Chilean Student Movement years into the struggle and moving forward strong; things heating up big time in June
June 26, 2013

Democratic marches took to the street in mass and hooded protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at a police station in the Chilean capital on Wednesday ahead of a nationwide student demonstration.

Protesters also stoned cars, looted a restaurant to use chairs for barricades and burned tires, blocking rush hour traffic along some of Santiago’s main roads.

"They are not students, they are criminals and extremists," Interior and Security Minister Andres Chadwick alleged at a press conference. "They’ve acted in a coordinated and planned way to provoke these acts of violence."

Teachers, dock workers and copper miners have said they will join students in Wednesday’s national protest to demand education reform.

Chile is the world’s top copper producer and its fast-growing economy is seen as fertile ground for investors. But it is also plagued by vast income inequality and a costly education system that many say is unfair.

"This has to do with discontent that is deeply rooted in many sectors of society. But we’re the first ones to sympathize with people who are innocent victims of this violence, because there’s no way to justify these types of clashes," Andres Fielbaum, president of the University of Chile student federation told state television.

The march, timed ahead of Sunday’s presidential primaries, is aimed at demanding wider distribution of Chile’s copper wealth and reform of the education system that would put the state back in control of the mostly privatized public universities.

Student leaders want to change the tax system so the rich pay more and so that there is less social inequality in Chile.

Chilean student protests are often infiltrated by small but violent instigators alongside genuinely angry anarchists who throw rocks, firebombs and even acid, while police in riot gear respond with water cannons, tear gas and massive-scale brutality.

Two years of student marches often paralyzed Chile’s major cities and stoked expectations of change, but the dispute over education reform remains a key electoral issue ahead of the Nov. 17 presidential election.

Source

Chilean students rise again: Protests mark start of school yearMarch 7, 2013
An estimated 300 people assembled in downtown Santiago on Thursday for the academic year’s first student protest, which quickly turned into a violent confrontation between demonstrators and Chile’s national police force, the Carabineros.
The protest was not authorized by the metropolitan government nor the Carabineros and unlike many student marches, was not organized by the umbrella student organization Confech. Simultaneous demonstrations also took place in Concepción, Valparaíso and Valdivia.Soon after the protest commenced, police urged the demonstrators through megaphones to disperse from near the Manuel Rodríguez monument in Plaza Baquedano. However, a minority of hooded youths, nicknamed “encapuchados” in Chile, forced the amassed Carabineros into action by throwing rocks and other missiles. The chaos that followed saw student groups fleeing from the resulting tear gas, paintballs and water cannons released from surrounding armored police vehicles.The retreating students chanted in unison “Chilean education is not for sale” and “the education system of Pinochet will fall,” in reference to the defunct dictator who established the current educational framework.In a bizarre confrontation, musicians playing saxophones and clarinets, accompanied by several female belly dancers, performed just feet away from the assembled riot police in an act of defiance that was met with amusement from the surrounding hordes of students.The gathered demonstrators lashed out at the highly privatized Chilean higher education system and its inaccessibility for poorer students.“What we want is an end to profits and free access to high quality education,” said one participant.Another young protester, Iván, went further and argued that the ongoing demonstrations reflected a wider discontent regarding Chile’s deep-seated “financial inequality between rich and poor.”Official figures released by Carabineros claim that 30 students were arrested during the protests. Unknown demonstrators also reportedly threw stones and left graffiti on the office of conservative presidential candidate Laurence Golborne.Chile’s education system has long been criticized for its high costs, long duration and low levels of public funding, which leaves many graduates with crippling debts. Wednesday’s demonstration is just the most recent within a student movement that sprung to life in 2011, demanding a fairer and more accessible education framework in the country.
Source

Chilean students rise again: Protests mark start of school year
March 7, 2013

An estimated 300 people assembled in downtown Santiago on Thursday for the academic year’s first student protest, which quickly turned into a violent confrontation between demonstrators and Chile’s national police force, the Carabineros.

