This summer has seen massive protests in Chile on a variety of issues: student movement, Mapuche defense of resources, and demonstrations against damming projects. Tens of thousands of youth have taken to the streets to demand equality in affordable, public education. Our Palestinian youth express their solidarity with the demonstrators,
especially because it is often our youth that, because of their courage, face disproportionate repression.
To the Chilean Youth,
This letter, of the Herak Shebabi, the Palestinian Independent Youth Movement, want to express solidarity with your demands and actions for reforms in Chile. We, the activists of the Palestinian Independent Youth Movement, stand with the thousands of students, their parents, and professors that demand equal access to quality education.
We send great strength to those who remain in hunger strike and to those demonstrators who face abuse and repression in the cities of Arica, Valparaíso, Concepción, Santiago, and other cities that suffer also from this abuse.
The violence applied in the name of social order and the repression of popular struggles is always disproportionately against the oppressed, whether the Mapuches, workers, or youth, who have been demonstrating for months and who have the audacity to question the status quo. However, in front of the tear gas canisters and water hoses, we have been able to see that they still stand for their just demands with creativity and courage. We from our occupied land suffer equally with your constant repression and identify with your internal strength, in international solidarity, and the conviction to know that we are giving you great courage to face daily abuses.
We also know that: the Chilean government finances only 68.81% of the education system, which is less than the average for Latin America y that Chile has a public spending in education equivalent to 3.14% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), less by one point from the average in Latin America (4.62%).1 And while you write on your placards that there is money for arms but none for education, we know also that in the month of June when you demonstrated your discontent, the Chilean Ministry of Defense signed with the Israeli company Elbit Systems a contract for buying unmanned aerial vehicles, that are tested on our civilian population, comrades.
We know these things in Chile but also we know that in Chile lives the majority of Latin American Palestinians and despite the distance we feel close to one another. We support your demands, we support the right to quality education without profit and, as Jara said, “We are the reformers, the revolutionaries, the anti-imperialists of the university.”
We shout with you from here, “There is No Future without Education Reform.”
Youth of Herak Shebabi