This post is part of a series on the approval of the construction of Hidroaysén hydroelectric power station. Read all about the project, the “for” and “against” arguments and the initial reactions when the news was revealed.
According to radio station Cooperativa [es]:
The demonstrations managed to unite 7,000 people in Plaza Italia, in the capital Santiago […] The protests continue in cities like Coyhaique -directly in front of the Environmental Evaluation Commission-, Concepción, Temuco, Valparaíso and Valdivia, where police dispersed the crowd with tear gas in a protest of about 500 people.
The protests continue daily, as well as a second massive call which brought 30,000 people to the streets on May 13. The online periodical El Mostrador [es] commented:
Ecological groups have marched everyday against this initiative and the protests will continue until May 21st, the day that the mandate will hand in a published account of the affairs of the project to Parliament.
Medical doctor and Twitter user, Alvaro Rivas (@alvarorivasMD), sent a live link [es] of the march through TwitCasting. With a cameraphone, he attended the peaceful demonstration and witnessed the police repression. He even came to the aid of a woman who was suffering a panic attack due to the tear gas thrown.
Alvaro's narrative was followed and celebrated by many, above all, because national television was not covering the news.
Javier Chijani (@jchijani) made a comment on the issue:
Marcelo Aliaga (@maliaga) also commented on the lack of coverage of the local newscasts, adding:
Lo que NO saldrá en el noticiario ni en las portadas de mañanahttp://yfrog.com/h2i9tjfj // no necesitamos una TV vendida.
The protesters informed Alvaro of where to go and helped him by adding information to his Twitter coverage.
Javier Aguirre Mansilla [es] commented on Facebook:
alvaro te estan viendo en santiago concepcion talcahuano arica iquique, vamos buen trabajo
Sebastían Olate (@nostok_) mentioned on Twitter:
Debes cubrir hacia otros lados Alvaro!! Continua por calles alternativas hacia Sta Lucia!!
Besides the live videos, many Twitter users shared photos and their impressions on one of the liveliest marches in Chile in a long time.
Journalist Lorena Muñoz Mizon (@loladotcom) commented:
qué bonita marcha!!! la gente sentada haciendo el signo de la paz enfrenta el agua
The newspaper PublimetroChile (@PublimetroChile) informed:
Sentidos Comunes (@sentidoscomunes) shared:
One of the things that netizens emphasized was the strong police repression in the protest in Santiago and other cities across the country.
In Santiago, the blogger of El Beat del Tambor narrated on his/her Twitter account (@elbeatdeltambor):
Angello Poggini (@APoggini) points out:
se supone que la marcha #noahidroaysen estaba autorizada hasta las 9, era todo pacifico hasta que salieron los pacos [policías] a dejar la caga [a arruinarlo].
Programmer Sebastián Araos (@seba_araos) repudiates the police repression:
Asamblea ciudadana contra la aprobación de las termoeléctricas en la ciudad de Iquique convocada a la comunidad de la ciudad y distintas organizaciones sociales para movilizarse y llamar a plebiscito.
Esta terminó en una gran marcha por la ciudad interrumpida por Carabineros con lanza agua y lacrimógenas de forma desmedida
Citizen assembly against the approval of thermoelectric plants in the city of Iquique organised by the community and different public organisations for mobilization and for calling a referendum.
This resulted in a big demonstration throughout the city, interrupted by the Chilean police with water and tear gas launchers in unmeasurable amounts.
Also, there have been international protests in Barcelona, Hamburg, and Rome against Hidroaysén. The Patagonia Sin Represas (Patagonia without Dams) webpage shows a good summary of the protests [es] in Chile and in the world.
There has been a call for massive protests via social networks on May 21, 2011, the day President Sebastián Piñera will deliver the annual budget message to the nation.