Chile: Student demonstration broken up; Pinera hits new low in poll
Edited on Thu Aug-04-11 03:19 PM by rabs
High school students tried to march to La Moneda this morning. Carbineros broke up the march, 133 people detained, two Carabineros reported injured. Government says students did not have prior approval for the march to La Moneda.
Hooded rowdy infiltrators caused incidents with police, not the students. Who the thugs are has not been fully explained but they show up at the demonstrations and blame then is put on the students.
There will be another march this evening by university students, professors, academics. Expect there will be more incidents.
------------ Pinera hits new low in poll, only 26 percent approval ---------------
This is a 20-year low for any president; Frei hit 28 percent in 1999. Amazing because Pinera is only a little past the half-way point in his presidential term and already 53 percent of Chileans are fed up with him.
Today is the anniversary of the 33 cave-in. It was supposed to be a good day for Pinera, but this poll and the students have really soured his day.
University students, professors and academics are being tear-gassed by Carabineros.
Over 200 people (i.e. students) have been detained today, with seven police reported injured.
Student leaders have called for a "cacerolazo" (banging on pots and pans) tonight beginning at 9 p.m. Santiago time in the capital in a show of express support for the student demands.
Latest poll shows that 80 percent (yes, 80 percent) of Chileans back the students' demands for educational reforms.
A big banner carried today said, "If education is a right, why do we have to pay for it?" That just about sums up Pinera's intentions to privatize public education, which is guaranteed by the constitution.
Did some research on Pinera's Minister of the Interior and Security who ordered the crackdown today on the students; he is Rodrigo Hinzpeter, called the "Black Hand" of Pinera. He is in his early 40s and rose rapidly in the rightwing Renovacion Nacional party before Pinera appointed him minister. RN = pinochetista.
The mayor of the Santiago Metropolitian Region is Cecilia Perez, in her 30s. She too is a former top official of the pinochetista RN party. She denied the students approval to stage today's marches.
So, elements of pinochetismo have surfaced publically today in the Pinera government. Meantime, Pinera has kept out of sight today.
10. They ARE young looking. Can only wonder if they have any idea what an vicious President can do!
Of course vicious Presidents get a lot of help from their sponsors and coalitions, as in Pinochet's case.
Do you know if his son is still flapping around in Chile? I had heard one was an officer in the military. He took the opportunity to bellow loudly that he wasn't satisfied with all the arrangements for his sweet papa's funeral observances. Augusto Pinochet Hiriart. Here are a couple of photos located by Say_What of the guy:
He always was an outgoing lad.
Also heard their daughter, Lucia was considering running for office in Chile at one time.
Lucia Pinochet Liriart, not to be confused with her mother,
Lucia, drawing admiring glances from Chileans as she attempts to add lovely color to her beautious Pinochet-smooching lips. Notice they had someone drag out their "special chairs" so they could sit in regal spendor ourdoors, as due their station in life.
Hope the student is not badly injured, and that Pinera will back away from violence against these kids.
9. El "Negro Pinera" comes out in support of the students
El Negro Pinera is the younger brother of the president. Considered the black sheep of the family, has made his living as an entertainer. Today in an interview he said he was 100 percent behind the students.
His older brother probably wants to kick his butt about now.
11. Didn't know the Pres. had one of these, too! Wow! Spectacular.
Looking forward to hearing more about this Negro Pinera. It's always unusual when someone like a Pinochet supporter gets repudiated publicly. Bet it NEVER happened more than once from the same person with Pinochet!
La Polar retail store ablaze in center of Santiago tonight. Fire was spreading to other businesses next to the store.
Police report 552 detained so far during student demonstrations, two students and 29 Carabineros reported injured.
Pots and pan banging heard around Santiago tonight. It is a unique Chilean form of protest that originated during the final year of Allende. At that time, it was the rightwingers who did the banging nightly. Now it is aimed at the rightwing government of Pinera. Things have come full circle.
There is a tweet that a La Polar store is on fire in downtown Santiago. This is the big retail chain that was discovered a few weeks ago to have defrauded thousands of its customers by raising their credit card debt without informing the clients. Big scandal and investigation still ongoing. Fire fighters were reported being prevented from reaching the store by makeshift barricades in the streets.
Earlier in the day, the president of the Teachers Union, Jaime Gajardo, took a shot at Pinera's Interior Minister, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, saying Hinzpeter as a Jew was using repressive methods against the students that the "Zionists" use against the Palestinans.
This prompted protests by the Jewish community and a communique from the Israeli ambassador in Santiago that said Gajardo's remarks were "racist, an insult to Israel" and "worthy of the Iranian ayatollas and the terrorist group Hamas."
Gajardo later apologized for his remark but tonight he was under heavy criticism from members of the Pinera government.
In another development, 25 academics and other intellectuals from around the hemisphere expressed support for 34 high school students who have been on a hunger strike for almost two weeks. Among the signers was Noam Chomsky.
The poll that Pinera has only 26 percent approval hit like a political earthquake. All in all, a dismal day in the life of Sebastian Pinera.
16. Pinera bugged out of Santiago today to the Atacama
to attend a Mass commemorating the one-year anniversary of the San Jose mine cave-in.
Around 900 students were detained yesterday in Santiago and other cities. Carabineros said about 70 police had been injured, but that number seems overblown (police wear helmets, flak vests, carry shields, dress in heavy padded uniforms -- and get hurt?)
Student leaders have announced they will file a lawsuit against Interior Minister Hinzpeter for the massive repression yesterday.
The idea that was being bandied about today by student leaders was a nationwide "plebiscite" on educational reforms.
(But it should be a referendum, which is legally binding. A plebiscite is non-binding and more like an opinion poll.)
Btw, think it will be difficult for Pinera to slump more in polls than the 26% announced yesterday. Twenty-six percent is probably the hard-core pinochetistas who are behind him.
To think, Obama was in Santiago in March and lavished praise on Pinera.
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