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Public Declaration from Ni Casco ni Uniforme, Chile

Today, 11 September 2003, these are our reflections about the transition, the dictatorship and the military coup:

We have been invaded by a series of commemorative acts. Faced with this, we think that the memory should not be spent in the form of remembrances and commemorations, that the act of remembering should not paralyse nor bring to a close the construction of a freer society that respects the dignity of all men and women.

More than military, the dictatorship was militarist. Today its spirit can be felt not only in the military world but also in all the related parts of the civil world and, what is worst, in the world of the Concertación ( political pact that agreed the terms for the transition), that for 13 years has not been capable of shaking off the seal imposed by the dictatorship in the forms of making politics, and in general on the social life of this country. The Concertación also has one other party: the Armed Forces. It is not possible for a government to understand the Concertación without bearing in mind the Armed Forces, as a threatening party in the conglomerate of parties, almost like an ideological vanguard, its hard wing, its armed front.

To end impunity would be an excellent experiment in this country where impunity has been the cultural and political framework before, during and since the Dictatorship - one of those lethal traditions that has to be undone once and for all.

To understand this allows us better to understand our tasks: to deepen democracy, to expand liberties and the exercise and respect of rights; to end racism and all forms of discrimination and to finish with the school for crime that is Military Service: in sum, to demilitarise society.

Such are our reflections 30 years on from the military coup.

MOC Ni Casco Ni Uniforme
11 September 2003

About the origin of our statement

Oscar Huenchunao

from Ni Casco ni Uniforme (Chile)

The debate around what happened on 11 September 1973 and its subsequent dictatorship is a topic that does not leave any organisation or grassroots group in Chile indifferent. We ( Ni Casco ni Uniforme / No Helmet, No Uniform) are not an exception, even if we are a young group: young as regards the amount of time we have been established, young as to our ages. We do have an opinion about the issue.

This statement is the result of many discussions about the meaning and impact of the 30 years since the military coup by Pinochet -. how the dictatorship left marks in our society in such a way that, even at present, these affect our work as antimilitarist activists. Although we have had over 10 years of democracy, the military pressence and influence is, unfortunatelly, still strong.

In the past we did not always participate as a group in marches or demonstrations. This was not due toa lack of an opinion, but more so because we felt that there was no audience for an antimilitaristic perspective. We think that the mood this year has been more responsive, more open, and that there is room for many visions about the same topic – even for our vision as expressed below.

October 2003