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News from the Chilean Social Forum: 70 Thousand People in the Streets

From Bernardo Reyes, Chile, November 21, 2004:

You will already have found out that day before yesterday we were about 70 thousand in the streets... color, marches, dances, music, posters, puppets and allegories so that Bush knew that he was not welcome ... nor the APEC and their big business, which defer the well-being of the people for a few coins ... music, dances, Mapuches, Aymaras, Atacame├▒os, students and more students... beautiful, cheerful, painted, singing, throwing water ... from the balconies as people went by - given the heat there was - there were people that took out showers and hoses through the windows and the water fell like a waterfall from the 10th or 14th floor ... and below, the young people dancing and singing in choir... a true festival. Since the victory of the "NO" (NO to Pinochet in 1988) there were not so many Chileans in the streets ... and delegations from Argentina, from Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico ... in short a dance of colors.

...We ended very burnt because of the tremendous sun there was ... and then a group of provocateurs began to provoke and to battle with the riot police ... while the march had already ended and we prepared to spend an afternoon of concerts in the Bustamante Park ... with thousands of families, children, cripples, grandparents and... suddenly everything was tear bombs, stones and even bullets... a disaster that ruined a really beautiful peaceful march of the re-enchanted civil society... Of course this was what the media most wanted to show.

Yesterday the Chilean Social Forum continued ... we had full workshops in the University and in close-by schools ... everything was party, interest, debates and desires of the people for getting involved... Hopefully we can maintain the moment...


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