I have had enough; the loyalty I once felt for this country is all but extinguished, living under the thumb of rabid statists for almost a decade. I hate the whitewashed ‘Chilenidad,’ which the national media attempts to shove down our throats with parades and rallies. The government imposes its values, nakedly and relentlessly, but they’re not convincing anyone. If that’s their goal—to reconfigure ‘national identity’ to suit their ends—they’ll never succeed. This society which I witness; the people I interact with on a daily basis, cannot be reformed without their consent. They are broken and beaten and squeezed but they are not so malleable that they can take on new shapes. They are utterly crumpled; disfigured. Efforts to ‘smooth over’ the cracks and fissures of my generation will be for naught. We will not put our faith in this government.
I’ve considered leaving this place for some time, but where would I go? From what I hear, things are hardly better in America or England. My union friends abroad tell me that they’re getting crushed, and their governments are doing precisely what the junta has done. Have they seen the results here? Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, it’s all the same. Emigrating would be like running into a buzz-saw, I’m pretty sure. So while I have no more allegiance to Chile than I do to Mexico, I think I can still help my comrades here. I am inspired by the tactics and determination of César Chavez. We have more in common with citizens on the right other than they realize.
The five basic principles upon which our group formed:
1. The value of human life is paramount, and we seek an end to all suffering.
2. We are born as equals, and should live as equals. There is no justification for exploiting others.
3. Our beliefs and expressions must be universally protected.
4. We must implement alternative economic models to the current neoliberal one, so that all people may benefit from the wealth of our resources.
5. Our methodology is one of active non-violence. It is the only principled and effective way to secure our objectives. If others stoop to aggression, we will have won the moral battle in the eyes of observers. Sympathy is needed for coalition-building, and coalitions are needed to end the dictatorship and bring us to a better place.
Halley’s Comet is quickly approaching, and a group I’ve been working with hopes to turn planetary observers into demonstrators, to protest the regime. The slogan we came up with is “Que se lo lleve el Halley” which we hope will turn attention back from the heavens to the streets. We’re anticipating a lot of pushback from the local authorities. Having obtained a law degree and a license to practice, I’ve been coordinating legal aid and working on a bail fund for the arrested.
We’re growing in strength.