We are publishing here a letter sent by Pia Figueroa to a Pressenza colleague in the UK as it reflects the intersection between the political and existential experiences that the Chilean population has been going through since the beginning of the social unrest and rebellion against the government’s most unpopular policies, which are rooted in long years of violent and dehumanising neoliberal dogma going back to the Pinochet era. The unrest was triggered initially by a student protest against an increase in Metro fares.
“… whilst you adapt to the new situation in England, for the past two months we have been living here in conditions of total instability. Each and every day is absolutely unpredictable, we do not know how the day will end or if it will develop as we may hope.
Lots of jobs of course are suspended (many of them, like mine, obviously so since there are no public events, seminars or conferences to translate). Traffic is very difficult because we, the people, are demonstrating in the main streets and purposefully creating traffic jams. Public transport has been almost impossible to use since October 18th, when many metro stations were destroyed.
Also supermarkets were burned, as well as pharmacies and other important shops, so we just buy the things we really need in little neighbourhood shops. We walk a lot and use bicycles.
The police are everywhere, repressing and controlling, acting with such violence that one has to be extremely careful when moving around. Political coalitions are spliting and the different social movements are trying to give reference, but there are no leaders able to guide this social unrest. TV channels are lying and manipulating as never before. The government is completely unable to take correct decisions and everything it does increases the present crisis. Social media are burning with many, many appeals to demonstrate in an incredible variety of forms.
And in spite of all that, and many other things I could describe, we have never experienced such an epic moment, with such inspired collective moments, with such a subtle and profound synchronicity among those demonstrating in the streets.
Something very deep has changed and it is expressed in the way that people look at each other: without fear, suspicion or indiference, because everyone counts and each life is important. Feeling that a common new consciousness is being born, which could lead us – sooner or later – to another type of society because a newly born sensibility is opening up and developing from the deepest spaces within us all.
Maybe, and it is very possible, we will soon fail in this attempt. But the intangible values and feelings we have experienced will remain and guide us again, and again, towards that new society that already exists in our hearts, until the day arrives when it will be possible to install it and give birth to another type of society.
That is why these two months have been called “Chile woke up”, as if suddenly a change in the state of consciousness in which we all live has been produced.
Your email gave me the sensation that our friendship allows us to talk about ourselves and the way we are living our daily life presently, while we go on with our fantastic and important project of giving space to all demonstration effects through our agency. We may be adapting to new situations, destabilised by these crises, but this wonderful project that is Pressenza allows us to reach many others with our nonviolent and humanist point of view.
Please let us know how we could offer the documentary on Nuclear Disarmament (“The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons*”) to TV channels that may like to broadcast it. We will try to reach as many as possible starting in the new year.
A very big hug, Pía
*Produced by Tony Robinson