We Love Music: Six songs from six weeks of protest in Chile

Music is an integral part of rallies, marches and barricades in Chile, where people continue to hit the streets every day to protest structural inequality and oppression.

Videos of thousands of protesters singing Victor Jara’s “El derecho a vivir en paz” and Los Prisioneros’ “El baile de los que sobran” have circled the world.

But contemporary Chilean artists from diverse genres have been composing movement songs too, often accompanied by powerful music videos with protest footage. (Warning: some videos contain graphic images of police brutality.)

Here are six tracks from the past six weeks:

1. 30 pesos – Desmak

“We’re that shout of those who could not shout, disappeared voices that were silenced when they spoke. We’re children, siblings, grandchildren of those no longer here,” Desmak notes in this powerful track.

2. Despertamos – Noche de Brujas (feat. Luanko)

“All the people in all the lands, we’re crying out with power,” Mapuche artist Luanko raps in Mapuche in this cumbia by Noche de Brujas.

3. Cacerolazo – Ana Tijoux

“If there is no justice, there is no peace for the government,” Ana Tijoux says in this ode to the pots-and-pans noise demos that ring out into the night in Chile and beyond.

4. No estamos en guerra – various artists

Fifteen vocalists and musicians joined forces to produce this extended reggae track refuting president Sebastián Piñera’s claim, “we are at war against a powerful and relentless enemy.”

5. Atte. Los Chilenos (Uno a Uno) – Fletcher

“One by one makes thousands. What a student started, all of Chile will finish,” Fletcher raps in this incisive indictment of the government and system.

6. El derecho de vivir en paz – various artists

A collective of Chilean musicians covered the Victor Jara song that has become an anthem of the protest movement. Changes to the lyrics were authorized by Jara’s widow.