Valdivia

By Edward Caruso
Riot police

Grey smoke,

carabinieros* behind corners and shields.

Traffic – youths in scarfs with missiles:

police vans and a local bank

pelted by rocks and iron poles.

 

Tear gas, invisible,

singes the mind,

nostrils and eyes.

Tears burn,

dozens coughing.

They weep, some in laughter.

 

Another canister shot.

Protesters launch more stones, light flames,

police vehicles besieged, mid-intersection.

 

* National police force of Chile, considered part of the military.

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Bänoo Zan’s poem was written in the aftermath of countrywide protests against sudden steep rise in fuel price in Iran on November 15. Authorities shot down the Internet of the whole country and embarked on a horrific killing spree. Amnesty International has so far verified 208 deaths in less than a week.