Chilean Protests: A Revolt against Neoliberalism the Media Refuses to Acknowledge
by Alan Macleod - MintPress News
“Neoliberalism was born in Chile and will die in Chile” has become a rallying cry for the movement. Yet few in the West are aware of the country’s tumultuous history as an experimental laboratory for free market economics imposed on Chile by the United States.
Santiago, Chile — “We are at war with a powerful, relentless enemy that respects nothing nor anyone” thundered Chilean President Sebastian Piñera during a speech to the nation, deliberately echoing the infamous catchphrase of fascist military dictator Augusto Pinochet.
The “enemy” he was referencing were Chilean citizens, more than one million of them taking to the streets Friday afternoon in a revolt against the neoliberal system Piñera was implementing against their will, demanding his resignation.
The spark for the revolt that started October 14 was a 30-Peso increase to the subway fare in Santiago, the country’s capital and by far its largest and most important city. But demonstrations quickly escalated into a general protest against the decades of neoliberal economic policies carried out by successive governments that increased the cost of living and marginalized and disenfranchised the population, leading to greater social and economic inequality. As a popular slogan of the protest goes:
“It’s not about 30 pesos; it’s about 30 years.”