November 18, 2019
The agreement for “Peace and a New Constitution” is a sample that “the ones below,” after demonstrating for over a month and organizing in Popular Assemblies and other instances, are able to make “the ones above” give in. But, so far, they have changed their speech.
By MIT – Chile
One thing is to know “the ones above” were forced to change their speech, and a different thing is to believe their lie. With today’s major protest, we showed we will not swallow their scam. We do not believe their proposal will solve our demands, nor that it will be a Constitution in our favor! We want Piñera out now!
The agreement signed by the traditional parties, in addition to being a trap, is a hypocrisy to which part of the Broad Front added (the RD, the Liberal Party, the Communes, and Gabriel Boric, from Social Convergence), showing their true sellout nature, subjected to these institutions and the big bosses’ parties.
We cannot trust this measure while the same ones that pillaged our country for decades and to which we fight against in this revolution happily salute the agreement: Luksic, the Industry and Trade Confederation (CPC in Spanish), among other pro-business guilds.
Let’s go point by point:
This “Peace Agreement” does not consider the main demand raised by over a million people in the streets: Out with Piñera! No change will be effective without taking Piñera down! The streets cry “down with all of them!”
They call for a commitment with “re-establishing peace and public order in Chile, and full respect of human rights and the democratic institutions” one day after the General of carabineros, Rozas, announced he will not dismiss any police officer for violating human rights: no justice for the ones murdered, tortured, and people sexually abused by the repression forces. Furthermore, when the main politically responsible one for this repression, and representative of the bosses that robbed us year after year, is still President. Sectors of the Armed Forces celebrate an agreement with the party of this thief and murderer!
The fact that they propose a Constituent or Constitutional Convention shows that only the permanent mobilization allowed us to move forward in crushing their speech, but this cannot make us fall into their trap: they are handing over their rings so they do not lose their fingers.
It is an agreement created by the same parties of always, behind closed doors where they align their interests. They yield a bit to pretend something is changing, but the problems that really affect us remain intact.
First, they propose a referendum only for April next year, to consult on: a) what do you want with the new Constitution? (to approve or reject); b) what type of body should write the new Constitution? A Mixed Convention (half parliamentarians and half “citizens”) or a Constitutional Convention (100% citizens)? A referendum whose response has been clearly given by the streets for almost a month: down with the ‘80s Constitution, now! In this revolution, we are asking for a new Constitution, but we do not want the same ones of always to keep ruling us. So, before anything else, we want Piñera down! We want them all down! In other words, we do not want a Mixed Convention.
They are trying to erase the demand of Constituent Assembly of the ones below, free and sovereign, with their “Constitutional Convention” solution. And, even worst, the referendum, best case scenario, would approve such Convention, but its members would be elected in October 2020, together with the regional and municipal elections… and using the same electoral system through which we choose the deputies! So basically, the ones to write the new Constitution will be elected under the same rules of their election, which are disgustingly financed and manipulated by businessmen. Nothing deeply in favor of workers can actually come out of this.
We know that this dynamic of election of the members of the Convention is a trap. Furthermore, they set a quorum of 2/3 to pass any change. A real high proportion that can be used by the parties that are defenders of the ‘80s Constitution in their own favor.
They put a hold to social and trade-union leaders to participate of the process, with the clause that states that “People currently in public seats, elected popularly, will resign those seats at the moment their candidature to electorally serve the Constituent body is accepted.” Like this, they separate the leaders from the rank and file – or, in other words, they avoid for the rank and file to mandate the elected ones serving their demands from the beginning.
After writing the alleged new Constitution, the same ones of always will still be in power: parliamentarians, president, ministers, etc.
Although the Communist Party was not part of this Agreement in the beginning, because they believed a 2/3 quorum was high, now they acknowledged the Agreement signature and manifested to be satisfied, “as it will serve to reach agreements in favor of all parts.” This also means to mount on a process that seeks to wrap-up the struggle of the Chilean working people. A process with a pretty pretentious call but that is filled with traps so they can actually keep things the way they are now.
