I know I’m way behind on this, having been busy with my own protests here in the midwest as part of the Occupy movement, but I am amazed and filled with joy to hear that women and girls are playing such a large part in the widespread Socialist unrest in Chile.
Students of one of the most prestigious state prep schools for girls have taken over their school in hopes of agitating for universally free university education. You’ve got fourteen year old girls facing down the cops, talking to lawyers, and self-governing an entirely self-sustaining insurrection in their own school.
In the wider Chilean student resistance, known as the “Chilean Spring” one of the major leaders is Camila Vallejo – current president of FECh (Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile) and a prominent member of the Communist Youth in Chile, who has been hailed as the spokeswoman and a major new figure for the Chilean far-Left. In a country still scared by the decades-long right-wing dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, now facing a global recession, figures such as Vallejo offer hope to many who still hope to live in a progressive Leftist country. Not surprisingly, her good looks have attracted quite a few comments, including those from major celebrities, to which she has responded: “You have to recognise that beauty can be a hook. It can be a compliment, they come to listen to me because of my appearance, but then I explain the ideas. A movement as historical as this cannot be summarised in such superficial terms.”