Saturday, September 30, 2023

Non-political violence after the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup

An injured cameraman, a woman with an injured eye, 108 people arrested, 27 for robbery and 21 of them for looting, are part of the balance sheet presented by the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, after the riots surrounding the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup.

“We are interested in strengthening democracy, the government rejects violence and will therefore press charges against all those responsible,” said the State Secretary.

In addition to the numbers, the authority said that it had previously identified 14 critical points and that ten of them had disturbances of public order and acts of violence.

It was noticeable that the most violent unrest took place in the sectors of Cerro Navia, Puente Alto and San Bernardo, replacing the “traditional” unrest such as Villa Francia, Lo Hermida and La Pincoya, where there were protests but of a more “moderate” nature. A public transport bus burned in Recoleta.

Manuel Monsalve targeted coordinated anarchist groups.

It is fully supported by political scientist and professor of the Latin American Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Andreas Feldmann. “The secret service knows that those behind many of these things are anarchists. Furthermore, they sow disorder and then allow public anger to take over. In fact, for me, the only plausible theory about the subway station burning for the explosion is that it was some anarchist cells that planted the thing and then it caught fire through spontaneous generation.

– Do you think something similar happened around September 11th?
-It is very difficult to determine without history and studies who constitutes this group of people who caused these disturbances, but the composition is diverse: anarchists, probably some opportunists and others who join through spontaneous generation.

Daniel Grimaldi, executive director of Fundación Chile 21, adds that to understand what happened in these days we need to think about the “creation” of a space of violence.

“There is a platform promoted by the commemoration of 9/11, and on that platform different intentions come together to express violence. There are those who protest against the true meaning of this day, and a number of groups hang alongside: anarchists, others from the far left, even some from the far right, and new movements that have no history of militancy or connection to previous ones expressed with extreme violence. Opportunism is great. Those who want to loot will find a climate for it, even those who are not protesting against the coup can take part, they simply do it because they find an opportunity to express their anger at the police, for example. It’s very complex,” he emphasizes.

-It is impossible to catalog the violence that occurs inorganically.
-It’s deeper. There is a culture that lives in the margins and doesn’t feel like it belongs to anything that arises outside of that space. They have their own forms of authority and the ways in which that authority is legitimized. Coming in with an external reminder of what they’re living can also create an incentive to say, “That’s not us either,” and anger arises. An anger resulting from frustration that can quickly lead to violence.

Makes it clear that whoever sets fire to a bus is part of a phenomenon. Whoever loots comes from a different “lot,” and whoever builds barricades comes from another… But everyone is protected by the same platform. What they have in common is opportunism and resentment. “Anyone who loots a supermarket also has the feeling that their prices are being robbed and that they often go into debt to purchase certain goods,” says Grimaldi.

-Are there elements of drug trafficking in these groups?
-Of course, because this platform allows access to various groups that want to express themselves through violence. Where do fireworks come from? As for the brave bars and the drug dealers, if those who loot are carrying guns, it’s because there’s a place for the drug dealers there.

-What motivates you to participate in a protest and gain territory?
-I do not know exactly. But there is a culture that exploits these spaces to say: “I don’t want the police, I don’t want the state and for the henchmen of the drug trade – because the big guys don’t get involved in these things – this can be a space for fun and even training. .

In this context, Feldmann adds: “We have to understand that there are organized gangs and then an underworld of ‘thieves’ who are contracted by these groups.” A whole microcosm of crime. That’s why things are so chaotic, because there are many levels of crime that overlap. But believe me, the tough guys who have money, who don’t work, want to remain as unnoticed as possible, they use violence when absolutely necessary, and they use it against other gangs to maintain territorial control, because it is essential for… the business.”

Anger and dignity

Both researchers agree on the contained anger. “We don’t really know how it works. The question that the entire research community in the world is asking is: at what minute does this turn on? Why in some minutes the thing explodes and goes viral and in others it doesn’t. It happened in Brazil in 2013, then in Ecuador, and then in Chile in 2019. What causes a movement to explode? Nobody knows for sure,” explains Andreas Feldmann.

-Where does the contained anger you speak of come from?
-It had developed in the outbreak and remained in latency. I don’t know if it’s that widespread because a lot of people who were very angry later saw what was happening, that it was getting out of control and they preferred it to stop. But in some sectors this persists. Because the social unrest in the country continues. And maybe it’s much bigger than what existed before. Where do people channel social unrest? Those who wanted to change things and in the end nothing changed. There is more poverty, more insecurity. More polarization. Where is it all going? All this pent up anger? I think that’s why the authorities are very nervous that there will be another outbreak.

-Could there be another social outbreak?
-Absolutely. I can’t tell you scientifically because, as I repeat, no one knows when it turns on and when it turns off. But what I can say for sure, and since I’m far from it, is that all that pent-up anger wasn’t channeled. Where was he? About the constitution? On the constitutional debate? Please! This is a debate for politicized people or people with some degree of political connection. But there was very little of that social outburst. Maybe it was the Million March, but many of the other demonstrations were something else.

-So is this dissatisfaction present?
-Apparently. And be careful, this is an epochal phenomenon. I mean, the same thing is happening in Lebanon, in Sri Lanka, wherever anger is kept in check. The channeling took place through a new constitution and an agreement. But with the pandemic, the outbreak subsided. This shell of the agreement is a deception by the elite. Ordinary people don’t care, the vast majority don’t understand these discussions. That was the interpretation of those in power: the political parties, the organized social sectors, the trade unions, the institutionalized people. The problem is that the channeling of social unrest does not necessarily occur through something institutional. People don’t go along with that. If this were the case, we would see higher voting and participation rates. That’s what the elites have said to themselves, and I think they continue to say it.

Daniel Grimaldi adds that every time they take a new look at the social outbreak, they discover new things.

“We know that people were summoned for different reasons and that dignity was the central theme, but there were different interpretations behind that word. Anger comes from frustration at not receiving rewards. But if we go deeper, we discover the decay of authority. And there we can understand the new structural forms that, for example, constitute drug trafficking in the population. One thing is clear: There is no society without authority, without rules. When the state stops enforcing its rules, other rules come into effect. The 11 today serves as a platform to manifest other things. All legitimate and illegitimate forms of protest are coming together. It’s worrying because there are too many illegitimate forms,” says Grimaldi.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news