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Chile and windy: students stage demonstration in solidarity with Chilean and Catalonian peoples

Students gathered outside the breezy Sir Duncan Rice Library to show support and protest inaction

Demonstrators outside the SDR Library - Photo courtesy of AJN

by Anttoni Numminen

Around 30 students gathered outside the Sir Duncan Rice Library on Friday 25th October to stand in solidarity with the Chilean and Catalonian people.

The students, armed with pots and pans, flyers and a megaphone, made speeches and handed out leaflets to passersby.

Speaking at the demonstration, student and co-organiser of the event, Martin Hare Michno, said “I really want to thank everyone for coming, we only started the page on Monday and thought two people would come.

“I want to speak a bit about Catalonia and what’s happening there because it isn’t a unique thing, it’s been happening throughout the history of Spain now, since Franco won in 1939 in the civil war."

“For those who don’t know, I think it was the nine leaders of the independence movement for Catalonia were arrested and sentenced to 13 in prison for sedition. This means that the Spanish state considers an act of democracy, a radical act of democracy which was to support a referendum for the independence of Catalonia was considered by the Spanish authorities as treason, anti-constitutional, illegal.  And we’re talking about a democratic and neoliberal state, not a dictatorship.”

In recent weeks both Chile and Catalonia have seen thousands of people take to streets to protest against their respective governments. In Chile at least 18 people have died and in Catalonia over 100 people have been detained by police, while reports of violence and human rights abuses against protesters have been reported in both countries.

Attending the demonstration, law student Israr Khan said he was taking part on a humanitarian basis and described what has been happening in Catalonia and Chile as “absolutely brutal and against human rights”. He also criticised the EU as being "hypocritical" for not taking action despite reported human rights abuses in Catalonia.

The demonstrators also recorded a video in English and Spanish, stating their solidarity with the Chilean people, which they are going to send to national Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

Speaking to the Gaudie at the demonstration, politics and international relations student Mustafa Mabruk, said: “We know that things are difficult right now, we know it’s difficult to communicate, it’s difficult to understand the situation right here, right now.

“However, in the last show of solidarity we had, Congressmen actually responded to the video that we posted on Facebook. So, we believe that this gathering of people showing solidarity is a good way of sending a message of support through the international community.”

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