The “First Line” is only one in Chile, the United States, Hong Kong and the whole world!
The following letter is addressed to the brothers and sisters of the American people who are now rising up and facing police brutality, racism and the imperialist regime administered by Donald Trump. This letter is written by our fellow members and colleagues who are part of the Chilean people’s combat battalions against police repression, and in that sense it is a letter of solidarity, brotherhood and internationalist unity. We call for joint action, across boundaries against the capitalist system that threatens the lives of millions of workers who are exploited and oppressed around the world.
Global capitalism and social catastrophe
The capitalist system is dragging the entire humanity into an absolutely catastrophic situation. The Coronavirus Pandemic has shown the true face of all governments, in every country in the world. Nowadays, there is no corner of the planet free of social injustices. Hunger, unemployment, environmental destruction, violence against women, sexual and racial discrimination, lack of access to health and education and difficulty in achieving a decent place to live are the daily reality that most human beings suffer. And this situation, which already existed before the pandemic, is now becoming more acute and fully exposed, with dimensions never before seen. The world’s governments, all capitalists, drop their friendly masks, and strive to “save the economy” to the detriment of millions of human lives. Its irrational social system is based on the multiplication of the millions , for a handful of criminal gangs, real economic mafias (elegantly called “entrepreneurs”), at the expense of the lives and sweat of millions of people who live in misery every day. And whoever dares to rebel against that reality is relentlessly punished with repression, imprisonment or death. In view of that, in different parts of the world, we began to rise up on the five continents. In Chile we started in October, and you, in the United States, bravely rose up against the cruel murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police racism.
Your struggle in the heart of the “capitalist beast”
In the midst of this deep social crisis, we are very enthusiastic about the enormous struggle that you are fighting in the United States against police racism, repression and, consequently, against the American imperialist state governed by Donald Trump. The eyes of revolutionary people around the world are now set on the streets of Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, Portland, etc. Your struggle is felt as our struggle, and not just in an “ideal” sense. We see it as ours because the enemy, there and here, is the same: the capitalists who exploit black and Latino population, and all workers and exploited people of the United States, as well as the peoples of the Third World.
The last one is our case, American companies, and other imperialist powers, steal our natural resources, especially minerals, with impunity, and they do so with the authorization of our governments, all servants of the great capital. In return, they leave ecological devastation and miserable wages. And they do so in Latin America, in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. That is why the importance of your struggle, especially, because it is against the heart of the world capitalist beast: American imperialism, whose claws kill the entire planet. We have also seen how, to face police repression, you have launched the “First Line” to defend the fair demonstrations, a subject that we ask to spread throughout the world. The right to defend ourselves, with the necessary means, from repression, we must defend it unconditionally.
The “First Line” in Chile
We write this letter from the barricades of a revolutionary Chile. From Chile that “awoke” on October 18th against the abuses of the capitalist system. That day Chilean people revealed themselves demanding an end to: corporate abuses, the terrible pension system, the increases in basic services, the destruction of the environment and endless things. In short, against the neoliberal model and the capitalist system that has the working class, the exploited and the poor, immersed in misery, indebtedness, long working hours and starvation wages. Faced with this situation, the response of the state and the murderous government of Sebastián Piñera was none other than the most brutal of the repressions. The old “Plaza Italia”, located in the center of Santiago, was renamed “Plaza Dignidad”, and there people self-convened every day to demonstrate for months. But the repression tried to dissolve the mobilizations with sticks, rubber bullets and tear gas. And it was there that the “First Line” was born, with thousands of fighters, who kept for hours the repression away from the “Plaza Dignidad”. Our partners lost their eyes, were arrested, tortured, and even killed by state agents. An example of this, among several, was the murder of Cristian Valdebenito, construction worker who, every day, after his hard day of work, came to help fight police repression and came to fight for justice for the working class and all the Chilean people. The front line is nothing other than the working class, the exploited people, putting their lives at the service of social justice.
And all this sacrifice has not been in vain. The whole country defended this First Line. While the government wanted to criminalize us accusing us of criminals, terrorists, etc., for the conscious Chilean people, the “First Line” is the real army of the people. Also, we are preparing for the new fights that are coming, because the repression against our struggle persists day after day. Today, from the different territories of the marginalized periphery we continue to raise the popular protest against the policies of the state, against sexist violence, and in defense of our Mapuches compatriots, people from southern Chile who have been fighting for their lands for 500 years. And their fight is against the same enemy: forestry companies, national and foreign, which steal and consume natural resources, with the consent of the state.
We want the World revolution and not small reforms that continue to give breathing space to this dying system. The solution is the revolutionary struggle to end the capitalist system
Our struggle is not simply to reform this rotten social system. For decades they have tried to deceive us by the discourse that, little by little, choosing the right candidates, we will be able to conquer reforms that gradually move towards a more just social reality. These theories, which claim to be “novel,” have actually been cheating and deflecting struggles for more than 100 years. The truth is that the world’s workers have been voting for “democratic” representatives for decades and they have only perpetuated social injustices. Democracy has turned out to be a scam, a democracy exclusively made for wealthy people, while we choose our executioners every year. Different political organizations, which stand up for the same ideas of the Democratic Party in the United States, want us to belive that all the sacrifice we have made, that all the sacrifice we have made and they have subdue us under anti-worker laws, discrimination, and poverty for the working people.
