Things That Matter

In Chile, Hundreds of People Have Lost Their Eyes After Protesting Against Economic Inequality

On Sunday, crowds formed outside of the Chilean clinic where 21-year-old student Gustavo Gatica was staying. Standing together, the protesters waved Chilean flags and chanted: “El puebla está contigo”. The people are with you. The crowd gathered to support Gatica after he had permanently lost both of his eyes after being shot at close-range by rubber bullets. Unfortunately for Chileans, cases like these have become more and more common in recent weeks. Since mid-October, stories have abounded of Chilean protesters suffering permanent eye-sight loss at the hands of excessive police force.

According to the Chilean Red Cross, more than 2,500 people have been injured since October 18th when the protests started. Of that number, 400 of those injuries were caused by rubber bullets. According to the Salvador Hospital ophthalmology unit in Santiago, more than 140 people have suffered eye injuries since the begin of the protests. Some experts claim that the number is closer to 180 people. Officials say that of these numbers, 60% suffered a severe decrease in vision, while almost 30% were completely blind in one eye. In Chile, both doctors and health officials are calling the wave of injuries an “epidemic.” 

According to officials, the amount of eye-injuries that have been sustained by Chileans during these protests is unprecedented in the entire world.

“If you look at the statistics and compare them with complaints from France, Kashmir, Palestine, for example, they have much lower numbers,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Enrique Morales to The New York Times. “In just eight or nine days, we’ve surpassed numbers from any other medical reports of this kind of eye injury happening as a result of pellet gunshots. It’s a human rights catastrophe”. 

In Chile, the protests began on October 6th when subway fares increased, prompting an influx of turnstile-jumping as a form of protest. As police used force to crack down on the fare-dodgers, the public responded with more protests. From that point forward, everything snowballed. The fare increase became a symbol for everything Chileans were unhappy with, what The New York Times describes as “the rising cost of utilities, stagnant wages and paltry pensions” that made it difficult for lower and middle-class Chileans to flourish. “We don’t have good public health, the salaries are low,” 29-year-old publicist Jacinta Urivi told Al Jazeera. “There are so many things that act against the people, that they (the politicians) fill their pockets with”. 

As the maiming continues, the rest of the world has started to take notice of the government’s violence. 

On social media, people have started bringing attention to what some are calling “mutilations” through explicit pictures and videos. And according to The New York Times, international human rights organizations have begun to investigate the abuse. But the publicity is little solace to the protesters who will have to live the rest of their lives without their eyes. Pablo Verdigo, blinded in his left eye by a rubber bullet, told the New York Times that the loss of his eye “breaks his heart”. “Because you want to protest, for your kids,” he said through tears. “Not for this to happen.”

But Verdigo has no regrets about protesting against the government. Days later, he was back on the streets, marching against economic inequality.  “If we change something, this eye will be a triumph, not a loss.,” Verdigo told The Times. “That’s what I want. That losing my eye will be worth it”.

Throughout Twitter, the violence and mutilations have not gone unnoticed. 

People are using their social media platforms to bring awareness to the unprecedented violent blindings happening in Chile.

People are shocked that the armed forces are targeting such an integral part of the human experience: eyesight.

It seems like a systemic attempt to oppress the people by instilling fear in them.

Some people are bringing to light how the police brutality against Chileans is universal:

It seems that everyone is in danger.

This person believes that the Chilean government’s response to the protesters is undemocratic:

People should not be permanently maimed for exercising their fundamental right to peaceably assemble.

This man is documenting the myriad of injuries that Chilean protesters are sustaining at the hands of the police:

His Twitter feed proves the extent of the unprecedented police brutality. 

On Sunday, President Sebastián Piñera finally reacted to the violence by announcing he supported a new constitution.

While before,  Piñera claimed that Chile was “at war” with the protestors, calling them a “powerful enemy who is willing to use violence without limits”. But now, Piñera has announced that he is willing to draft the new constitution that protesters have been asking for, a response that has been met with almost universal skepticism. “Anyone who thinks that the current Congress can write down a new constitution may be fooling themselves,” says Senator Jose Miguel Insulza of Chile’s Socialist Party. “It may not have enough legitimacy”. 

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Google Paid Tribute To Mariachi Music With A Doodle And Break Out The Mezcal Because It’s Gonna Give You Tears!

Things That Matter

Google Paid Tribute To Mariachi Music With A Doodle And Break Out The Mezcal Because It’s Gonna Give You Tears!

ULISES RUIZ / Getty

Mariachi is officially getting the search engine clout it deserves!

