The new old forms of controlling and repressing :
On the 5th of July the Preventive Control of Identity began to be regulated in all the country (Chile) following its publication in the Official Diary of Modification to the law 20931. In simple terms, this regulation allows the police to randomly carry out an identity control check to anybody over 18 years old through a fingerprint reader or an identity card.
From the start of this new regulation many citizens, along with government authorities and even members of parliament have been monitored. These last aforementioned cases have been widely publicized throughout the bourgeoisie media in order to give the impression that this rule would be fairly applied without imposing any sort of social discrimination. However, despite the positive charade advertised through the mainstream media, the reality of this regulation is very different.
Firstly, the characteristics of this rule leave a lot to be desired. As it is a random inspection it allows a lot of arbitrariness and police intuition, who as we all know are the most classist and racist members of our society. Therefore, it is unlikely that this rule will ever be applied to the identity control of somebody from an upper class neighbourhood. On the other hand, this regulation would increase police presence in working class neighbourhoods, as the police have to be out in the streets looking for people to control.
If our society as a whole will be affected by this, social movements will suffer the consequences of this regulation even further. For example: any kind of protest. The police will obviously try to control the participants of the march with the sole purpose of annoying and harassing them, just like they end up doing in most protests. We have already seen this throughout the year in student protests, mainly in the metro stations, which are places where police have been spotted monitoring students, and this was even before the application of the Preventive Control of Identity. The most unbelievable aspect of this is that the regulation can only be applied to those over 18 years old. Did the police apply this new law to suit their own conveniences and guidelines?
The Preventive Control of Identity is one of the most nefarious laws ever written in this country. It reminds us of the worst moments of the Dictatorship. It evokes into our memories the times under the Arrest for Suspicion regulation. This change, in conjunction with all the other existing laws in our republic, are the things that we most detest and we dream of the day when these are viewed as meaningless words instead of laws that repress our rights.
Oasis de Calama.
Translated by Pietro Casati Kuyath (firstname.lastname@example.org)