The protest was not authorized by the metropolitan government nor the Carabineros and unlike many student marches, was not organized by the umbrella student organization Confech. Simultaneous demonstrations also took place in Concepción, Valparaíso and Valdivia.

Soon after the protest commenced, police urged the demonstrators through megaphones to disperse from near the Manuel Rodríguez monument in Plaza Baquedano. However, a minority of hooded youths, nicknamed “encapuchados” in Chile, forced the amassed Carabineros into action by throwing rocks and other missiles. The chaos that followed saw student groups fleeing from the resulting tear gas, paintballs and water cannons released from surrounding armored police vehicles.

The retreating students chanted in unison “Chilean education is not for sale” and “the education system of Pinochet will fall,” in reference to the defunct dictator who established the current educational framework.

In a bizarre confrontation, musicians playing saxophones and clarinets, accompanied by several female belly dancers, performed just feet away from the assembled riot police in an act of defiance that was met with amusement from the surrounding hordes of students.

The gathered demonstrators lashed out at the highly privatized Chilean higher education system and its inaccessibility for poorer students.

“What we want is an end to profits and free access to high quality education,” said one participant.

Another young protester, Iván, went further and argued that the ongoing demonstrations reflected a wider discontent regarding Chile’s deep-seated “financial inequality between rich and poor.”

Official figures released by Carabineros claim that 30 students were arrested during the protests. Unknown demonstrators also reportedly threw stones and left graffiti on the office of conservative presidential candidate Laurence Golborne.

Chile’s education system has long been criticized for its high costs, long duration and low levels of public funding, which leaves many graduates with crippling debts. Wednesday’s demonstration is just the most recent within a student movement that sprung to life in 2011, demanding a fairer and more accessible education framework in the country.

Source

Resistance Music!

I’m a huge fan of political music of all genres, but particularly world music and hip hop. Here are nine of my favorite subversive (to various forms of oppression) songs highlighted, linked to live performances and/or music videos, with a snippet of some of the best lyrics from the song:

Backlash Blues by Nina Simone
Based on the Langston Hughes poem by the same name, Nina Simone passionately performs the anti-racist anthem live at Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976. Nina Simone’s live performances are the best available performances I’ve ever seen on Youtube:

“When my God daughter tries to find a job to earn a little cash
all you got to offer her is your stupid, same, stupid, old, big back lash,
but the world is big (I saw it), big and bright and round
and it’s full of other folks like me who are Japanese, black and beige and brown.
Oh Mr Backlash, you are not the only one. That’s what you been thinkin’
but I’m gonna leave ya, I’m gonna leave ya, I’m gonna leave ya with the blues.”

Film the Police by B. Dolan featuring Sage Francis, Buddy Peace, Jasiri X and TokiWright

“They’d rather see me in a cell
than me and my cell with a different story to tell.
Camcorder by the dash. Next time you get stopped,
REACH for the celly if you wanna shoot a cop.
On a public sidewalk, you can tape what you see,
Or film from your window with a view of the street!
Neighborhood Crime Watch, we police the Police.
They can’t arrest the whole community.”

Amerikahn Promise  by Erykah Badu
I couldn’t find a video of this song except for one live performance that’s really poor quality. You can listen to it on Spotify for free though. It’s the first track on the 2007 album ‘New Amerykah Part One’. I love this song though, so if you have time you should find a way to listen to it, it’s about the false promises of the American Dream.

“Welcome to America. (Background: All the freaks are here.)
All you have to do is make a promise.
(Background: And stay on the grind.)
I promise, I promise, you give it to me and I’ll give it to you.
(Background: 30,000 giggawatts of power baby, radiating your soul!)
Sign right here on the dotted line.
(Background: Come on, get you sum free.)”

Go Limp by Nina Simone
This is another great performance, which Nina has a lot of fun with. It’s a sort-of cheeky political song about police brutality at civil rights marches and being seduced in protest culture. The title of the song refers to the strategy of ‘going limp’ at protests to slow down the police’s capacity to arrest people.

“Oh Mother, dear Mother, no, I’m not afraid.
For I’ll go on that march and return a virgin maid.
With a brick in my handbag and a scowl on my face,
barbed wire in my underwear to shed off disgrace.

