Things That Matter

Someone Offered A ‘Live The Revolution’ Experience On Airbnb In Chile And The Insensitivity And Disrespect Is Just Baffling

Someone was offering an Airbnb “experience” that involved “living the revolution.” The two-hour ‘experience’ offered a tour of Santiago’s Plaza Italia but the offer prompted fierce backlash against effort to monetize protest and was quickly taken down by the platform. 

An Airbnb tour in Chile promised the chance to ‘live the revolution’.

The two-hour “experience” offered a tour of Santiago’s Plaza Italia, which has become ground zero for a wave of mass demonstrations over social and economic inequality.

The tour was monetizing the revolution.

Priced at 19,000 Chilean pesos —about $25 USD, the excursion included a bottle of water and protective eye goggles —a nod to those worn by protesters to shield themselves from birdshot and rubber-coated pellets shot by riot police.

“Live the revolution” was up on Airbnb Experiences

www.airbnb.com

The insensitive tour was promoted on Airbnb Experiences, a platform offering “one-of-a-kind activities hosted by locals” – but was withdrawn from the site just a few days after it went live, following huge criticism on social media.

A local ideated the tour.

Promotor Sebastián Nieto told local media that he came up with the idea of the tour after noting foreign visitors’ fascination with the demonstrations. “I realized that at the protests there are always lots of spectators, people taking photos,” he said. “Of course there is a backdrop of social issues – which is totally valid – but there’s also a playful element.”

But the experience was met with a lot of backlash.

Chileans responded with fury, with some claiming the tour was a violation of Airbnb’s safety policies, while others condemned its insensitivity. “The social struggle is NOT a business” read one tweet.

The protests have been taking place for more than 3 months now.

Several clashes have unfolded at Plaza Italia between protesters and the police for almost three months. According to reports, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the rallies since they began in September as they called for radical changes to the country’s economic and political system over alleged corruption claims. The country’s security forces have also been accused of a spate of grave human rights abuses in their response to the marches, that have left at least 26 people dead and thousands more injured.

The UN human rights office reported that it had heard 345 cases involving people suffering eye injuries caused by lead pellets fired from police shotguns.

In a statement, Airbnb said: “The safety of our host and guest community is a priority for Airbnb. If we are made aware that an experience and/or host violates our platform policies, community standards, or terms of service, we take action. This experience is no longer available.”

This is a movement against capitalism.

Protester Mario Hans, who has gone to Plaza Italia every day since the unrest began said to newspaper The Guardian, that he was uncomfortable at the idea that anyone would profit from Chile’s political uprising. “This is a movement against capitalism, for equality,” he said. “The first goal here should be to inform, not to charge.”

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A Chilean Police Officer Is Charged With Attempted Murder After Throwing a Protestor Off Of a Bridge

Things That Matter

A Chilean Police Officer Is Charged With Attempted Murder After Throwing a Protestor Off Of a Bridge

Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

Earlier this month, a police officer in Santiago, Chile was captured on video pushing a 16-year-old male demonstrator off of a bridge. The boy fell into the canal below, fracturing his wrist and suffering head trauma. He was transported to the hospital and is in stable condition.

The violent video sparked an additional wave of protests against the Carabineros–Chile’s militarized national police force that the officer was a part of.

Before the video surfaced, witnesses who were protesting voiced their anger at the police officer’s actions and demanded that he be brought to justice. Initially, a spokesperson for the Carabineros, General Enrique Monrás, denied any wrongdoing on the part of the officer, claiming that the boy “lost balance and fell”.

Monrás claimed the police force even had footage that refuted the purported events. But when the footage of the boy being pushed over the bridge went public, there was no question as to what happened.

The footage of the incident went viral in Chile, prompting a surge of demonstrations and protests in Santiago–a city already racked with civil unrest.

CLAUDIO REYES/AFP via Getty Images)

Days later, Chile opened up an investigation against the police officer, saying the officer “gave false information to the Prosecutor’s Office” and had “abandoned the victim” after throwing him off the bridge. The officer’s lawyer says he was following procedure. Nevertheless, by then the damage had been done.

Following the incident, protestors threw red die into the canal, making it look like it was running red with the metaphorical blood of protestors. The protests are part of an ongoing civil unrest that was sparked by economic inequality in Chile as well as President Sebastián Piñera’s failure to address the people’s concerns.

To make matters worse, the Piñera government has responded to the protests with excessive violence.

