A Declaration Against State Violence in Chile from Academics, Activists, and People Around the World

5525 signatures of people from 327 different organizations are collected in just 72 hours since October 23rd. Signees include Judith Butler, Toni Negri, and Silvia Federici, among others. The initiative sprung from conversations between lecturers and Chilean visiting scholars at UC San Diego. The petition is now circulating globally – it calls for demilitarization and the resignation of President Sebastian Piñera.  You can read and sign the document here.

The diversity of signees shows strong political support for the brave protest that Chileans have made against the neoliberal model. The declaration strongly rejects the application of the National Security Laws and Martial Law, and demands the resignation of the President Sebastian Piñera. The declaration was released on October 23rd and published in several different languages, including Mapuzungun. It has circulated throughout social media asking people and organizations to sign a petition in favor of the Chilean people. This action was taken in the context of the global movements of support that culminated in the “biggest protest in Chile,” on Friday, October 26th, with the participation of more than a million people in the streets. The political manifestation sustained itself for several days and clearly repudiated the violence imposed by the Piñera government in its declaration of war. 

In this way, people and institutions from more than 60 countries and territories gathered in just 72 hours, since October 23rd, 5,525 signatures, which include statements of support from important intellectuals and human rights advocates such as Eduardo Jozami, Judith Butler, Toni Negri, Etiene Balivar, Silvia Federici, Susan Buckmorss, Horacio González y Dora Barrancos, among many others. In addition, the support of many important feminist associations, such as NiUnaMenos Argentina, and others, such as Amnesty International, is vitally important. The strength of the declaration is reflected in the diversity of support that it gathers from scholars at more than 40 universities around the world. 

This diverse group endorses the brave fight of the Chilean population: “This is a message of concern for life, because in this moment the Chilean police (Carabineros de Chile) and the army are torturing, engaging in sexual and political violence, disappearing and assassinating people all over the country,” the declaration states. 

This declaration emphasizes the impacts of state violence directed towards a “population that is tired of suffering the wild oppression of a neoliberal model that has dismantled social rights.” It also states that, though the call from students to avoid the payment of subway tickets after an increase in price triggered the movement, this is a wave of protests that questions Chile’s entire political and economic model.

The declaration also strongly rejects the application of the national security laws and martial law, and in the face of a media blackout, calls for the international media and human rights organizations to be present in Chile now. After what happened in Ecuador just a few weeks ago, the declaration is a sign of a dynamic and intense international solidarity effort in the face of these processes. 

This declaration ends by affirming that neither social nor political dialogue is possible with soldiers in the streets. In this sense, it is part of the public backlash demanding the resignation of President Piñera and supporting the call for a Constituent Assembly. You can read and sign the document here.

Troy Andreas Araiza Kokinis received his PhD in Latin American history at the University of California, San Diego. He studies Latin American anarchism, dissident labor, and armed struggle within the Uruguayan New Left during the Dirty War-era (1967-1985).