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  • Patti Smith performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 28, 2015.

    Patti Smith performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 28, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 November 2019

“The one beauty about terrible times is that it wakes people up and hopefully inspires them to unify,” said the 73-year-old singer, who is considered one of the world’s most influential rock music artists.

United States singer and poet Patti Smith said Sunday that "ordinary people" are really the ones challenging the status quo in the world, and sent a message to support protesters who have been demanding social rights for a month in the streets of Chile.

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“I am with you,” said the 73-year-old singer, who is considered one of the world’s most influential rock music artists.

Smith, who performed live on Monday at a theater in Santiago as part of an international tour added she was “very touched by people in Chile” and acknowledged the “bad times” happening across the world.

At the beginning of the crisis, the artist wrote a poem on her Instagram account dedicated to Chile, a country she is visiting for the first time.

“My message was just to simply say (to the protesters): I am with you, I am thinking about you,” she said Sunday during a press conference in which she also spoke about the importance of protecting the environment and fighting together against injustice.

“We have to support one another, we have to support our youth and we have to keep our revolutionary hearts beating,” the singer of the legendary songs “Because The Night” and “People Have The Power," adding that when she sees "that the people are motivated and standing up for their rights and taking the streets, I think it is very important to show solidarity.” 

For a month, Chile has been experiencing its most serious crisis since the return of democracy in 1990, with massive protests and bloody clashes between protesters and security forces, which have claimed the lives of at least 23 people with at least five allegedly at the hands of state agents and resulting in thousands of injured protesters.

“The one beauty about terrible times is that it wakes people up and hopefully inspires them to unify,” Smith commented. 

Massive demonstrations against the Chilean government began in Santiago on October 14 due to a 30-cent increase in the subway fare.

While this measure was revoked by Piñera, social unrest increased in magnitude as the Chileans began to question "30 years" of neoliberal policies, which have implied a systematic withdrawal of economic and social rights for millions of people.​​​​​​​

According to the National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI), over the last month, at least 5,629 people have been arrested and 2,009 injured in Chile.

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