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Rally held in Wellington in support of Chilean protesters

05:00am 23/10/2019

Organise Aotearoa joined a rally held by the Chilean expatriate community on Tuesday outside the Chilean Embassy in Wellington, following widespread repression and brutality against protesters by President Sebastián Piñera’s armed forces.

Up to a hundred people gathered at Frank Kitts Park opposite the embassy, chanting, dancing, holding signs, and waving Chilean flags in solidarity with protesters in Chile.

The Chilean military has been deployed onto the streets for the first time since Augusto Pinochet’s fascist military dictatorship, which lasted between 1973 and 1990. Thousands of people were tortured, killed, had their children uplifted, and were forcibly disappeared under Pinochet’s dictatorship.

Neoliberal policies pioneered under Pinochet, such as privatised water and utilities, low wages, and trashed healthcare and education systems, were never overturned by successive governments.

Recent reports say that at least thirteen people have been killed so far. 1906 people have been detained, and 10500 soldiers and police have been deployed to suppress protests.

A petition has been launched on ActionStation by Chilean expatriates calling on the New Zealand government to condemn Piñera’s brutality. Many in the expatriate community were political refugees of Pinochet’s regime, and these attacks on democracy and people’s freedoms are a harsh reminder of the dictatorship.

“The New Zealand government must condemn Piñera’s brutal repression of protesters,” says Organise Aotearoa spokesperson Kate McIntyre. “We support Chileans who are calling for justice and democracy after the 36 long years of fascism, neoliberalism, and austerity. Working people in Chile deserve better.”


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