Thousands of Chileans demonstrate commemorating 1 year of the social outbreak

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SANTIAGO (Sputnik) – With canvases, Mapuche flags, batucadas and dances, thousands of Chileans came to the center of Santiago to commemorate one year of the beginning of the so-called “social outbreak.”

“We came to demonstrate to celebrate with joy the awakening of Chile,” Alejandro Arenas told Sputnik, a young protester who arrived with his two brothers.

People began to congregate early in Plaza Italia, in the center of the capital, carrying banners and singing songs related to social demands such as “no more violations of human rights” or “end to the pension system.”

During most of the day, the demonstrations took place without incident, responding to the call made by the main authorities of the country in the face of this long-awaited day of protests.

“We hope that this is a peaceful day, and that people understand that we are in a completely different context from last year, with a pandemic and close to the constitutional plebiscite process,” said the undersecretary of the Interior, Juan Galli, in a conference of press.

© Photo: Francisco Bravo Atias

Demonstration in Santiago, Chile

Arenas explained that he came to protest along with his brothers “to show that the people of Chile have not given up despite the pandemic.”

“Social demands are more alive than ever,” he said.

Likewise, Margarita Abarca, a young university student, told the Agency that she decided to go to Plaza Italia mainly to protest against the Pension Fund Administrators (AFP), the private pension system.

“I wanted to demonstrate for my grandparents, who must live with a miserable pension because of this capitalist system,” he said.

Incidents

After 4:30 p.m., some violent incidents began to be registered, although they did not manage to overshadow the massive and peaceful citizen demonstration.
The mayor of the Recoleta commune (center), leader of the Communist Party who came to protest, had to start from a group of individuals who tried to attack him, but who did not achieve their objective because the protesters themselves frustrated the action.
In addition, the iconic monument to General Manuel Baquedano in the center of Plaza Italia was completely painted red by the Protestants, something that had already happened in previous demonstrations.

© Photo: Francisco Bravo Atias

Demonstration in Santiago, Chile

The most complex was recorded in the church of the Carabineros (militarized police), in the center of the capital, when a group of individuals broke in and caused damage and even the beginning of a fire, an action that ended with 5 arrested.

On October 18, 2019, a violent day of demonstrations which started a series of citizen protests throughout the country, in a process dubbed social outbreak.

© Photo: Francisco Bravo Atias

Demonstration in Santiago, Chile

Chileans demonstrated to end the neoliberal economic system, against the high cost of basic services and to change the political Constitution drawn up during the dictatorship, in addition to other social demands.

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