We have been in the streets for over a month now, in this beautiful Chilean awakening process. Popular movement, the Youth and workers gave a nice example on how to fight back. We passed along our strength in struggle to our brothers and sisters in other countries, like Colombia, where banners in protests state “Now Chile is an example to follow.”
By MIT-Chile (Workers’ International Movement – IWL-FI Chilean section)
Businessmen, their political parties and their government were terrorized and erratic: first, they sent the military to the streets and declared war; then, they said they were sorry; later, they made a peace agreement and promised a new Constitution while they keep repressing, torturing, and even killing us; and in this framework, they gave a series of concessions that they have always refused to deliver (lowering the wages of parliamentarians, increasing pensions, etc.). Today we know that these are not enough, and we demand much more.
In this context, the revolution continues. Neither the yellow vests [France] nor far-right MP José Antonio Kast’s criminalizing speeches; neither the criminal crackdown nor the attempt to deviate the process by the Broad Front’s (a reformist left-wing electoral alliance) leaders, were enough to take us off the streets. The mobilization continues thanks to the thousands of brave ones in the front line. We are as united than ever, and what bring us together is the weariness by a neoliberal system that cannot hold itself. What unites us is the hope of defeating decades of abuse, and over all the necessity of taking president Sebastián Piñera down – who has only 12% of people’s support.
However, despite the different arrangements among authorities and their institutions, Piñera remains in power. Why? It is due to multiple elements which are combined to avoid this murderer to fall. Among them:
Regime political parties, whether left or right-wing, hold him there in one or another way. His main defenders, the right-wingers, do it with a clearer speech, yet the former Concertación parties (the Bourgeois opposition), and at some point the Broad Front (FA) and the Communist Party (PC) do it as well. This becomes evident with statements like the one by Isabel Allende, from the Socialist Party (PS): “presidents are elected democratically and, as so, they must finish their terms.”
But not only: even if it is true that some opposition parties made a Constitutional Accusation against Piñera due to the pressure they were suffering from the people in the streets. And such Accusation cannot go far, because it is under the framework of the same pro-business, corrupt, repudiated institutions, like the parliament and the traditional parties. For example: the committee to review the Accusation has 5 members: 2 of them right-wingers, 1 CP (Communist Party), 1 SP (Socialist Party) and the President of the committee who is member of the DC (Christian Democracy) – the same party that has just endorsed Piñera in taking the military to the streets again, and this time without declaring state of Emergency! Do we believe that the same parties, responsible for decades of pillaging, will take Piñera off the presidency? No, they won’t.
Piñera is a direct representative of the Chilean businessmen. He is not like any other president; he is a businessman himself. He is one of the 10 richest families in Chile (the sixth), with 2,800 million dollars of wealth, accomplished (like all businessmen) through the exploitation of workers. Even if Piñera is a “new businessman” –post-dictatorship,– it is evident that he reflects [represents], somehow, the ten families that pillaged the country. And so, if he falls, “one of them” falls, affecting the power they had during this whole time.
The armed and repressive forces are united. The repressive forces were overwhelmed by the revolution, so Piñera is proposing to put the military on the streets again because he is not being able to hold the process with the Special Forces alone. However, for them to be at their limit is not enough. We still need to convince the rank and file of the repressive forces, who come from working-class families, to stop defending this government and change sides to stand next to the people. We need “more David Velosos.” [a soldier who refused to strike the people in the streets and was detained – T.N.] This government does not care for the wellbeing of the low officers in the repressive forces. It just wants to defend its own privileges. That is why soldiers should turn their guns around, defend their class and target their true enemies, instead: Piñera, all the ones above, and their institutions.
The working-class movement is part of the process but not organized as one force. Among the industrial working class, the dockworkers have been the vanguard of the process, endorsing each and every strike action. Nevertheless, we still need the proletariat as a whole to join the revolution, with its ability to halt the production and its methods of self-defense and protest.
There is no national organization of the struggle to take the lead to put Piñera down. In the streets, spontaneously, we all demand his fall. The walls speak through graffitis and demands, making it explicit: “Out with Piñera”. The majority of the Chilean people want this. However, we still need to advance from this spontaneous struggle to a conscious organization, with the goal of preparing a plan of struggle to put Piñera down as the key task ahead, and to debate how to continue the mobilization to achieve this. Popular Assemblies, committees, and other organizations, where the grassroots can organize themselves and decide how to carry on our struggle to put Piñera down, and how to increase the coordination at national level.
Let’s continue this revolution in the streets, with a General Strike, until Piñera falls
We must stay firm in the streets until Piñera falls, until all of them fall, and until we actually achieve real changes for our lives. To encourage this revolution and give it strong support, we need an indefinite General Strike. It is an achievement to carry out 48h strikes, but it is not enough to achieve our goal. This struggle to put Piñera down and for all of our demands must be planned from every grassroots’ organization: popular assemblies, committees, town halls, etc., with a national coordination to articulate the process.
Also, the rank and file from the security forces must adhere to this struggle. They must turn their riffles and shotguns around, and defend their class from the real violent ones: the government, the pillaging businessmen, and all the ones above.
Let’s keep ourselves in the streets until Piñera falls!
Out with all of them!
Let’s end the AFPs (private pension system) and recover everything the richest families stole from us!
For a free, sovereign Constituent Assembly!
For a government of the ones below, a popular and workers’ government achieved by a Socialist revolution!
Translation: Sofia Ballack.