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A report from the streets of Santiago, Anti-Apec day 1

¨The resisters disperse and regroup further down the median along Alameda. Students on the sides of the streets throw rocks at the guanacos and the jeeps, while carabineros move in when their backs are turned in mid-throw. Arrests are made. A small bomb goes off near a metro entrace, supposedly made of acid and coins in a bottle. Lemons appear in people´s hands and mouths are gas is fired, burning eyes, throats, and making the nose run like the Mapocho river nearby.¨
I travelled last night all night, 12 hours, to Santiago. I arrive, and a friend I made on the bus, a welder from a city 20km south of santiago walks with me and shows me the metro station to get on. I take the metro, meet a friend, and we go to the Anti-APEC (asia pacific economic cooperation) demonstrations. Two marches are planned. We arrive to people gathered loosely in the median of Alamada (main street) near the Ministry of Education. Others are gathered less conspicuously on the sides of the Alameda. Pedestrians are everywhere, traffic heavy, as usual I´m told. The black vehicles with mesh wire bars drive by firing water into the crowd, people scattering and some taking shelter behind obstacles and trees. The bark is completely scuffed off, the water biting deep into the flesh like any powerful pressure washer. Students throw stones, students 14 or 15 years old. The police, pacos, group in little pockets, moving in on individuals to make arrests. They drag an individual off and throw them into one of the black buses. Another guanaco (water cannon vehilce, so named after an Andean animal that spits water) rounds the corner hopping up on a curb and moving in on a small group. I can´t imagine how those bruises are going to feel, and possibly more than bruises. Another smaller jeep-like vehicle, black, mesh barred windows, hops onto the large park-like median and heads straight for another group as rocks are thrown. Screetching tires, the black vehicle stops and out pops three green riot pacos from the back door. The resisters disperse and regroup further down the median along Alameda. Students on the sides of the streets throw rocks at the guanacos and the jeeps, while carabineros move in when their backs are turned in mid-throw. Arrests are made. A small bomb goes off near a metro entrace, supposedly made of acid and coins in a bottle. Lemons appear in people´s hands and mouths are gas is fired, burning eyes, throats, and making the nose run like the Mapocho river nearby. The lemon helps against the affects, and it is a well known remedy, even los viejos using it. The whole Alameda and surroundings feel the effects, busses hurrying to get out, people trying to get the micros to stop for them. An elderly woman coughing through a handkercheif struggles to get out of the toxic air. A group of carabineros singles out a student and grab him, people surround the pacos and move in, shouting, shoving, and eventually he is released, the pacos clearly nervous and on the brink of who knows what. The black jeeps swerve by like phantoms. Screams, shouts, ¨Paco concha tu madre!" ¨Paco culiao¨ The sun beats down against the concrete hole of Santiago, the air thick not only with gas but with the brown air of 6 million and their polluting machines. My head hurts. We walk to Plaza Brazil, smoke, rest, far away from the small remains of the Alameda battle. The park is full of students in their high school uniforms. At one point we hear whistling and shouting, students get up and start running to one of the esquinas carrying plastic american flag banners, tipping over two trash cans and torching them with the flags right in the street, 200 or so taking over the intersection hopping up in down in dance and chant ¨Bush, facista, es el terrorista!¨ Traffic backs up. 20 minutes later still no pacos have arrived. The students slash tires of the micros (buses), smash windows, more fires in the intersection. Students carry barracades into the intersection from a nearby construction site and are pelted by rocks from the construction workers, creating another mini battle. The skirmish goes on about 2 mintues. After it dies down the students resume pelting buildings. A business man joins in, probably 50 years old. My heart goes out to him, having broken his dispassioned routine, he releases in a beautiful catharsis, hurling rocks and trying not to lose hold of his briefcase.
Later on 500 demonstrators trapped inside a building are tortured with concentrated gas for hours. I call my friend on his cell phone, and he´s inside barely able to breathe, trying to get me to call the press to tell them whats going on. We call, and a lawyer is already in negotiations. Later in the news we´d find 379 arrests, and the usual bullshit, including organizers of the Chilean Social Forum (counter conference to APEC) denouncing the resistance in the streets because the march they tried to carry out was not authorized.

And where is the Facist leader? He is flown in each morning from an aircraft carrier by helicopter to the meeting site, and each night back to his carrier in helicopter. Piece of shit.
And back on the homefront, 4 main cabinet posts resigned and replaced with people even further Right, a video released and shown on corporate media of an American soldier executing a wounded Iraqi prisoner, and total control of congress by the Right, 4 more years for piece of shit, and 3 new supreme court posts, obviously who will be conservative.
We are seeing the Miami Model applied to this city of Santiago.
As I take the micro to my friends house, an hour-long affair, people board the bus selling ice cream bars, bottled water, and two clowns get on the bus engaging in a humorous political dialogue which I can barely follow. Monedas for the stupendous performance. The clown further back on the bus seems so sad. This whole fucking shithole city is sad. It is one massive festering wound on Mother´s flesh, and she itches so. The people are so alone, so trapped, so colorless in their dead world. The sun beats down persecuting all life in the reflective concrete blight. No wonder there is so much desperate resistance here. Many people have little to live for.
Authorized marches coming up the 19th, 20'th, 21st.
Loto
all i can say 18.Nov.2004 14:27

...

Homesick and thinking about the Beat Poets, Santiago, Chile 2002

Thinking maybe of Allen Ginsberg, while claustrophobic in a city someone dreamed without breathing.
Metaphor for homesickess I would say
I am missing
Black people black culture
But mostly the white black people
Which would be you Allen
And maybe me

Pushed out on the lines
Yet trapped inside

Maybe me if I keep standing in the exhaust of the first world
Maybe me if it means I am broken
Dissillusioned
And sad
About my country
Maybe me because I hoped for an America with love

Instead I watched as we all beat
Then got beaten
Just like you watched
Just like Walt Whitman watched
Just like all of our history is a history
Of watching
Waging wars

50 years later I am told that the states could be attacked at any moment
7,000 miles from there
I am think of slayings, lynchings and hangings
And I'm still waiting for art to be honored
The only thing I find to do is write my poems
I, like all of us live with an antique violence
Sickened by the violence

I am sick of violence