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About the fights in Santiago – September 2013

Smudo | 22.09.2013 22:43 | History | Repression | Social Struggles | World

On September 11th 1973, the commander-in-chief of the Chilean army Augusto Pinochet took power over the democratically elected president Allende. Over the next 17 years, Pinochet killed and tortured thousands under his dictatorial rule. On the same day, in 1998, anarchist Claudia López was shot dead by cops of the reinstated democracy, while fighting at a barricade during a commemoration of the coup d’etat.

This year on the 4th of september, a direct action in Valparaiso took place to commemorate th 11th of September. A video about the action states :
« The struggle continues in the street for all the people who were killed. We dont talk with fascism, we destroy it ! »

On the morning of the 5th of september, barricades were erected in the población of La Pincoya. Numerous shots were fired at nearby cops and a stolen car was set ablaze in the same población where Claudia López was killed. more about her:

On Sunday, the 8th of september, around 50 000 people participated in a demonstration to the General Cementery, culminating at the monument to the killed and disapeared.
Various political groups (marxist leninist, anarchist and human rights organisations) were present in the march, as well as families of the victims.
The demonstration was dominated by the following groups : Frente Popular Manuel Rodriguez, Movimiento Izquierda Revolucionaria, Partido Comunista, Partido Socialista, Izquierda Comunista, Partido de Trabajadores Revolucionarios. During the march, the anarchist bloc began confrontations, with encapuchadxs attacking some banks and a petrol station. Police attempted to split the demonstration with motorbike cops, which failed because of the resistance of a multitude of people with stones. When the first police attack failed, they split the demonstration in two with water canons and tear gas. People responded by building barricades along the cementery. The police then attacked the crowd in front of the cementery and were defeated by molotov cocktails and stones. The police then assaulted the interior of the cementery with water canons, tear gas tanks, and motorbikes. Several graves were destroyed as a result of the clash between the police and rioters. According to the police 31 people were arrested and 10 cops were sent to hospital.

A video depicting the demonstration :

10th of september :
-Barricades from high school and university students in Matucana
In Providencia high school students blocked the street
5 high schools were blocked by students.
Barricades were set up at night in La Florida
in San Bernardo and Pudahuel people shot at the cops
a bus was burned in Providencia, Cerro Navia
the electric power was cut multiple times in the poblaciones

11th of september :
10 000 people were participating in the commemoration in the National Stadium, which had become a concentration camp in the days after the putsch most of the barricades were made in the night, after various commemorations at least three supermarkets were looted ,at least 6 buses were burned, in different poblaciones people shot at the cops
Riots occured with stones and molotovs :

in a lot of spots of the city people burned garbages in the street
in Villa Francia, in La Victoria, and other poblaciones there were riots and cutting of electric lights
Police say 41 cops went to hospital, among them the general Pacheco
264 people were arrested, according to mass media reports.

All in all 8000 pigs were in the streets of Santiago during these days.

There's no poster for the events and only a few calls.
As there's no Indymedia in Chile or any comparable site, people mainly use social networks like facebook and twitter to spread information about upcoming events.
To participate in the riots in the poblaciones you have to be connected with the people there.
To contextualize the particular date and places: Many of the neighborhoods around Santiago are very poor. Ever since childhood, a lot of young people steal and make their lives in the streets, going in and out of youth detention centres. Every ‘September 11th,’ not only anarchists or anti-authoritarians, but all kind of people hit the streets (except for bourgeoisie). This even includes drug traffickers, who like to test their armaments, juvenile delinquents who hate the police and want to shoot at them, other armed groups, etc. It also depends on the neighbourhood; some of them are very politicized, while others are really not (in the latter, barricades are often set on fire just to burn down trash and things on the street, but not even a single clash with cops occurs).
Video about poblacion La Victoria:

The influence of the anarchist movement during these days :
There were no announcements on the anarchist websites about these events, even though anarchist were participating in them.
Even though we can see a lot of people wearing black clothes and « capuchas » in pictures, they are not necessary anarchist, but wear these clothes for security reasons.

The riots were carried out by people who have a personal relationship to the historical struggle against Pinochet's dictatorship and not necessary with a particular ideology.
There's not a lot of anarchist spaces in Santiago, only few squats and some libraries. As a result there are no anarchist hangouts.
The Anarchist movement, which restarted in Chile 20 years ago, began to face repression after 2009, and has had trouble growing in the last few years ; the participation in demonstrations is decreasing.