With this, the CP and the FA (Broad Front) are taking the role of the former Concertation in the agreed transition process, post-dictatorship. They walk towards a 2.0 agreed transition. They’re only missing the say “joy is coming.”1 We cannot negotiate anything with this Constitution and government!
Sectors of the Social Unity Roundtable (MUS,) among them port workers and teachers, criticized the agreement and called for a Constituent Assembly. It is alright to criticize the agreement, but we cannot withdraw with the demand of Out with Piñera. The MUS and unions must re-embrace the demand that came from the streets: Out with Piñera!
On the other extreme, the ultra-right wing José Antonio Kast criticized the agreement stating that he will campaign for the NO to the change of the dictatorship’s Constitution, standing “for the defense of a Constitutional system that allowed Chile to achieve peace and prosperity.” But the Chilean working people know that such peace and prosperity existed only for the powerful ones, while we live with hunger pensions and wages, indebted up to our necks and suffering scams by the multistores.2 Thus, we say to Kast that, before his campaign on the NO, we will continue to carry out a campaign for the Out with Piñera. A campaign to take everyone out and to take this dictatorial Constitution down!
From the MIT, we defend a Constituent Assembly called and organized by Popular Assemblies
No proposal for Constituent can materialize the changes we want without taking Piñera and this Congress down. They pretend to be changing something to keep everything the same. The only way to guarantee a Constituent Assembly or measures that respond fully to the workers’ needs is if we take Piñera down, together with this parliament and pro-bosses institutions, ending up with everything that the Dictatorship left.
For it to be a Free and Sovereign Assembly, it needs to be called and controlled by Popular Assemblies, with workers’ democracy mechanisms, in which the working people and youth rule and decide. We do not want a 4-representative staff to define our lives inside four closed walls. We are done with that! The ones below have the right to decide, under our own democratic methods!
The Constituent Assembly should pose the following measures:
- Cancellation of all workers’, youth and people’s debts!
- End of the AFPs, expropriation of the Pension Fund under workers’ control. Solidary distribution system, under workers’ control as well.
- Free, State-owned health, education and transportation, under workers’ control.
- End Pinochet’s Labor Code, subcontracts and informal work.
- Reduction of the work shift. Increase of the minimum wage to CL$ 600,000.
- End the TAG.3 Free highways.
- Right to self-determination of the Mapuche people. Immediate demilitarization of the Wallmapu.4
- Expropriation of the Bank. Renationalization of coal and natural resources under popular and workers’ control.
- Aggressive plan of re-nationalization: the 10 scammer, capitalist families of the main Chilean economic groups must return everything they have stolen.
- Break with the TPP and Free-Trade Agreements. End the colonization. For a second Independence.
To impose these measures, we need to continue the revolution in the streets, and carry out a great undetermined general strike, organize Popular Assemblies, and the defense of the demonstrations and population.
For a popular, workers’ government
We need to take the businessmen off the power to guarantee all our demands, and this means to destroy their corrupt institutions and replace them for others, serving the workers and popular people. For the ones below to rule, we need a socialist revolution that takes workers and the people to power. For a workers’, popular government based in Popular Assemblies!
Translation: Sofia Ballack.
- “Joy is Coming” – La Alegría Ya Viene was a single written by Sergio Bravo, which mobilized many people to vote against the dictator Pinochet, in February 1987, during the transition process.
- Multistores are online platforms that allow to manage several independent stores at the same time, through one single administration system. These stores provide a credit card (in 2009, the number of credit card not emitted by banks reached 16 million, almost the totality of the Chilean population) to facilitate the acquisition of products beyond the actual purchasing power, with deceiving contracts, major taxes, obstacles to close the accounts, etc., eventually leading to indebtedness and an economic and legal situation of suffocation. This is the scam the article refers to.
- TAG – Also known as Televía, is a device that allows the charging system of urban highways in Santiago through the free-flow technology, or moving toll.
- Wallmapu – Mapuche territory inside the Ñuke Mapu, currently militarized.