How to Support Events in Chile

As you probably know by now, the EIA for HidroAysén was approved on Monday. There have been widespread protests around the country all week, especially in Santiago and Coyhaique (where the vote happened), with more events planned for this weekend.

As is unfortunately all too common in Chile, there has also been police brutality against the mostly peaceful protestors, with some of my colleagues being arrested and beaten.

I've been trying to write a blog all week with a roundup of the news coverage, but have been overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of it in both Chile and the rest of the world. The interest this story has generated is truly amazing, as has been the outpouring of support.

While it's easy to feel frustrated that we can't do more to help on the ground in Chile, you can send your messages of support to the campaign; I recommend posting on the Patagonia Sin Represas Facebook page.

Here are some events taking place this weekend in Chile:

  • From 5:00-10:30pm on Saturday, there will be a velatón, during which time people are asked to hold up a candle as a sign of hope for the region of Aysén.
  • Between 5:00-5:30pm on Sunday, there will be a cacerolazo, which was a form of protest used often during the Pinochet dictatorship. Because people were afraid to protest in the streets, they would stand in their doorways or go out on to their balconies or patios and make loud noises by banging on pots and pans to show their discontent.
  • There is a call for an apagón (voluntary blackout) from 9:00-9:15pm on Sunday night. Since this campaign is about energy for Chile, Chileans want to make a statement to their energy companies.

It would be really amazing if people around the world could take part in one or all of these events from wherever you are, and then post a photo or video of your protest on the Patagonia Sin Represas Facebook page. If you don't have Facebook, please feel free to send me your photo or video with a little bit of explanation, and I'll post it for you.

I'll let you know early next week about more upcoming events in Chile, and also what we'll be organizing in the US and around the world to show our solidarity with the millions of Chileans who are showing their opposition to HidroAysén and their support for a Patagonia Sin Represas.

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