By contrast, we believe that the only way to really solve the problems of misery that are afflicting us is the way to a revolutionary struggle of the workers’ organization, the struggle of women, of the black population, etc. No candidate who thinks he’s a “savior” will give us a solution, because the only solution is to “touch the pockets” of the great capitalists. As long as we do not destroy the foundations of the capitalist system, It is necessary to radically change the social order, and replace it with one that is based on reason, on the harmony of humanity with nature, on a collective work and not on the individual appropriation of wealth. The path will be difficult, but not impossible. And that path is called Revolution. It has no other name.
For the right to self-defense
The traditional media, spokespersons for the interests of the great capital, are committed to showing those of us who defend ourselves from repression, such as criminals, vandaks or terrorists. That doesn’t surprise us. They are officials paid by businessmen to spread lies and criminalize social protest. We don’t expect anything else from them.
We know that capitalists will not grant even the slightest demand in a peaceful way, for that they must touch their pockets (that is their reason for existence). And we also know that our heroism and courage will not be enough to succeed effectively. We must organize our self-defense, in every neighborhood, in our assemblies, in our unions, everywhere. If people don’t fight, there’s no First Line. At the same time, we must move forward in definitively destroying the state’s institutions of repression, and to achieve that we must push for a struggle to ensure that the base of the state’s armed institutions, coming from our same social class, breaks their subordination to the authorities, and moves their weapons to the people’s side. Otherwise, an inevitable bloodbath will eventually defeat us. Because, they, the state, have a monopoly on guns. And finally, whoever possesses the weapons possesses the power.
The struggle is international, rich against the poor, all over the world
The capitalist class, to dominate us, not only has its repressive mechanisms, also has ideologies to divide us. Nationalism, including all its variants, is one of those ideologies. We’re not confused. We know how to distinguish between the murderous and criminal politics of the American bourgeoisie, and the just struggle that you, brother nation, are experiencing these days. We are part of the same social class, which suffers the same problems in all countries.
The bourgeoisie wants us to create divisions between peoples and submit us under national flags, to hide the existence of social classes whose interests are totally opposed.
But we don’t disown our historical identity. We are poor, working, unemployed, exploited, oppressed, marginalized, dispossessed. And we have nothing in common with our “Chilean” bosses. Our sisters and brothers are you. It is the poor people who rebel in Bolivia against the ferocious dictatorship that tortures the Bolivian people. They are the Argentine, Peruvian and Venezuelan workers. And not their governments. Our brothers are the Chinese workers who generate the riches with which the capitalist dictatorship of “red” entrepreneurs wanders the world. Our brothers are the exploited in Lebanon who rise up against misery and government. And our enemies are the governments and the apitalists of the whole planet.
The fight is not for nations, it is not the United States against China, nor Europe versus America. The fight is poor people against rich people (who live at our expense.) And in that sense, their struggle is our struggle, and vice versa.
Fighting for the freedom of political prisoners around the world is fighting capitalism
Chilean prisons today host hundreds and hundreds of political prisoners on their premises. With thousands of defendants, many fellow combatists, our brothers and friends, expect to receive sentences of up to 24 years in prison for exercising the legitimate right to self-defense. We know that’s the cost that everyone pay for rebelling against the system. And we also know that it is not a reality that we only have to live in Chile. The same reality lives thousands of Palestinian people’s fighters at the hands of Israeli Zionism, , a defender of U.S. interests in the Middle East. The same reality is suffering thousands of African immigrants convicted in prisons and “refugee camps” in Europe.
In Chile the Mapuche people also suffer the political prison of dozens of Mapuche’s co-propietors , today they are on hunger strike to protest against the Chilean state and the criminalization of their struggle. Faced with this, the state and its fascist lackeys have organized an offensive against the Mapuche, and we are in full defense of our brothers. The Machi (Mapuche spiritual authority) ,Celestino Córdoba, has already reached 100 days on hunger strike, and his life is seriously threatened.
There is also the case of Sebastián Romero, an Argentine worker imprisoned for confronting the government’s plans that sought to steal Argentine workers’ retirements. Thanks to a huge international campaign in his defense, today, he can return home with his family.
We are also making our own fight for the reintegration and the end to the persecution of Erek Slater, a transport workers’ union leader who led workers’ solidarity with the cause of the black population in the United States, refusing to cooperate with the police.
The struggle for the freedom of political prisoners, in Chile and around the world, must unite us on the same flag: the flag of the struggle for the world revolution against the capitalist system.
From the immortal heroism of fighting in Palestine, from the barricades of Hong Kong, from the streets of Paris, New York or Santiago, from the revolutionary uprising of Lebanon and from the combative Mapuche communities the war cry is one. It is the yell of uprising against an inhumane system, which condemns us to die because of a pandemic or to die because of hunger, without wages or job, without health or education, without housing and without dignity. It is the yell against repression, against prison, against death at the hands of the capitalist states of the world.
Escuela Antifascista Cristian Valdebenito
Primera Línea Puente Alto
Núcleo Antifascista Abril
Húsares del Poniente
Brigada Popular Ramón Ramón
This letter was written at the beginning of the month of August, before the recent murders that have shaken the political reality of the United States. And these facts only reaffirm the content of this letter. We only add our tribute to the last martyrs of the fight against racism and police brutality. Each killed is a brother that we remember and fight in his honor.