America by K’Naan, featuring Mos Def (quoted lyrics) and Chali 2na
Another song shattering the delusional fantasy of the American Dream and criticizing the ideology of success in America.

“My country tis of thee, sweet land for robberies,
dope smoking, SUVs, grab me an army green,
fat and frills, drills and spills, eat and sleep, hump and kill,
shop till you drop, work till your dead, get all you can, and get in ‘the win’,

Outta my face, on your knees, sleep in the mansion, shut out the streets,
Make that cake, woop that trick, lick my swagger, suck my sick,
get high, get low, get sticky, get rich, get your own show, get down, get quick.
You slow, you blow, you broke, get fixed.”

Shock by Ana Tijoux
Ana Tijoux has two videos for this song – both for incredibly important movements. The first is about the Chilean Student Movement and I prefer it for the studio-quality music and the video is also aesthetically more interesting. But, I think it’s also really great that she made a second video (acoustic) for undocumented activists in Arizona. I used this site for the translated lyrics: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/shock-shock.html

“Venom: your monologues,
your colorless speeches,
you don’t see that we AREN’T alone,
millions from pole to pole!

To the sound of a single chorus,
we will march with the tone,
with the conviction that THE THIEVING STOPS!!

Your state of control,
your corrupt throne of gold,
your politics and your wealth,
and your treasure, no.

The hour has struck, the hour has struck.

We will allow NO MORE, no more your doctrine of shock.”

PALESTINE by Shadia Mansour featuring M1 of Dead Prez
Great song, good video. I got the translated lyrics from the Youtube comments.

That’s how we wear the koufiye, the black and white koufiye
They thought they could play and wear it as a fashion accessory
No matter how creative they become,
No matter how they change its color,
An Arabic koufiye, it will always stay an Arabic koufiye
Our kouifye, they want it. Our heritage, they want it. Our dignity, they want it
Everything ours, they want it.
No we won’t be quiet for them. We won’t permit them.

Malcom X by Miriam Makeba
I was only introduced to the music of Miriam Makeba in 2011 and haven’t stopped listening since. Seriously, go find other songs (like Pata Pata, Kikirikiki, and the “click song”) because her music is amazing. 

 “I say a great man because it was a Black man who fought for liberation, for the liberation of Black people. Ladies and Gentlemen, Malcom X.

Everybody seems to be preaching revolution,
though no one ever seems to show appreciation,
to that man over there who brought about a new generation, 
yeah to that man who thought about a new Black nation,”

Uncle Sam Goddamn by Brother Ali

“Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief home of the slave
Grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred and proud
Lets do this shit for real, come on now 

Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars
Stolen for the cross in the name of God
Bloodshed, genocide, rape and fraud
Written to the pages of the law good lord
The Cold Continent latch key child
Ran away one day and started acting foul
King of where the wild things are daddy’s proud
cos the Roman Empire done passed it down

Imported and tortured a work force
and never healed the wounds or shook the curse off
Now the grown up Goliath nation
Holdin open auditions for the part of David, can you feel it?”

— 

Other great political songs (I would have added these but I didn’t want this to be any more obnoxiously long): With God on Our Side by Bob Dylan, With God on Our Side by K’Nann, Revolution by Nina Simone, U Shaka by Miriam Makeba, Vagabonds In Power by Nneka, Long Live Palestine by Lowkey, Obama Nation by Lowkey, Bin Laden by Immortal Technique featuring Mos Def, Bang! Bang! by Le Tigre, Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill,  Get Off the Internet by Le Tigre, Mississippi Goddamn by Nina Simone

 -Robert

 ALSO, YES: Leave me recommendations/your favorites in comments, please!

MUST WATCH: Police teargas Chilean youth demanding an education
October 26, 2012

Students clashed with police on the streets of the Chilean capital ahead of this weekend’s municipal election, as protesters vent their anger over the government’s inability to respond to demands for education reform.

