Report from the streets of Santiago

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

Image: Wikimedia/Carlos Figueroa/Protestas en Chile de 2019, Plaza Baquedano, Santiago, Chile

In recent weeks, mass protests have been shaking Chile. The protests began on October 7 as a fare-evasion protest by high school students. Throughout the rest of the month and now into November, the protests have rapidly escalated into a comprehensive challenge to the political and economic order established by Augusto Pinochet in the nation's 1980 constitution.

On today's rabble radio, we'll also look at the background to these protests, starting with Chile's use under the brutal Pinochet dictatorship as a laboratory to test the neoliberal policies that would later be brought to the rest of the world, how the protests relate to the current state of the left across Latin America, and what their prospects of success are. As many as ten per cent of the country's population were on the streets on the biggest day of protest. 

We'll be hearing Corvin Russell talk to Carlos Torres about the protests. Torres is a long time activist and writer of the Chilean left, and a former political prisoner, who spent many years in Montreal and Toronto doing research, social justice, and international solidarity work, including serving on the World Social Forum International Council. Russell is an activist, writer, and educator living in Toronto.

Carlos Torres has written recently for Amandla magazine in South Africa, and for Alternatives in Montreal. Most recently he has written three books -- one on Che Guevara in the 21st century, one titled Venezuela: Democracy or Dictatorship?, and a book on the revolutionary left in Chile. He is currently finishing a PhD at the University of Buenos Aires, now lives in Santiago, which is where Corvin Russell reached him.

This podcast features two different interviews. The first interview was done last Monday October 28. And because things are evolving and changing rapidly, Corvin did a followup interview with Carlos at the beginning of this week.

Image: Wikimedia/Carlos Figueroa/Protestas en Chile de 2019, Plaza Baquedano, Santiago, Chile

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.