What do zombies, catholics and outraged people have in common?

Not much…

except thaon Saturday 15 October people took to the streets of Santiago either to proclaim their love for God, re-enact movie-like scenes of zombies attacking people (as a protest saying that consumerism is going to eat us) or as “indignados” to express their anger with political and financial systems.

Plaza Italia, the heart of the city in terms of protests and celebrations, echoed with the sounds of praise as thousands of catholics marched down Alameda to a concert stage set up outside one of the oldest churches in the city.

A huge banner on the stage proclaimed “The happiness of being a Catholic”.

Even though the zombies and catholics were rather peaceful groups, there was still a heavy presence of police and special forces. I found it interesting though that there were far more police monitoring the catholics then there were for the zombies. Who needed protecting from whom…

Just a short distance away, thousands of zombies could be seen stumbling through the main pedestrian street from Plaza de Armas, screaming for blood and searching for human flesh, in what could be described as a B-grade version of movies such as Resident Evil. Saturday morning shoppers didn´t know quite what to make of the torn, tattered and blood soaked “people” wandering down the street…children either loved it or burst into tears at the sight. I think this is one story where images are worth a thousand words, so here are some of my photos from the day…

The actual theme of the march was “childhood heroes live on…” and so there were many versions of superheroes and TV characters, zombie-style. This little boy looked tired and the march hadn’t even started yet!

Some zombies used the occassion to also protest for education. The sign in this photo says “I’m dead and I’m still paying for university” to highlight the outrageous university fees in Chile.

Whilst these two marches were rather light hearted and generally meant for entertainment, the third march of the day, which attracted at least 100 000 people, had a more serious message…one that was echoed in cities across at least 80 countries. La Marcha de los Indignados (the march of the outraged) was premised on protesting against four powers – financial, political, military and the media. Apparently this particular movement began with the protests in Spain a few months ago against rising unemployment and the financial elite. The movement has grown substantially, with the latest incidents coming from the “Occupy Wall Street” campaign.

I thought this flag with the star being displaced by a dollar sign was rather clever. Especially since in Chile 10% of the population (and this concentrated mostly in about 7 families) control 40% of the country’s wealth.

Protests in Santiago are always full of colour and creativity…this one even had a chinese dragon weaving its way through the flags!

Santiago has seen its fair share of protests this year, mostly focused on education and environmental issues. However, the march on Saturday combined every possible cause you can think of…

Patagonia Sin Represas

Calling for a new constitution as the current one was developed during Pinochet’s dictatorship and is truly warped in many ways…an overhaul is definitely needed!

“Stop the abuse of people with mental and physical disabilities”

It is a very very long list that people have to “outraged” about…

And besides the specific issues that some people feel strongly about, others are just tired of the same old _______, as this toilet seat so aptly shows.

So another day of marches in Chile has passed (thankfully this time relatively peacefully) …which brings the total number of marches in the country in 2011 to a record breaking 104!!! 2010 may be remembered for the 200th anniversary of independence, the 8.8 grade earthquake and the rescue of the 33 miners, but 2011 will definitely go down in history as the year where Chileans took to the streets.

But to me this photo sums it all up perfectly…

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4 Responses to What do zombies, catholics and outraged people have in common?

  1. linda koch says:

    what an interesting and vibrant place you live in??? just loved this article and the pics and the placards – even I could translate them, are wonderful, descriptive and so colourful. Only a few more days and you will be “home” ( at least for a while!). Mum

    • ingridckoch says:

      It definitely is an interesting place…always something to do, see or experience. Glad you could understand the spanish…hopefully you will be able to talk to Rodrigo then in Spanish!!! Love you lots and am counting the days and hours until I am HOME!!! Love you

  2. Great photos! This is definitely the most exciting and eventful time for us to be living in Chile! Just yesterday the history building behind my apartment was taken over and i got a front row seat to all the action!

    • ingridckoch says:

      Hi Catherine
      Thanks so much for yout comment. It definitely is a very interesting time for us to be here. I have been here since March 2010 and the difference in Chile from last year to this year is incredible…from bicentennial celebrations, feelings of patriotism for surviving the earthquake and the miner’s story last year to protests, hate and violence.
      Where do you live? I hope everything is OK around the university building…

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