Crisis and hope
Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 - 10:23 pm.

My God, how a country can radically change in less than 24 hours. On Friday night, we learned about riots in the capital, and by noon the next day, the whole country was on fire. To which I say: GOOD.

This isn't the place for me to get all political, but I will say that the riots only came after the cops and the military opened fire. First, there was civil desobedience, from high school students no less. The rest of the people followed. They are frustrated and angry, social inequity on all social fronts has been gone on for too long, while politicians, millionaires, the police and the military lives fabulous lives in impunity and corruption.

Andrew and I have spent the week holed up in the house. The cops and military went full on repression mode since Saturday. By the end of the weekend, you had horrifying cell-phone videos popping up, just one after the other, and increasingly alarming reports from human rights organizations about illegal detentions, dissapearances, torture, sexual abuse, looting, and shooting from the authority to the people. The police had set a torture centre inside a metro station, Jesus Fucking Christ. I was scared, and maybe triggered by the memories of war in my own country.

On Wednesday, Andrew insisted on going to see a friend to the hospital. He was there, luckily, for non-political reasons. It wasn't just a stupid apendicitis, though, because this friend also has a somewhat life-threatening conditions. He could use some company in the hospital, Andrew insisted. And I didn't object to that, it's just that because of the random acts of violence of soldiers and cops (hitting and shooting people on the streets, or illegally taking them away), I was very afraid to go out, and to let Andrew go by himself.

We went out, and hey, the city was peaceful. A lot of the alarming tweets, about looting and places on fire that I'd been reading were simply not true. Some students were cleaning up a chapel. So we visited the friend, which was nice. We even stopped by the supermarket afterwards. There were lots of people from higher socioecomonic strata buying stuff like it was the end of the world, but I assure you, there was no shortage of anything.

On our way back, the streets were being blocked. I only saw one soldier redirecting traffic. This was in preparation for a big march that afternoon. The marches have only gotten even bigger everyday, up to this day, up to this night as I write this. It's truly something to behold. I'm moved to tears. I'm jealous. I'd like the same awakening for my country, which has been fucked up by a similar socioeconomic system, but I can only dream.

That same day, Andrew and I went to hit pans with some neighbors at the entrance of our village, as part of the national protest. Again, I was scared to take part in this, specially with the reports of police and soldiers coming for people at night to shoot them or take them away (numbers of dissappeared and murdered continue to rise), and hitting villages to scare people. But it was cool, there were a few families and lots of children. A train zoomed by in front of the village and hit the...horn? in solidarity. I appreciated seeing Andrew so resolved in taking part in this. He's always on the right side of history in plenty of subjects, but I'd never had the chance to see him stand up for his country and his people like that.

I'm not sure if we'd attend the marches if we could, though. The first half of the week, we were so relieved to live far away from the city, where things were getting ugly. By now, the marches seem safer, because police and soldiers have not gotten involved, but you never know. I'm a coward, I'm afraid, and I'm also scared that we'll be stranded in the city because transportation runs intermitently.

Because we're kind of isolated, and social causes aside, we're bored. There's nothing to do around here, there's nothing within walking distance that could serve as a reason for us to leave the house. The supermarket is lame, as if people from lower socioeconomic strata does not deserve to find pleasure in their food. And like I said above, we don't dare to leave the village because public transport services may stop at any time and leave us stranded, riots may erupt, cops and soldiers may be deployed and close streets.

But I mean, sure, it's inconvenient for us, but how amazing it is to see people trying to burn a corrupt, abusive, unjust government to the ground. I'm on the verge of tears everyday watching students, teachers, health professionals, and indigenous people (for whom repression is an everyday ocurrence in their communities), and queer people, and families, feminists, otakus, bikers, truckers, and even somewhat rich people. Everyone protesting. There's so much suffering, there is so much humor. It's astounding.

There is no end in sight to this crisis, but the Chilean people carry on with their protests. May they carry on until they get what's fair.

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