Oct 31, 2011

Meeting with Chilean heroine

Everyone who has been with this year's Ride for your Rights! group knows that every day holds at least half a dozen unexpected surprises. The latest event of the unexpected however, was by far the most thrilling one I had come across since the creation of Ride for your Rights!

On the other side of the continent a young lady in Chile has become President Sebastián Piñera's rival number one.

(Source: roadendless)

Camila Vallejo (president of Chile's leading student body Federación de Estudiantes de la Universidad de Chile) "has presided over the biggest citizen democracy movement since the days of opposition marches to General Augusto Pinochet a generation ago", the Guardian reports. Over the last 6 months Camila and her followers have occupied the streets day after day to challenge the Chilean education system. The Guardian further reports
In support of their demands for free university education, since May they have organised 37 marches, which have gathered upwards of 200,000 students at a time (08.10.2011).

Despite receiving death threats on a daily basis, Camila pursues to mobilise the youth and dignifies politics again.

On Tuesday I had the honour to meet Camila and Giorgio Jackson at a seminar called "Participation and Higher Education" organised by Campus Europae and GUE-NGL inside the European Parliament. Camila and Giorgio talked about the injustice of the Chilean system and appealed to politicians and students of Europe to support their fight for a democratic system.

On behalf of the Ride for your Rights! movement I thanked Camila for being an inspiration to all of us and gave her one of our T-shirts.

Over lunch we came up with an idea how we could contribute to the student movement in Chile as well. More news on that coming soon.


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