Declaration of Solidarity with Chile from Academics Across the World
As academics working in several regions across the globe, we have been closely witnessing the last wave of protests taking place in Chile. Chile is one of the most unequal countries in the world, and last week, the increase of the price of public transportation led to massive demonstrations all over the country. Even though this increase in the price of public transportation was the trigger of the current protests, people in Chile are now also asking for reforms in the pension system, increase on taxes for high-income population, increase in minimum wages, decrease of parliament members’ incomes, among others. This massive social movement has involved peaceful and creative demonstrations for the most part, with only a minority engaging in violent actions.
Unfortunately, we have also witnessed how the Chilean government has responded to the protests with strong repression. Police officers have been violently repressing those involved in protests and the military has been allowed to join the repressive actions from the State. This has also involved declaring a State of Emergency followed by a State of Exception, where a curfew is restricting people’s right of free movement from evening to dawn. Under the State of Emergency, several people have died and many others are seriously injured and detained.
In these concerning hours, as we have done in other moments of history, we express our complete solidarity towards the Chilean people, and we demand President Sebastian Piñera the complete removal of military forces from the streets, the end of the curfew, and the restoration of democracy, to thus stop the human rights violation by the State forces that have been reported by human rights observers.
As academics and citizens from different countries who are committed to protecting democracy and human rights, today we stand by the millions of Chileans who are currently fighting for a better life.