Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America  
 

1979- Roberto, Victor, flaco Antonio

Chileans in Drumchapel, Glasgow

1976- our Folk Grup with MIchael Foot in Renfrew

The Scottish press always interested in our stories.

1984 Stirlingshire Chilean Action Committee

1974-Chilean in Glasgow

 

 

 

Chileans refugees
in Scotland

Please CLICK ON any images to enlarge

Background

We know that immediately after the coup on the 11th of September of 1973, Chilean Solidarity Committees began to form in different cities of Scotland: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee and Falkirk. These committees came about in order to denounce in Scotland the atrocities taken place in our country at the hand of the Pinochet’s regime. These committees were also formed to mobilise solidarity with our country in the context of Scotland and the UK. Very importantly, they were formed to help Chileans refugees coming to Scotland and to help them to integrate into British society: organising for them classes of English, helping them to find accommodations, helping them to find jobs, taken them to social security and counselling session and helping them with translations as very few Chileans spoke English etc.

Were these Solidarity committees successful? Yes!- I was able to witness it! I saw the good work in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling( Falkirk), Dundee and everywhere. Thirty seven years later, I was able to see that a good number of British activist involved in the Solidarity movement with Chile in the 1970s and 1980s are now fully involved in the politics of this country. This is a very positive thing coming out of the Chilean experience in Britain. It is said that the former Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was involved, during his student years in the Solidarity Campaign for Chile at Edinburgh University. I know of one activity about Chile where Gordon was involved. The Scottish singer Arthur Johnstone and I provided the music for the below programme.

I could also witnessed our own communities of Chileans in Scotland working very hard, despite all the odds and the drama, to maintain our political commitment with our country. These pages about Chilean refugees try to show exactly that. We worked hand by hand with the Chilean Solidarity Committees in Scotland.

After the Pinochet bloody coup on the 11th of September of 1973 thousand of Chileans, left Chile for Peru, and many arrived in Lima. I was one of them. Most of us Chileans were well received by the Limeños. There was a lot of sympathy towards our case. The ferocity of the coup in Chile caused a great impact in the international community. We were, however, stranded in Lima. Many Chileans did not even have proper documentation or a visa to stay and work in Peru. The Peruvian Government, on the other hand, was not pleased to have so many of us there. (we were supposed to be "lefties and revolutionaries!" in other wors "trouble makers!") It was at this point that the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) decided to intervene by providing assistance not only to those Chileans living in Chile but those who for different political and economic reasons had left the country for other places of Latin America. It was in Peru were many of us, who came to Scotland on a bus, become refugees. Others, who arrived at a later stage, become refugees in Argentina. In an act of great generosity and understanding, the UK government of the day accepted us here. (see Chileans and the UK Gov.)

It was, however, the generosity of the hundred of people working on the Chile Solidarity Campaign in the UK who took care of all of us once we arrived in Britain. The most important organization helping us all was the London based Join Working Group (JWG) and the World University Service (WUS) set up to help those refugees with academic backgroud.

 

Music to help the solidarity movement was always very important. Below: Edinburgh/Dundee Folk Grup

 

 

The following is a very important link and relates to the Archives HUB, the keeper of the papers of the Chile Solidarity Campaign held at Labour History Archive and study centre. The collection comprises the working papers of Chile Solidarity Campaign from its foundation in 1973 to it close in 1991. It includes records of local, student and trade union bodies that joined the campaign for Chilean democracy

http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk/news/02111404.html

The Papers of the Chile Solidarity Campaign were donated to the People's History Museum (formerly National Museum of Labour History) in 1991.

 


1975- We joined with our children the celebrations to mark the 800 years anniversaryof the the City of Glasgow


Glasgow. Nov 4th 1975.Our folk
group playng at the McLaren Galleries

 

Stirling- one of the first Chilean Solidarity Committee in Scotland


1976 - Chilean cultural activity in Edinburgh.
I was invited to play in this event.


 

 

 
  Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America