Cumbre de APEC - Santiago de Chile

CHILI - Student March Against APEC Violently Repressed.
by werken Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004 at 9:47 AM

Violently repressed by carabineros (Chilean police), university, secondary and elementary student from the capital, Santiago demonstrate against the APEC Summit taking place in Chile during this week.

Small groups of people began congregating to participate in the student manifestation against APEC, by 10:00 AM this morning. Although it was publicized as a march of secondary and university students, the great majority of the assistants wore student uniforms (elementary and secondary schools). This fact partly, calmed the police violence that had been unleashed against other protest last week. With half an hour of delay and after listening to the request of carabineros/Chilean police (done by loudspeaker) for the groups to dissolve, the marchers began to gather in the north side of the centric avenue 'Alameda'. The protesters were unable to advance or move towards any direction, when behind the column of demonstrators, a police truck with a high pressure water device and the infamous and always present tear gas release vehicle appeared along with two police buses, seeding panic between the youngest of the students. The division of the protesters column caused the consequent division of the police contingent, given the necessary excuse for some small groups to destroy visible faces of Capitalism, such as the premises of a McDonald's restaurant on Republica Street, which was totally destroyed. Minute by minute reports (coordinated from a number of independent correspondents) 10:00. More than 400 people are concentrated at the point of convergence for the student national protest against APEC in Santiago, at Cumming Street with Alameda Avenue. A multitude of police officers protects the parallel streets (via from which the demonstrators could escape in case of disturbances) counting with more than two buses of repression in Cumming Street near Erasmo Escala Street, two water-throwing trucks and three gas release vehicles in the same area where protesters converged. Also, there is countless numbers of police officers from special forces as well as the "normal ones". 10:25. The repression begins causing brief skirmishes from the protesters. Police officers repress the demonstrators dispersing them towards three routes: towards Cumming Street, from Alameda Avenue towards Central Station, as well as towards La Moneda (Chilean government building). As it is obvious, the fraction of the manifestation that marched towards the government building was the most harshly repressed. 10:30. The premises of McDonalds located in Republic Street is attacked by demonstrators and seriously damaged. 10:35. Police officers continue repressing and position themselves in practically all the corners of Alameda Avenue towards the government building. A group of demonstrators manage to advance quickly and moves ahead of the last group of special forces that was in Admirante Barroso with Alameda Avenue. They start to throw stones and to struggle with water and gas throwing trucks that arrive immediately. There are people detained (among them an pregnant woman) and many others seek refuge in some stores of the sector that - in certain occasions - have shown "solidarity". 10:50. Police officers now proceed in a generalized manner with indiscriminate searches against pedestrians and to use violent intimidation against any passer-by. Police officers loudly demand the demonstrators to "go away to their homes". 11:00. The demonstrators who had been dispersed from the initial point of convergence, and who had marched towards Central Station, begin to try to cut traffic, successively, in all the corners of Alameda Avenue. 11:10. Brief skirmishes ensued between police officers and groups of demonstrators who go in swing between the central divide of Alameda Avenue, and the south and north pedestrian sidewalks. 11:24. Around fifty demonstrators are harshly repressed between Dieciocho Avenue and Alameda. The savagery and irrational actions of the large police contingent prevents any response from the students. 11:30. The demonstrators who, simultaneous to the other brief confrontations, had tried to cut traffic on all the corners of Alameda Avenue towards Central Station, manage to arrive at Spain Avenue, and around twenty of them cut all the traffic from Alameda avenue towards the east. Later a water-throwing truck arrives and it manages to disperse them, to which the demonstrators respond regrouping on the opposite side of the street, cutting traffic to Garcia Reyes with Alameda Avenue. 11:45. The number of people detained is, apparently, quite large. It is possible to observe more than three police buses plus a truck that, according to witness testimony, transport the detainees. 11:45. (at the same time). Demonstrators concentrate in Brazil with Alameda Avenue. The police brutally represses. 12:00. Approximately 150 demonstrators build barricades and cut traffic to both directions of Alameda Avenue with Garcia Reyes. 12:00 (at the same time). About forty students are in the outskirts of the gallery of buildings that surround the supermarket 'Montecar' (about three blocks from the government building), begins a small confrontation as a result of the detention of a demonstrator in the central divide of Alameda Avenue, that - for effects of pure provocation- he is taken for a walk through the group of students by two officers from Special Forces. The detained demonstrator requested help, and a group approaches with the clear intention to release him and - at the same time have a show of force with the officers. The struggle nevertheless is not fruitful. 12:10. After the previous confrontation, police officers repress the group. The group of demonstrators is attacked by a water-throwing truck, a gas release vehicle and a police bus, as well as more officers by foot. Many take refuge in the parking of the gallery and police officers, together with security guards of the building, manage to detain a majority of the protesters. A chase against a member of Indymedia Santiago ensued that fortunately did not end in his detention (the reporter run away). 12:20. A Special Forces contingent of the police managed to disperse the demonstrators and clear the barricades that had cut traffic on Alameda Avenue. The demonstrators escape through inner streets such as Portales, Libertad and Sotomayor, skirmishes break out in this sector (which extend until the 14:00 hrs. approximately). 12:30. Alameda Avenue has been completely pacified, and with all the connotation of the end: the area is practically in a state of siege. 12:40. Around twenty demonstrators converge in Plaza de Armas (main city square), and faced with police intimidation struggles take place resulting in the demonstrators to march towards Huerfanos Street with Ahumada,where they remain for a few minutes. 1:00. In Alameda with Ahumada Avenue demonstrators begin to gather and the police forces do the same, with 50 police officers (about twenty more Special Forces), and a water-throwing truck, a gas release vehicle and a police bus. The demonstrators continue reunited, and begin to shout that their peaceful attitude is only because of the circumstances: they begin to scream insults against the police. 1:00.(at the same time). The demonstrators who had concentrated in Plaza de Armas confront - some with violence - the excessive amount of agents that arrives at Ahumada. Confrontations ensued which result in destruction of private property in Huerfanos Avenue, between Ahumada y Bandera Streets. 1:00.(at the same time). About thirty demonstrators set fire to barricades and cut traffic in Brazil Avenue and Compañia Street. 1:14. The police show up in Brazil Avenue, and the demonstrators confront the police briefly in Plaza Brazil (city square), and soon (due to really strong tear gases) they escape towards downtown. 1:35. Concentration in Plaza de Armas, which was quickly repressed by Special Forces and the group of police stationed there (a bus, and two gas release vehicles). 2:00. The TV channel TVN (official TV station) announces in its news report that the number of detains is 120. Pictures of the Student March Against APEC can be seen at:


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