[Chile] General Strike until Piñera Falls! Military Out of the Streets!

The popular uprising that crosses the country is defying the order that has been keeping us in misery for decades. Because the abuse of the bosses’ class and all governments that protect it is extreme. Because the complicity with the bosses by political parties in the Parliament and the manipulation of the media are shameless – and more than that, violent.
By International Workers’ Movement – MIT – Chile (www.vozdelostrabajadores.cl)
The violence of suspensions, low wages and miserable pensions; the dismantling of public health and education; the sacrifice zones; the persecution to the Mapuche people and murder of activists; the repression; the pillaging of natural resources and robbery of public funds by the high commands of the Armed Forces and the Carabineros. Such is the systematic, daily-based, naturalized violence that caused the firing of the Metro, supermarkets and pharmacies, which represent the order and consumption.
The true sackers of the country have name and surname: Matte, Errázuriz, Larraín Vial, Saieh, Piñera, Luksic, Paulmann, Angelini, Von Appen… all businessmen who evade taxes, collude and steal. The parties that represent them also have names: UDI, Evopoli, RN, DC, PS, PR, PPD.1 They legislate for the businessmen. Our country is also a paradise for the transnational companies, which pillage our wealth and send it to their head offices in imperialist countries.
This insurrectional uprising is against all of them.
We salute the incorporation of more segments to this historic mobilization: public and municipal servants, teachers, workers of health, copper and ports, and even truck drivers.
We salute and adhere to the call for General Strike made by the Roundtable for Social Unity [Mesa por la Unidad Social], composed by organizations like the CUT, Colegio de Profesores [College of Teachers], Federación de Trabajadores Mineros [Mine Workers’ Federation], NO + AFP, and several other unions, like Port Workers from Valparaíso, and Santiago’s Metro.
The General Strike should be the next step in our struggle, to take the militaries off the streets and overthrow Piñera’s government.
Many of those Roundtable for Social Unity’s leaders, with the exception of the Valparaíso Port’s leader, say that a withdrawal of the militaries in the streets is enough to open a dialogue with the government. We say: This government must leave now! No negotiation is possible with a killer of the people. We think the RSU should keep the General Strike until Piñera falls.
Many of the social and union leaders participating in the RSU think that, if Piñera takes the militaries off the streets, we will be able to go back to the Parliament easily, to pass laws in favor of workers. Such thing will not happen. The Parliament is territory of the big businessmen and their representatives. Only with the people in the streets permanently is that we will achieve deep changes.
Let’s trust our power and rank-and-file organizations
We know that, in moments like this, the unity of those who struggle is essential. But we also know that, sadly, many of the main Federations’ leaders do not represent their rank-and-file and do not even know it well because they have been apart from their work places for years, with special benefits and privileges, and do not suffer what workers suffer every day. This is why we call to lead this process, which is ours, from the territorial and rank-and-file organizations, through assemblies in which workers are not only consulted but also respected and able to choose their own direct representatives.
It is not about freezing in the Parliament the laws that affect us, because all laws do. It is not about lowering the parliamentarians’ wages, but to end all privileges for a few, as well as the influence bought by businessmen in every institution of this democracy: parliament, ministries, courts, internal revenues, municipalities, etc.
Enough of the Armed Forces killing the people! A call to the troops to break hierarchy
We have almost 20 death people already. Our youth, even children. The violence by Carabineros and the Armed Forces is savage. They are committing all type of atrocities against the population during the curfew. Hundreds of wounded, thousands of detainees. We cannot accept this.
The militaries have to leave the streets immediately!
We call all workers, people from communities, and youth to ignore the curfew and organize cacerolazos in their neighborhoods, as well as demonstrations, assemblies, ollas populares2, etc.
We also call the Armed Forces and Carabineros’ troops to break the hierarchy. The soldiers and troops are the children of poor families of the city and countryside. We know your parents are workers and peasants; we know you were raised in communities; you earn miserable wages and suffer abuse and discrimination by your superiors. So we say to you: join the people! Disobey the orders of your superiors, part of the privileged ones in the country, turned against their own blood serving the businessmen. We tell you: organize! Participate in the communities’ and workers’ assemblies and pose your demands. Break the military tradition of repressing the people! Organize within your troop to pose your demands and take your superiors down!
Piñera declares: to give the fingers to keep the hands
Piñera announced yesterday, in TV, a series of measures to calm dawn the people in the streets. These measures are a smokescreen. They do not solve any of our class’ problems. Businessmen and rich ones want to give us their fingers so they can keep their hands. We are tired of this. We do not accept the government’s crumbs. Workers, citizens, youth in the streets want to deeply change this system of injustices and social inequality!
We think the only solution is to stay mobilized, to move forward in our organization in neighborhoods, mines, ports, factories, squares. We know that taking Piñera down is also not enough. There are also the Parliament, justice, media and companies in hands of the millionaires of the country and transnational companies. We believe that is necessary to make a socialist revolution to corner all big businessmen, recover the natural resources for our people, close the parliament and replace it with working class’, communities’ and youth organizations, as well as unions. The only solution for the country is a popular, workers’ government!
Our call
From the MIT, we call the RSU to rely on the great mobilization that cornered the government, to:
Demand the withdrawal of the Armed Forces and of “order” from the streets and mobilized regions, including the Mapuche territory;
Keep the call of National General Strike for all productive segments and services until Piñera and his administration fall.
If there are leaders in the Roundtable that do not follow our demands, we should change them. Our leaders should be elected at our assemblies. Our organizations are struggle bodies, not for agreements or privileges.
No trust in the negotiation with representatives of the corrupt, pro-business government and its political parties!
Immediate raise of the minimum wage to 500,000 CL pesos!
End the AFPs now! For a solidary, tripartite distribution system!
Reduction of work shifts without wage reduction!
Renationalization of copper and all natural resources under workers’ and popular control! Use the revenues for public health and education!
Let’s keep mobilized and organized to achieve a workers’, popular government!
We invite all – workers, communities, students, Mapuches, immigrants and people of all ethnicity and sexual group to join this struggle and organize in the MIT. The International Workers’ Movement is a party where you will not have privileges but a place to struggle for the recovery of our country from the businessmen and transnationals’ claws. We fight for a socialist revolution, to end capitalism that exploits and oppresses us. We fight to build true socialism in Chile and the world.
Translation: Sofia Ballack.
Translation Notes:
1 UDI: Independent Democratic Union / Evopoli: Political Evolution / RN: National Renewal / DC: Christian Democracy / PS: Socialist Party / PR: Radical Party / PPD: Party for Democracy.
2 Ollas populares, or ollas comunes, literally popular pans, are common meals made collectively to face a situation of extreme poverty and/or hunger.

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