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‘For the grandparents who need money… for the struggle!’: Tear-gassed kids in Chile explain why they protest

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The gas, said one, “doesn’t allow us to breathe, so we’re only feeling so-so.”

Three Chilean children on Sunday told an interviewer they are protesting against their country’s government and economic system in order to ensure a better future for the country.

In a brief conversation with a member of hip-hop collective Rebel Diaz, the three kids—aged 10, 11, and 8—said they were out on the streets braving the effects of police-fired teargas to fight for better salaries for Chileans, healthcare, the indigenous Mapuche, and more.

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“For the grandparents who need money,” said one child when asked why the trio were protesting.

“For the struggle,” said another.

As Common Dreams reported, protests kicked off around Chile in October after a fare hike on the subway in the capitol Santiago. Billionaire right-wing President Sebastián Piñera endorsed a rewrite of the Latin American country’s constitution in an attempt to placate the movement, but the demonstrations have continued due to systemic issues of inequality and poverty under the nation’s neoliberal economy.

Piñera’s police and security forces have taken harsh measures against the protest movement and a number of demonstrators have disappeared, evoking memories of the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s and 1980s.

The three children told Rebel Diaz that police teargas “doesn’t allow us to breathe, so we’re only feeling so-so.”

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When asked, “was it fair what the police did,” referring to the teargas, the children replied in unison, “No!”

Chilean Police Teargas Children

The children in Chile have it clear. 10 years old. 11 years old. And 8 years old. Present in the struggle. Feeling the effects of teargas cannons but still fighting! #PlazaDignidad #ChileDesperto #RenunciaPinera #PaLosAbuelitos #Chile

Posted by Rebel Diaz on Sunday, December 1, 2019

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