November 30, 2020

Ñuñoa Square, a peaceful and vindictive oasis amidst the chaos in Santiago

The Plaza Ñuñoa, in the southeast of Santiago, has become at this point of the disturbances in the Chilean capital in a peaceful oasis but strongly vindicating against the Government, a disenchantment expressed through the metallic noise of the pans ringing in the street .

A context of protest different from the serious incidents recorded since last Friday in numerous neighborhoods of the Chilean capital, which have left about 11 dead.

Hundreds of people have taken over the place in an impromptu and consecutive way since the excesses, fires and looting arose, but harmony is the general tonic among the protesters.

The Ñuñoa neighborhood is a cultural neighborhood, middle class and populated by many young people who do not hesitate to take to the streets with their pans or pans as weapons to shoot social unrest proclamations.

This image contrasts frontally with the violent looting of supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and other premises that have suffered the fury of the most radical protesters during the resurgence of protests since last week.

The rise in the price of the Santiago Metro ticket was the drop that filled the patience of citizenship but now, as the measure of the Chilean Executive has been suspended, social unrest continues to be widespread.

But the residents of Plaza Ñuñoa decided to express it without violence and in their neighborhood in a festive atmosphere that is repeated day after day.

Neither Carabineros nor the Army, which has assumed control of public order in Santiago from midnight Friday to Saturday, have had to make an appearance in the area.

With the military deployed to protect the subway stations and supermarkets in order to avoid new fires and looting, the Ñuñoa Square does not need a uniformed presence, day or night.

People arrive from the morning to end up concentrating for hundreds at noon and sing and dance, but above all shout their demands and blow their pans.

Many of them, with the passing of the days and the blows, have already turned around and have their concave side convex, but they also grind.

The cacerolazos have been a badge of the peaceful protest in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) of a working class that faced the restriction of movement during curfews, made its kitchen elements sound from the patios and balconies .

These days, with the validity of curfews in Santiago during the sunset, the pans are grinding again and in Ñuñoa, they remain in the street despite exceptional measures to maintain peaceful protests during the night without disturbances.

A paradoxical situation that contravenes the essence of the curfew, which is to keep people in their homes, but which in an unwritten law is allowed by the civility of the protesters.

The situation has been repeated in the last two nights during the measures of deprivation of freedom of mobility while the batucadas and the chants stand firm over the days.

This Monday, feminist groups danced on a part of the road, and artists and neighbors did them in the opposite direction.

In the parks surrounding the place, that young and adult, families with children, all with their pans in hand to ask for changes in a Chilean society that got tired of the situation of inequality.

The banners are multiplied with slogans that are repeated throughout all the neighborhoods of the city: "Chile awoke" is the phrase that is on everyone's lips.

Alberto Peña

. (tagsToTranslate) Plaza (t) Nunoa (t) Pacific (t) vindictive (t) Santiago

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