Protests turned violent in Santiago as police used tear gas and water cannons to push back the hostile crowd of student who resorted to Molotov cocktails and stones to get their message across on the grounds of the University of Santiago.

The crowds of young people also gathered peacefully in many parts of the city to once again pressure officials to act on their behalf ahead of Sunday’s vote. 

President Sebastian Pinera recently introduced the 2013 budget bill, which showed a record-high 12.8 billion US dollars in education financing. 

But students say it is too little, as the system fails families with poor-quality public schools, expensive private universities and education loans at high interest rates.

Source

Student leaders Camila Vallejo (vice president of the University of Chile Federation) & Noam Titelman (president of the Catholic University Student Federation) will receive the 2012 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award for organizing the largest protests in Chile since the Pinochet era.

A massive student movement has taken over the country in times of unlimited privatization of schools and universities. The award is given by the Institute for Policy Studies and named for the Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and his colleague Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were murdered in Washington by agents of the U.S.-backed Pinochet regime in September 1976.

We had the opportunity to hear Camila & Noam speak yesterday along with CUNY & Quebec student leaders. It was incredibly inspiring to listen to the struggles of other students across the world & to learn how to move forward in the global fight for education. 

We’ll have more on the student leaders coming soon!

Learning from Chilean student leaders: Camila Vallejo & Noam Titelman in NYC Oct. 15

As education in the US & in many countries around the world becomes increasingly privatized & available to only those who can afford it, student movements across the globe are needed more now than ever.

We have seen great strides from other students valiantly fighting to keep their schools funded, education accessible & tuition low. University students in Quebec have won their struggle to dissolve tuition increases, but are now going even further to ensure free higher education for everyone. 

Students across the world need to take note on these movements & spark one of their own. A particularly powerful example is the students in Chile demanding education reform on all levels. Hundreds of thousands have marched through the streets since last year to end the profit motive in education & to call for new universities to be built (none have been created since 1990).

As economic inequality in Chile continues to hold its spot as one of the worst in the world according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the need for fair & accessible education becomes more pressing. Students have not backed down even though riot police & brutality has met them at nearly every protest. The Chilean student movement continues to gain momentum, becoming a vital source of inspiration for other students struggling to hold on to their schools.

So if you’re in the New York City area on October 15, plan to be at the CUNY Graduate Center to learn from Chilean student leaders Camila Vallejo & Noam Titelman, along with Quebec & CUNY student activists. Tickets are free, but there are only 46 left. 

Education is a human right, & the time to act is now.

Chilean students protest & torch three city buses on August 8 to demand the radical reform of public education throughout the country. Riot police responded with tear gas & water cannons, arresting more than 75 people.

President Sebastian Pinera has refused to improve the education system, which still fails the public with poor quality public schools, expensive private universities, poor teaching standards and banks that offer education loans at such high interest rates that most Chileans cannot afford them.

Largest student protest of 2012 in Chile draws 150,000June 29, 2012
Rain slowed, but did not stop massive files of students, workers and protesters as they marched past the presidential palace to protest education costs and profiteering Thursday. The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech), the university student organization that coordinated the protest, estimated the number of protesters at 150,000.
“The government is right to be worried because we are dealing with a minister who bows to business,” said Confech Spokesperson Gabriel Boric at the march’s closing ceremony. “We want to say that while this happens, we will not be quiet. We went from a military dictatorship to a market dictatorship.”In Chile, the majority of education costs are borne by private citizens. Confech and other student organizations have called for the government to take a more active investment.In addition to the movement’s broad call for education reforms, many protesters specifically spoke against profiteering in the educational system. At least seven universities are under investigation for taking money from the instruction and putting it into the pockets of its directors and executives.This was the movement’s third major protest of the year, but first sanctioned route past La Moneda presidential palace. It was also the biggest of the three, according to the Confech estimate.
Source

Largest student protest of 2012 in Chile draws 150,000
June 29, 2012

Rain slowed, but did not stop massive files of students, workers and protesters as they marched past the presidential palace to protest education costs and profiteering Thursday. The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech), the university student organization that coordinated the protest, estimated the number of protesters at 150,000.

