Chile’s 2019 uprising marked a moment of social awakening for many Chileans, recasting historical memory tropes and shattering the fear of collective action internalised during the years of dictatorial rule (1973–90). This article explores the political legacies of the Popular Unity period (1970–3) made apparent during the 2019 uprising and the popular movement that emerged in its wake. It also centres on the Chilean feminist movement, its historic role as a political force in Chilean politics and how a new feminist discourse became the necessary preamble to Chile’s 2019 social awakening. Lastly, this study describes the sprouting of a neighbourhood assembly movement within days after the 18 October 2019 uprising, its role in rearticulating politics from below and its alignment with the feminist movement, culminating in mass participation in the 8 March 2020 feminist strike. This article places personal and familial accounts in conversation with scholarly works, utilising the 2019 uprising as a lens to revisit the historical past within the onward moving historical present.