Google Doodle’s latest feature celebrates the musical genre of mariachi. As an ode to the anniversary of the week that UNESCO inscribed mariachi on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The genre of Regional Mexican music goes back to the 18th century.

Google’s latest Doodle features an animated video of mariachi serenading.

Remote file
Google

Singing “Cielito Lindo,” which is a song that encaptures Mexican pride, the doodle features a band of mariachi members.

Together they sing the following lyrics”De la Sierra Morena/cielito lindo, vienen bajando/Un par de ojitos negros/cielito lindo, de contrabando/ Ay, ay, ay, ay/Canta y no llores/Porque cantando se alegran/cielito lindo, los corazones.”

The lyrics translate to “From the Sierra Morena/Lovely sweet one, is prancing down/A pair of little black eyes/Lovely sweet one, is sneaking by/ Ay, ay, ay, ay/Sing, don’t cry/Because singing makes rejoice/Lovely sweet one, our hearts.”

For the doodle, the mariachi band wears traditional trajes de charro (charro suits) while strumming the traditional instruments of the genre.

Plucking away at the guitarrón, vihuela, and violin, other members use a trumpet and harp. According to Newsweek, “The tradition of mariachi originated in west-central Mexico around the turn of the 19th century, though its exact origins are murky. The musical genre began as entirely instrumental, made up of the sounds of stringed instruments, before vocals and the trumpet were eventually added.”

No doubt Google’s latest Doodle has won over the hearts of various searchers.

“What a beautiful tribute… thank you!” one user wrote.

“The Google doodle for today is a tribute to mariachis & it’s a little video that plays cielito lindo I am not okay, cielito lindo is my favorite mariachi song, it’s too cute,” another commented while another user wrote “I was so shocked when I clicked on this last night. What a wonderful surprise.”

Sweetly, the doodle really seemed to hit home for so many. “The Google Doodle today nearly made me cry,” one very happy user noted. “It was so unexpected and made me miss home for the first time since I moved.”

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Kamala Harris Wore A Pussy-Bow Blouse For Her Victory Speech And Twitter Thinks It Was A Message To Melania

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Kamala Harris Wore A Pussy-Bow Blouse For Her Victory Speech And Twitter Thinks It Was A Message To Melania

Pool / Getty

The pussy bow blouse is back at it again.

From the moment Vice President-elect Kamala Harris took to the stage in Wilmington, Delaware this past Saturday, the world was abuzz about her choice in wardrobe. Of course, while the Vice President-elect’s acceptance speech made its mark on history as one of hope and women’s empowerment, the conversation around her clothing choice was far from senseless. After all, Harri’s decision to wear a white pantsuit and pussy-bow blouse further buttressed her words of achievement, unity, and liberty.

As a show of women’s equality, Harris wore a white pantsuit and pussy-bow blouse for her speech at Joe Biden’s victory rally on Saturday night.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters, Harris credited women before her for her accomplishment. “I stand on their shoulders,” she said referring to thoose who fought for women’s rights and of the “new generation” that exercised their right to vote last week.

Harris’s white suit played an homage to women like Shirley Chisholm, who wore white when she became the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968. Geraldine Ferraro, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1985 and wore all-white when she accepted the role of Walter Mondale’s running mate for his 1984 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton also wore a white pantsuit to accept her Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Of course, Twitter users were quick to read into Harris’s choice in blouse as a dig at Melania Trump.

ST LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 09: Melania Trump (R) greets her husband Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump after the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

As you might recall from the last election soon-to-be- former First Lady Melania Trump wore a bright pink pussy-bow blouse to the second debate between then-presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“I see your sartorial shade, Kamala, and I am HERE FOR IT,” one woman noted on Twitter.

As a reminder, back in 2016, Melania Trump wore a vivid pink pussy-bow blouse to the second debate between then-presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton amid outrage over leaked tapes from 2005. Just two days prior to the debate, video footage of Trump boasting about “grabbing women by the pussy.”

Viewers believed Melania’s decision to wear a ‘pussy-bow’ blouse was a wily slight jab at her husband.

“Anyone think Kamala’s pussy bow blouse may be trolling trump?” one Twitter user asked. “

“not sure yet re @KamalaHarris but I will say: the combination of the white suit with the pussy bow blouse was a very cool play …” Another commented.

“Kamala Harris’s white pantsuit and pussy bow doing a LOT of symbolic work out here! Dress matters; clothing says things verbally left unspoken,” another Twitter user posted.

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