Chile's CUT set to protest nationwide on November 8, demonstrate in Santiago's city center
The Central Unit of Workers (CUT), one of the largest unions in the country, is calling for a nationwide strike and demonstrations on November 8 against a government-sponsored project to reform the private pension system. Organizers are also calling to protests against layoffs of public employees. The protests will take place at main public squares across the country. In Santiago, demonstrators will initiate their protest activities at 11:00 (local time) in the city center at Plaza Italia (Square), ending with an event at Plaza Los Héroes, near La Moneda Presidential Palace. Civil society groups, including NO+AFP, which opposes the private pension system, have published statements endorsing industrial actions and protests.
Bearing in mind that the strike was announced on September 28 and that CUT adjoins important unions, including the Union of State Employees (ANEF), the demonstration in Santiago will likely witness a turnout in the high thousands. CUT and NO+AFP have organized protests in Santiago on October 24 and October 31 respectively, leading to disruptions and scuffles between demonstrators and security forces. In light of mounting grievances and larger turnouts expected on November 8, we assess there is a distinct possibility of violence during the events planned in Santiago.
Those operating or residing in Chile on November 8 are advised to anticipate traffic disruptions and to exercise vigilance for civil unrest in the vicinity of main squares across the country. Those in Santiago should anticipate traffic disruptions, and avoid the immediate vicinity of La Moneda given potential scuffles.