakened and people across the country have become engaged in discussing and acting to create a new Chile. The uprising over the past 37 days has, among other things, put on the table the possibility of a new constitution that can overturn the constitution created (1980) under the dictatorship that structurally… Read more

  • Nosotros Somos Mapuche (We Are Mapuche)

    November 17, 2019 by

    Thursday was a march in Valparaíso on the one-year anniversary of the murder of Camilo Catrillanca, a 24-year old Mapuche activist and father who was killed by the Chilean special forces on November 14, 2018. This was an international day of memory for Camilo in solidarity with the Mapuche people, with marches across Chile and… Read more

  • Chile’s Spring/La Primavera de Chile

    November 11, 2019 by

    After a few days in Greensboro, NC for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre, we returned to the mass uprising in Chile. Our arrival captured the moment. First, we were struck by the attempt at normalcy in the Santiago airport: the usual maze of duty-free shops, fancy perfumes, and designer clothes that hardly… Read more

  • Víctor Jara Sings Again in Chile

    October 26, 2019 by

    It is an historic day. Despite Piñera’s attempt to dampen protest with his program of concessions—that continue the neoliberal logic (see previous blog)—as we write this, Friday evening, Oct. 25, the biggest demonstration in the history of Chile has taken over the center of Santiago. At least one million people are marching in total rejection of the… Read more

  • Uprising Spreads Beyond Santiago—Military Occupations and Curfews

    October 20, 2019 by

    Today, October 19, the crisis in Chile escalated with rebellions breaking out in Concepción, Punto Arenas in the South, Valparaíso, and elsewhere. Despite the state of emergency and military with tanks and armored vehicles patrolling the streets, people were out continuing to protest. Santiago continues to be a war zone. By 3:15 pm 16 buses were burned. At… Read more

  • From Subway Fare Protest to State of Emergency

    October 19, 2019 by

    What started as a protest of high school students in Santiago against transit fare hikes (see yesterday blog) escalated into an urban rebellion. President Piñera went on TV just after midnight, declared a state of emergency for the whole metropolitan region of Chile—with the military in charge of and patrolling the streets—and walked off the… Read more

  • Students Shut Down Subway in Transit Fare Strike—¡Vamos Cabras! ¡Evasión Masiva!

    October 18, 2019 by

    Alto al SIMCE comrades here are following the CTU-school workers strike in Chicago, while some of our TSJ comrades are following the transportation protest in Chile. From Chicago schools and communities to Chile’s transportation, this system is not sustainable. Yesterday, high school students In Santiago began a transit fare protest, urging people to evade the turnstiles… Read more

  • Hablemos de Racismo y Bordadoras por la Memoria—Culture and Resistance: Feminists of Two Generations

    October 3, 2019 by

    On Monday we attended an anti-racist cultural event, Hablemos de Racismo (Let’s talk about Racism) in the public square, Plaza Aníbal Pinto, in Valparaíso. The event was organized by anti-racist and immigrant rights feminist organizations: Brigada Migrante Feminista and La Radioneta on the second anniversary of the death of Joane Florival, a 28-year old Haitian immigrant woman who was beaten to… Read more

  • Alto al SIMCE—Part II

    September 30, 2019 by

    In Part I we talked with Javier Campos about the Alto al SIMCE campaign to stop the high-stakes test in Chile. In Part II, Javier talked about the impact of the campaign, some of its complications, and where they go from here.  R & P: Say more about the impact you have had and what have… Read more

  • Alto al SIMCE—The Campaign Against High-Stakes Tests

    September 28, 2019 by

    For the past five years we have been sharing lessons on resistance to neoliberal education policies with the Alto al SIMCE [“Stop the SIMCE,” Chile’s high-stakes, standardized test] campaign. Through occasional face-to-face meetings, joint conference presentations, and visits between our two spaces, we have built an important relationship of solidarity and learning. We sat down with Javier Campos,… Read more

  • Politics are Always There, Even at Fish Fries & County Fairs

    September 25, 2019 by

    ¡Hola! September 18th & 19th are official Chilean holidays. The 18th marks Chile’s independence from Spain in 1810, and September 19th is a celebration of the armed forces (dating from 1915, so it’s not connected to the 1973 Coup). In fact, it seemed to me in asking several Chileans, that people weren’t all that clear… Read more

  • Education and Local Power—More Questions

    September 18, 2019 by

    We want to expand on a couple points made in our earlier blog posts (link here earlier post) Chile is very complicated–vibrant street art everywhere (at least in Valparaíso and Santiago), so much poverty and inequality, deep institutional and ideological neoliberalization, yet powerful social struggles (students  and teachers, feminist movement, Mapuche [indigenous people] struggles) and political graffiti… Read more

  • Sept. 11 in Valparaíso—Perseverance and Hope

    September 12, 2019 by

    Last night, we went to a memorial and march commemorating the Sept. 11, 1973 coup (previous blog). We want to share our experience while it’s fresh. A theme, very clear in the memorial and march, was De la Memoria al Poder (From Memory to Power). Chilean people know, remember, and are continuing the struggle for the… Read more

  • Chile’s September 11

    September 11, 2019 by

    (This will be a long post because this is an important day for Chile.)  In Chile: The Other September 11: An Anthology of Reflections on the 1973 Coup, Ariel Dorfman (Argentinian author and advisor to Salvador Allende), wrote, “very few of the eight billion people alive today [after Sept 11, 2001] could remember or would be… Read more

  • Memory

    September 7, 2019 by

    The other day, a friend and neighbor gave me (Rico) a walking tour of our community. As we navigated the steep hills and ever-present and never-threatening sleeping (and awake) dogs, we came to Cerro Carcel, so named because it is the site of a former prison until about 1999 (and currently, the Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, or Cultural… Read more

  • Our First Blog Post

    August 28, 2019 by

    We’ve been here two weeks and are just getting started on this blog. Getting set up in our apartment, in this city, finding our way around, buying food, struggling with Spanish, and meeting, meeting, meeting with our friends and comrades and colleagues. It’s been a lot! But we’re here! Valparaíso is a world heritage city—designated… Read more

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