Categories

Posts by Date

Valparaiso, Chile, May 21, 2011 – Protests and Parades

Today is May 21, a day that I’ve been warned about for months. The protests have been happening in the streets all week and month long, but today was the biggest. It was reported that over 20,000 people came to Valparaiso just to participate.

And it felt like it. The protest was massive.

Valparaiso, Chile May 21 protest in Plaza Italia

Valparaiso, Chile May 21 protest in Plaza Italia

What an interesting day, with such contrasting types of parades that it’s hard to believe they happened in the same place on the same day, just hours apart. On one extreme was the biggest protest I’ve ever seen, paraded in full intensity to Plaza Italia, where things soon exploded between protesters and the police.

Before that,  things were peaceful and pleasant. People were smiling and others were chanting and all had very creative banners, catchy slogans and were passionate about something.

Valparaiso, Chile, May 21, 2011 protest parade

Valparaiso, Chile, May 21, 2011 protest parade

gagged

gagged

Cardboard cutout of the former president Allende

Cardboard cutout of the former president Allende

And more:

the Chilean flag, with the star swapped with a dollar sign.

the Chilean flag, with the star swapped with a dollar sign.

democracy fantasma - a phantom of democracy

democracy fantasma - a phantom of democracy

impressive and critical banners paraded by pretty happy and easy going seeming protesters

impressive and creative banners

There were a lot of people out protesting against a big hydro electric project in patagonia called hidroaysen.

Protesting Hidroaysen, the hydro electric project in Patagonia.

Protesting Hidroaysen, the hydro electric project in Patagonia.

Tensions mounted once people arrived at Plaza Italia, where metal gates barricaded the street leading to El Congreso.
Police were waiting in the wings.

 barricade of metal gates and police waiting in the wings

barricade of metal gates and police waiting in the wings

people running away from the police who were using gas and water to disperse the crowd

people running away from the police who were using gas and water to disperse the crowd

And later they brought out these huge tank-like armoured trucks that jetsprayed water laced heavily with pepper spray and lobbed tubes of gas.
And on the other extreme was a patriotically perfect military parade (the navy) marched to the tune of brass bands in tight precision and with heavy police protection down the same streets less than an hour later with images of the smiling president filmed in Plaza Sotomayor a fe blocks away broadcasting simultaneously in the cafes and bars lining the parade route.

perfectly precise navy sailors marching down the same parade route as the protesters just hours before

perfectly precise navy sailors marching down the same parade route as the protesters just hours before

For a peek at all my protest and parade photos, feel free to check out my photo gallery on smug mug, here (my handle is Mariannable).

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>