“The government is right to be worried because we are dealing with a minister who bows to business,” said Confech Spokesperson Gabriel Boric at the march’s closing ceremony. “We want to say that while this happens, we will not be quiet. We went from a military dictatorship to a market dictatorship.”

In Chile, the majority of education costs are borne by private citizens. Confech and other student organizations have called for the government to take a more active investment.

In addition to the movement’s broad call for education reforms, many protesters specifically spoke against profiteering in the educational system. At least seven universities are under investigation for taking money from the instruction and putting it into the pockets of its directors and executives.

This was the movement’s third major protest of the year, but first sanctioned route past La Moneda presidential palace. It was also the biggest of the three, according to the Confech estimate.

Source

More than 10,000 students participated in a massive protest in Santiago, Chile on June 20. The event was organized by the National Coordination of High School Students (CONES) and the Coordinating Assembly of High School Students (ACES).
“We want the government to improve the quality of education and make it a more egalitarian system, so that even people who don’t have money can go,” Manuela, a student from Liceo Siete of Santiago, said. “Right now the reality in Chile is that if you don’t have money, you can’t go to school. This happens all the time.”

More than 10,000 students participated in a massive protest in Santiago, Chile on June 20. The event was organized by the National Coordination of High School Students (CONES) and the Coordinating Assembly of High School Students (ACES).

“We want the government to improve the quality of education and make it a more egalitarian system, so that even people who don’t have money can go,” Manuela, a student from Liceo Siete of Santiago, said. “Right now the reality in Chile is that if you don’t have money, you can’t go to school. This happens all the time.”

Chilean students announce new stage in movement for education reformJune 16, 2012 
On June 15, Chilean students called for two days of protest and reflection, on June 20 and June 28, confirming the beginning of a new stage in the movement for education reform. Representatives of the Aces (Coordinating Assembly of High School Students), Cones (National Coordination of High School Students), and Confech (Confederation of Chilean Students), which unites students from several universities, came together to make this announcement.
The students plan to protest in the main cities in the country, including Santiago, where the protests will begin in the Plaza Italia and continue down the Alameda.
Educational profiteering stands as one of the students’ greatest concerns, reaffirmed by the recent scandal at the Universidad del Mar, where the Director Raúl Urrutia recently stepped down in protest of financial mismanagement.
“The students of Chile are tired of watching entrepreneurs behave like felons, filling up their own pockets, and profiting by destroying our dreams,” said Gabriel Boric, Confech spokesman and Student Federation of the University of Chile (Fech).
Source

Chilean students announce new stage in movement for education reform
June 16, 2012 

On June 15, Chilean students called for two days of protest and reflection, on June 20 and June 28, confirming the beginning of a new stage in the movement for education reform. Representatives of the Aces (Coordinating Assembly of High School Students), Cones (National Coordination of High School Students), and Confech (Confederation of Chilean Students), which unites students from several universities, came together to make this announcement.

The students plan to protest in the main cities in the country, including Santiago, where the protests will begin in the Plaza Italia and continue down the Alameda.

Educational profiteering stands as one of the students’ greatest concerns, reaffirmed by the recent scandal at the Universidad del Mar, where the Director Raúl Urrutia recently stepped down in protest of financial mismanagement.

“The students of Chile are tired of watching entrepreneurs behave like felons, filling up their own pockets, and profiting by destroying our dreams,” said Gabriel Boric, Confech spokesman and Student Federation of the University of Chile (Fech).

Source

I’m Mexican, I live in Mexico. I’ve seen this and honestly, I’ve never been so proud of my country. The youth is teaching everybody else that it is time to change things and I’m so proud to belong to this generation. On a side note, Javier Sicilia’s son and other six kids were murdered by the organized crime in Mexico. He quit poetry and devoted his life to social activism, right now is one of the leaders of this movement. This is not only a social movement, it’s a cultural movement as well. This man is one of my personal heroes.

-novemdotze

I thought this comment added to our Mexican Student Movement post, deserved its own post. We love our followers! <3