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  • This week in the capital there was a tribute to Pinochet, the dictator and later president of Chile.

    A brief history for those who don't know: In on September 11, 1973 there was a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. For almost 20 years after that, people disappeared and were tortured and killed or ran away from the country to escape persecution. An uncle of mine was taken from his home for having communist literature but was thankfully released.
    Pinochet died in 2006 at the grand age of 91. People in this country supported him and still do because he made sure the country did not become communist, thus bringing shit loads of money to the capitalists, and that's why they love him.

    So, naturally, when the tribute took place there were protests. People took to the streets seething with anger and held up banners and others smashed cars, beat other people up. Utter chaos.

    I saw it on the news the other evening with my family. People were crying about their smashed cars and others were angry about the violence. I said "Well duh!!! Of course the people are going to react this way! They're honoring a dictator!"

    You see, it's like being a Jew and having to watch a tribute to Hitler. Or like being African American and watching the people publicly praise the KKK.

    I said, "They shouldn't be allowed to make a tribute to a dictator." To which my uncle replied, "It's the right to freedom of expression."

    Yes. People DO have the right to freedom of expression. The rioters were also exercising this right. They were arrested because they physically hurt people and damaged public and private property. But was Pinochet ever charged with the torture and murder of tens of thousands of people? Do broken families and broken hearts not count as damaged property? What has more value - a smashed car or a broken heart?

    I wonder, if my mother or sister or best friend had been taken away and tortured and murdered, would I sit quietly at home while their murderer was being publicly commended?

    No. I'd be out there freely expressing my anger.

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