Friday, May 27, 2011

Chileans Protest Neoliberalism

By colareboenglish

Santiago, Chile, May 28 (Prensa Latina)

Mass protests in Chile are part of the world wave that wants to get rid of capitalist exploitation and abuse, according to Punto Final magazine.

The emblematic Latin American left-wing quarterly journal referred to public demonstrations staged countrywide this month, describing them as the largest in the last 20 years.

Punto Final highlighted the fact that the protestors are questioning the economic, social and cultural model imposed with great violence by the military dictatorship, later maintained by the governments of current opposition Concertacion and the ruling right-wing forces.

The focus of the protests has been the rejection of privatization of education and the granting of the Patagonia to a multinational energy consortium, said Punto Final.

The magazine describes the mobilizations as surprising, taking into account that the call was made at rather short notice and the massive turnout, mainly through the use of social networks, without any mediation by a vertical organization or hegemonic political group.

In the case of the student's protests, unlike those protesting the Hidroaysen energy mega-project, in the Patagonia, the demonstrators strongly criticize the Chilean model and institutional system, it says.

Santiago de Chile, Chilean workers and university students will march in the capital on Thursday to protest privatization and exclusion in education.
“The student protest is very direct by accusing the model which has turned education into a lucrative business of local and foreign consortia,” says Punto Final.

According to the magazine, the universal phenomenon of putting neoliberalism into question highlights the need of an alternative to the ineffective system in Chile, and it is particularly “encouraging” because it “invigorates a social body made sleepy by the market economy and also implements new initiatives leading to build a democratic, solidarity and participative alternative.”

However, Punto Final consideres that the social mobilization needs to create a guiding axis. “It is urgent to seek common platforms to merge the political and social aspects.”

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