In the last year, Chile has been making headlines for permanently blinding protestors with rubber bullets. Protestors claim that Caballeros are deliberately shooting people in the eyes, aiming to blind them for life.

This most recent incident has simply served to bolster the protestors’ claims that they are being treated brutally by the Chilean government. “The police are violent. We can’t bear it anymore,” said a protestor named Carmen Soria to Al Jazeera News. “They’ve raped, tortured, run people over, blinded others, and now, they’re throwing people in the Mapocho river. The government doesn’t want us to protest, doesn’t want us to gather together, but they don’t care that we gather in the busses and in subways like sardines to go to work.”

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You Can Live Your ‘Fresh Prince’ Fantasy With An Airbnb Stay At The Actual Bel Air Mansion

Entertainment

You Can Live Your ‘Fresh Prince’ Fantasy With An Airbnb Stay At The Actual Bel Air Mansion

Airbnb

If you ever daydreamed about telling a cabbie, “Yo homes, to Bel-Air!” then your chance is finally here. Will Smith and Airbnb have teamed up to offer the actual Bel Air mansion from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Once again, the vacation rental site has graced us with an Airbnb stay fit for the 90s kid in all of us. It wasn’t long ago that Airbnb offered up a stay at Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. There’s also a Hello Kitty apartment in Japan and the actual house from the series Twilight.

Of course, we should all still be doing our part to minimize the risk of Coronavirus and that’s why this Airbnb stay is only available to residents of Los Angeles county. But if you’re like me, all this time cooped up at home, under quarantine, following social distancing guidelines probably has you longing for some excuse – any excuse –  to leave the house. Well, now here’s the perfect excuse.

Will Smith and Airbnb team up to rent out the mansion from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Yes, it’s true! Although it’s been 30 years since the show first hit the airwaves, the Bel Air mansion from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is still a very real place – and it’s soon available to rent on Airbnb.

Starting on September 29, Airbnb will give you the chance to book a stay at the home in groups of up to two. The five available dates, which only cost $30 in honor of the show’s 30th anniversary, are October 2, 5, 8, 11, and 14.

And since they’ve partnered up with the ‘Fresh Prince’ himself, guests will have access to the wing of the house where Smith’s character called home, as well as to a poolside lounge area and dining room. Other perks include access to Will’s wardrobe and a virtual welcome by DJ Jazzy Jeff.

The only disclaimer: because of Covid-19, those lucky guests must prove residency in LA County and be able to prove they’re from the same household. Airbnb also states that the rental will be compliant with CDC rules and follow the enhanced cleaning protocol made by Airbnb as well.

These accommodations look hella fresh and are definitely Will Smith approved.

Credit: willsmith/ Instagram

Although Airbnb states that guests will have access to the wing of the property where Will Smith crashed, you obviously won’t be locked in the bedroom for the entire stay.

Here’s how Airbnb describes your once-in-a-lifetime stay: “It’s your crib for the night, so feel free to act like you own the place. My wing of the mansion includes my bedroom (great for naps), a full bathroom (great for spitting bars in the shower), pool area (great for dips), an outdoor lounge, and the dining room (great for eating obviously). And you gotta do it like my guy DJ Jazzy Jeff so don’t forget your sunglasses!”

Oh, and the best part: Will Smith is the host.

Your stay comes with all sorts of incredible perks!

Credit: Airbnb

The mansion from every 90s kids dreams is still as fly as it ever was. Bold graffiti art, posh interiors, timeless family portraits, and Philly cheesesteaks served on silver platters will give visitors the full 90s glam experience. The listing adds that guests will be able to enjoy the following:

  • Lacing up a fresh pair of Air Jordans before shooting some b-ball in the bedroom. 
  • Spinning throwback classics all night on turntables just like DJ Jazzy Jeff’s. 
  • Donning a fly look from Will’s closet, from argyle prepster to all-star athlete and Bel-Air Athletics gear. 
  • Soaking up the sun poolside on luxe lounge chairs.
  • Being (virtually) welcomed to the mansion by none other than DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Those looking to book a night at the Banks home should note that the house rules follow local COVID-19 guidelines and rules. Airbnb also said visitors can also rest assured knowing that the king-size bed will be cleaned in protocol in accordance with CDC rules and consistent with the company’s enhanced cleaning measures.

This is not the first time Airbnb has offered the chance to stay in homes that take me back to my days as a kid. In 2019 you could stay at the Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse for just $60 a night, and later this month, residents in Deschutes County, Oregon, have the chance to spend the night at the last remaining Blockbuster video store.

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