Revolt in Chile pt 2 || Lebanon Uprising || Blockade IMARC Debrief

Friday, 1 November 2019 - 7:00am to 8:30am

Friday 01 November 2019

Hosted by Jacob and Zane

7am Introduction and acknowledgement of country

703am Initial blockade IMARC wrap up

710am Jacob and Zane speak again with Chilean community campaigner and university lecturer Pablo Leighton (who we also spoke with last week) about the current  massive protests against neoliberalism and austerity sweeping Chile. Leighton is the editor of  Latitudes: Latin American Research Platform.  

This time Pablo was able to go into more depth about the birth of neoliberalism in Chile back in 1975 under the Pinochet dictatorship, which was initially difficult as military dictatorships in Chile tended to be more nationalist in character, with a substantial degree of public ownership. Pablo describes how even after the end of the dictatorship in 1990, centre left and centre right governments continued the project of privatising more or less the entire economy.

The mass protests are demanding the renationalisation of large swathes of the economy as people are being crushed by the "user pays" systems and privatised pensions which leave people destitute in retirement. There are also calls to nationalise the massive Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, which is run by Australian / British multinational BHP Billiton, where workers have gone on strike in support of the protests sweeping the country.

745am Jacob and Zane speak with Lebanese community activist Fatima about the massive anti government protests sweeping Lebanon, which have already forced the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and threaten to bring down the entire government.

The protests are significant in their secular / pluralistic nature, bringing together people from the various Christian and Muslim denominations, and well as Druze, in a country that has historically seen the differrent religious currents each afffiliated with their own distinct political currents. The united protests are calling for a more democratic parliamentary system to replace the existing undemocratic system which allocates parliamentary positions based on religious affiliation.

The rallies are also calling for tax reform and better living standards for lebanese workers. Fatima also reports that the massive rallies sweeping the country are tremendously musical and festival/rave like in their nature, which she attributed to this being a strong part of Lebanese culture.

8am activist calendar

810am Jacob and Zane give eyewitness reports following their participation in the blockade IMARC protests this week. The behaviour of the police at the event was significant both in its anti democratic character, with protest organisers and megaphones being captured by police "snatch squads" which would bulldoze their way through the crowd, as well as the violent repression of protestors with physical violence, mounted police and capsicum/pepper spray (a.k.a. OC foam).

Jacob defends the the reason we protested, the assertive but peaceful tactics used, and signals the resolve of protestors to return next year to once again blockade the event. Zane provides an eyewitness account of the disgraceful mass pepper spray attack by police on the wednesday, which was a hotheaded revenge attack by the police made in blatant violation of guidelines for the use of the spray, and which left over 60 protestors requiring medical treatment.

Friday 7:00am to 8:30am
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