Las Marchas: Protests in Chile

Chileans have an interesting idea of what brings about social change. Especially young chileans. According to a report we read in my culture class. 50% of young people believe that it is not possible to influence politics.

However, of those who believe it is possible to influence it, 23% believe the most effective medium is public demonstrations. And in 2012, 14% participated in a march.

Marcha I witnessed

Marcha I witnessed

One of the big issues right now in Valpo is the planning of a new mall. On one hand, the citizens of Valparaíso don’t want the mall because Valpo is a cultural center. It’s old-fashioned. It’s classic. They don’t want the invasion of modernity. On the other hand, the city wants to build the mall because it would bring money and employment to the city.

There was a huge march on April 4. My culture class was in the Public Library looking up noticias (news stories) from 1973, a crazy political time for Chile. We were unable to concentrate and ended up watching a display of political opinion.

Semi trucks showing (and honking their protest)

Semi trucks showing (and honking their protest)

Hundreds of Semi-trucks were driving downtown, blaring their horns in protest. Semi-drivers here are independent. Therefore, when this strike happened, distribution slowed. Valparaíso is a coastal town and a huge center for Chilean imports. Therefore, when the truck drivers stopped delivering, boats were left stranded in the ocean waiting to unload and reload. There is still a back-up.

This is a video montage of the march: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXn0JQk_vSg

It’s definitely a different atmosphere, but I think it’s awesome to see a political movement in action.

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