November 12, 2019
Chilean protests in Dam Square
After the ongoing protests and strikes in Chile these last weeks, Chileans living in the Netherlands have decided to pronounce themselves upon the issue. Starting from October 21st, several Chilean-born citizens gathered together in Dam Square with written signs and their country’s flag, calling for the attention of the international community as a way to express their dissatisfaction with the action taken by the Chilean government in office.
The peaceful protests in Amsterdam have been held and initially promoted by a group of students who are overwhelmed about their country’s situation, regarding these events as spectators and concerned about how violence has progressively escalated. Although at first sight the situation seems to root from an increase in the Chilean public transport fare, protesters claim that the real motive behind their discontent lies within social inequality and the implications of the social policies that have been adopted by authorities during Sebastian Piñera’s presidential term.
Chile’s situation has rapidly gained international attention, especially due to the curfew in major cities, the increasing number of national protests, arrests and deaths that resulted from the confrontations between the citizens and the military after the country was declared to be in state of emergency. Throughout the whole week, protesters in Dam Square also counted with the support of tourists and international citizens who started joining their manifestation, and which were helpful in spreading their denouncements by sharing of photos and live streaming videos via their different social media platforms. An audiovisual team has also been involved in the filming process of the protest, in the hope of gathering material to produce a video that will allow their denouncements to have a major reach.
In spite of reverting his decision and decreasing the public transport fare as demanded, President Piñera’s effort to ease the tension has been by far reported to be unsuccessful. Protests in Amsterdam are merely a reflection of the international response of Chileans living abroad, concerned about the future of their native country and relatives back home who are ultimately suffering the repercussions of the crisis. Nonetheless, whether the political turmoil will be solved still remains uncertain.
The photos were taken by Andrea Valdivia on October 21, 2019.