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EL MERCURIO (Chile)

SANTIAGO – In the heart of Providencia, a populous middle-class district of Santiago, you might find yourself walking along Avenida 11 de Septiembre.

Of course, anyone familiar with modern Chilean history knows that street commemorates "the other 9-11," the military coup of Sept. 11, 1973 that toppled Chile's democratically elected Marxist president Salvador Allende. The South American country was governed for the next 17 years by right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet.

And now, the political avenue has become a campaign issue, as candidates in the race to run the Providencia district have called for a new name for the street.

"We want the avenue to go back to being called Nueva Providencia," candidate María Josefa Errázuriz said during a televised debate last week in a primary she went on to clinch Sunday. "Residents there have already presented City Hall with a request asking that the name be changed."

Fellow candidate Cristóbal Bellolio wasn't convinced by Errázuriz" choice of names, but agrees that 11 de Septiembre ought to be nixed, El Mercurio reported: "September 11 is a date that commemorates division more than unity among Chileans. It could be called ‘La Democracia," or something else."

Providencia's current top official, Cristián Labbé, worked directly with Pinochet and openly defends the dictator's lengthy military regime. Errázuriz will face Labbé in the October election.

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China

How China's Mass Protest Took The World By Surprise — And Where It Will End

China is facing its biggest political protests in decades as frustration grows with its harsh Zero-COVID strategy. However, the real reasons for the protests run much deeper. Could it be the starting point for a new civic movement?

Photo of police during protests in China against covid-19 restrictions

Security measures during a protest against COVID-19 restrictions

Changren Zheng

In just one weekend, protests spread across China. A fire in an apartment block in Urumqi in China’s western Xinjiang region killed 10, with many blaming lockdown rules for the deaths. Anti-lockdown demonstrations spread to Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu and other cities. University students from more than half of China's provinces organized various protests against COVID restrictions.

Why and how did the movement spread so rapidly?

At the core, protesters are unhappy with President Xi Jinping's three-year-long Zero-COVID strategy that has meant mass testing, harsh lockdowns, and digital tracking. Yet, the general belief about the Chinese people was that they lacked the awareness and experience for mass political action. Even though discontent had been growing about the Zero-COVID strategy, no one expected these protests.

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