SYDNEY – Several groups of Latino migrants in Australia took to the streets to demand respect for human rights over the crises that have rattled the Latin American continent in recent weeks.
Several Latin American nations – including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela – are in the midst of major social upheaval as people have taken to the streets to protest austerity measures and corruption.
Migrants from the region living in Australia joined the so-called Cacerolazo (which means pot-banging and has become a form of protest that sees groups of people gather to make noise using kitchen utensils) to call for human rights to be respected.
Demonstrations started in Sydney at noon Sunday, with modest participation of around 50 people who carried banners, the flags of Chile and Colombia, as well as the Mapuches and Whipala flags to represent indigenous communities.
“I believe that the people got tired of the oppression, of the totalitarian policies that are not representing the people, that is why in Sydney we are gathered in this cacerolazo,” Colombian David Cuesta told EFE.
Although the demands are diverse, there is a place most protestors converge:
“We are all united in the same thing because in some way what is happening in the South American countries is that human rights are being violated at all levels,” Chilean Luisa told.
In the city of Melbourne, some 250 protesters gathered despite the rain, at the State Library of Victoria.
Dozens of women sang a powerful Chilean feminist anthem title “The Rapist is You,” and which has since gone viral worldwide.
“Patriarchy is a judge, it judges when we’re born and our burden is the violence you don’t see,” the women chanted in unison.
During the event, there were speeches and a march towards the Federation Square, in the central business district of the city of Melbourne.
Participants lay on the ground “to honor those killed by state violence in Latin America,” Chilean Pilar Aguilera, one of the organizers of the demonstration in Melbourne, told EFE via WhatsApp.
Latin American cacerolazos will echo throughout the day in the cities of Brisbane and Perth, which enjoy smaller but very active communities of the more than 140,800 Spanish speakers living in Australia.