A ganar la calle
A ganar la calle
The October Strike and the Struggle for the Streets
Chapter 3 rounds out this analysis by investigating the month-long October 1972 Trucker’s or Boss’s strike. It looks at how this mobilization in opposition to Allende created new sites, forms, and identities of political conflict in factories, soup kitchens, and sidewalks; how it challenged traditional lines of political allegiance on the streets and in Congress; and, ultimately, how it set in motion a chain of events that shaped the September 1973 coup. The chapter concludes with a close reading of Allende supporters’ reaction to the strike, focusing on the new forms of political practice they created in the industrial area ringing the city center. Workers in these cordones industriales clashed with the state and opposition in their struggle to secure poder popular—laborer’s authority in the workplace. They fashioned new sites and forms of political practice and affiliation that spilled over the traditional lines of political association. Investigating these entwined contests over public space, Chapter 3 shows how the ongoing effort to “win the battle for the streets” allowed santiaguinos to rethink how and where they could politicize gender and masculinity, and change how participants understood the potential limits of political citizenship across political divides. Ultimately, it illustrates how the act of claiming public spaces became essential political practice, and how these efforts fundamentally reshaped the city’s political geography.
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