Report from the streets of Santiago

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Image: Wikimedia/Carlos Figueroa/Protestas en Chile de 2019, Plaza Baquedano, Santiago, Chile

In recent weeks, mass protests have been shaking Chile. The protests began on Oct 7 as a fare-evasion protest by high school students. Throughout the rest of the month and now into November, the protests have rapidly escalated into a comprehensive challenge to the political and economic order established by Augusto Pinochet in the nation's 1980 constitution.

On today's rabble radio, we'll also look at the background to these protests, starting with Chile's use under the brutal Pinochet dictatorship as a laboratory to test the neoliberal policies that would later be brought to the rest of the world, how the protests relate to the current state of the left across Latin America, and what their prospects of success are. As many as ten per cent of the country's population were on the streets on the biggest day of protest. 

We'll be hearing Corvin Russell talk to Carlos Torres about the protests. Torres is a long time activist and writer of the Chilean left, and a former political prisoner, who spent many years in Montreal and Toronto doing research, social justice, and international solidarity work, including serving on the World Social Forum International Council. Russell is an activist, writer, and educator living in Toronto.

Carlos Torres has written recently for Amandla magazine in South Africa, and for Alternatives in Montreal. Most recently he has written three books -- one on Che Guevara in the 21st century, one titled Venezuela: Democracy or Dictatorship?, and a book on the revolutionary left in Chile. He is currently finishing a PhD at the University of Buenos Aires, now lives in Santiago, which is where Corvin Russell reached him.

This podcast features two different interviews. The first interview was done last Monday October 28. And because things are evolving and changing rapidly, Corvin did a followup interview with Carlos at the beginning of this week.

Image: Wikimedia/Carlos Figueroa/Protestas en Chile de 2019, Plaza Baquedano, Santiago, Chile

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