Chile: Humanists and the Current Moment

21.10.2019 - Santiago de Chile - Tomás Hirsch

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Chile: Humanists and the Current Moment

Hello friends,

It is difficult to make a synthesis of what we are living, but in the attempt to transmit our point of view, I’ll tell you a little.

I believe that we are witnessing something that Humanism has been announcing for a long time: a social explosion as a result of an absolutely violent, inhuman system that has been squeezing, abusing and mistreating people for too long.

And by the way, this systemic violence, which is economic, racial, cultural, psychological and economic violence, ends up unleashing what we are seeing today, protests which then become a social outpouring and end up in looting, fires and, on the other hand, a government which has no capacity for response, which above all does not understand anything about this psychosocial phenomenon and which therefore does the only thing they know how to do: the brutes, respond with violence, bring the military out onto the street, shoot, repress.

This is the panorama we are experiencing at the moment. We Humanists have been warning about this situation for too long.

So when some people today say that all politicians have to make a self-criticism, it is not so, in our case we warned.

In 1999, 20 years ago, we threw the Constitution in the trash, we said that it was useless and that it was necessary to have a new democratic Constitution and not to continue with the one written by the dictatorship.[Pinochet]

In 2005, we raised the need to end the AFPs [Privatised Pension Funds], we raised the need to advance in social justice, we raised at that time, that education should be a guaranteed right, free and quality. By the way, they didn’t listen to us there either.

And with the Frente Amplio [BROAD front], we raised from the beginning, a programme, proposals aimed at greater social justice. In the meantime, this system has been dedicated to squeeze, squeeze and keep doing it, until the people burst.

We do not validate violence, we do not share the violent act, but it seems fundamental to us to understand the root of violence, it seems fundamental to us that this society, this system, instead of tearing its clothes, has a capacity for self-critical vision and therefore points to fundamental, structural transformations. To pretend that this is going to be resolved by going backwards with the metro fare is to understand nothing.

Today there are protests from Arica to Punta Arenas, in more than 50 cities where there is no metro, so this has nothing to do with the metro fare. This has to do with abuse, with collusion, with miserable pensions, with miserable salaries, with the price of water, gas, electricity, transportation. With a country that has been built on inequality and with one of the worst income distributions on the planet. You know all this, and we have been saying all this for too long. But today it is fundamental that as Humanists we are clear about what has always been our approach, our proposal and what is still the same as today: to advance with profound structural changes, towards the construction of a society very different from that of today.

“This world is going to explode,” Silo once said, and nothing and no one will be able to oppose it, nothing and no one will be able to stop the violence, because they are generating it day by day with their mistreatment of the people.

Today we have to be very united, very linked, to work in a wedge, to be clear that it is important to be a reference for active nonviolence, to propose to the people to continue with the mobilization but with a nonviolent mobilization, with pots and pans demos, with meetings between neighbours, with debates, with discussions, with mobilization. Seek to build grassroots social organization, strengthen the social movement. These are our tasks, we have to contribute in this direction and from this point of view, to raise the demand for a Constituent Assembly now, it seems to me that it can help to unify, to unite the specific demands that each one has.

I want to send each and every one of you a big hug, to tell you that we remain totally committed to fight, to work for a very, very different society from the inhuman system in which the great majority of Chileans and from all over the world live today.

 

Translation Pressenza London

Categories: Human Rights, Humanism and Spirituality, International issues, Opinions, Politics, South America
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