In the midst of confusion generated by the rejection of the Chilean Constitution, we are reprinting this extraordinary recap of events from 2019 until today. The article is republished from the website of the International Workers Movement (MIT) of Chile for the information of our readers.
On Oct. 9, 2019, in an interview with Mega, Piñera said that Chile was a “true oasis” within a “tumultuous Latin America.” At that time, Ecuador was experiencing a great Indigenous rebellion, Haiti was in flames, Argentina and Paraguay were coming out of major demonstrations. Ten days later, the “Chilean oasis” exploded in an uprising even greater and more violent than that of all neighboring countries. The youth were the spearhead, but millions took to the streets to say that we could no longer put up with so much exploitation and oppression. We knew that the modern country that the rulers presented abroad was not the one we lived in on a daily basis. The beautiful buildings in Vitacura or the houses in Cachagua are not the reality of the majority of the population.
Oct. 18, 2019, was the expression of a rage accumulated for decades, after many struggles where the answers were only promises and repression, after seeing how corruption scandals multiplied; how the owners of the AFPs stole our pensions; how young people went into debt for years and decades to pay for their careers. On Oct. 18, we said enough is enough!
This edition of La Voz de los Trabajadores is a special balance sheet on the main events and conclusions of the process that opened on Oct. 18, 2019.
A revolutionary process opens
In our opinion, Oct. 18 opened a revolutionary process in Chile. Why don’t we say it was a simple outburst or revolt? Because of the depth of the facts. We Chileans know better than anyone how to differentiate a simple tremor from an earthquake. In politics, we must also be able to do so.
Three characteristics of Oct. 18 are fundamental to characterize it as a revolution: (1) the enormous size, breadth and duration of the demonstrations; (2) the questioning of all the institutions and the “economic model” implemented in the country since the dictatorship; (3) the high degree of violence used by the mass movement to demonstrate its accumulated rage and defend itself from state repression. This violence in many cases was directed towards the “symbols” of Chilean neoliberal capitalism: pharmaceutical monopolies, banks, AFPs, large retail companies, state institutions, etc.
Oct. 18 was so profound that it opened a whole new period, where the masses went on the offensive and began to determine, in the streets, the course of events. As Lenin, the main leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917, said, “Those at the bottom no longer wanted to be ruled as before and those at the top could no longer rule as before.” The greatest change provoked by the “social explosion” was in the conscience of the working class and the people in general, who gave a stop to so many abuses.
To understand that a revolutionary process began in Chile does not mean that this revolution has triumphed. None of the problems generated by the “social explosion” have been solved and the possibility of a new social explosion (with similar or different characteristics to those of Oct. 18) will be raised as long as the country remains under the domination of the big businessmen. Therefore, drawing conclusions about what is happening now has a meaning: to prepare for the future.
Therefore, we will try to identify, in this text, the most decisive moments of the last years and the main changes that have occurred in reality and in the consciousness of the masses.
Chile protests: Nov. 12 and 15, 2019
One of the most important characteristics of the 18th and of the demonstrations that followed it was the absence of a leadership or direction. There were no leaders, there were no parties or social movements leading the huge mass in struggle. This “spontaneism” had two aspects, one positive and the other negative. The positive aspect is that the rulers, the institutions and the traditional parties had no way to control the popular fury or arrest one or another leader to destroy the movement. This made it possible for the masses to continue in the streets for several months, confronting the Chilean state to demand the exit of Piñera and profound social changes.
The negative aspect, however, is precisely the lack of a leadership that would carry through the struggle for Piñera’s resignation and that could lead the country to the realization of the demands raised in the streets. Thus, the very dynamics of the movement allowed the old (and young) politicians to channel the popular discontent towards an agreement to keep almost everything the same. Among the activists who were in the assemblies, town meetings, and demonstrations, there was no clarity as to which path to follow in order to triumph. Thus, this “vacuum” was filled by organizations that did have a strategy and a political program, the reformist political parties (mainly Frente Amplio and CP) and the trade-union and social organizations led by reformism (CUT, Colegio de Profesores, Coordinadora 8M, Coord. NO + AFP, etc.).
After more than three weeks of mobilizations, Nov. 12 and 15, 2019, were decisive in delimiting how the revolution would continue.
On Nov. 12, a broad sector of the working class responded to the call for a “General Strike” made by the Mesa de Unidad Social, which brought together various unions from the public and private sector and social organizations. On that day, all over the country, there were strikes in ports, subways, hospitals, schools, construction sites, etc. Some mining unions, the most important sector of the country’s proletariat due to their economic weight, joined the mobilizations, but the great majority of the mining unions abstained, due to the role of the union bureaucracy, even when the majority of the workers wanted to paralyze the work sites. The enormous power of the organized working class combined with the energy of the popular youth in different cities. In Santiago, the great march of the unions joined the youth demonstrations, which continued for hours confronting the police around the Palacio de la Moneda.
After the Nov. 12 demonstrations and protests, the government hung in the balance. Piñera threatened again to put the military on the streets, but he could not do it, since the generals themselves did not want to, knowing that if they took to the streets again it would be to carry out a massacre, which would have enormous consequences. The officers’ refusal to return to the streets was not due to any moral consideration. On the contrary, according to some newspaper reports (review the book “La Revuelta”), the military demanded that Piñera assume direct responsibility for the repression; they knew that if the people won and managed to overthrow the government, they would be punished, as has happened in other countries. What they wanted was to pass the baton to Piñera, who hesitated.
With the military refusing to return to the streets, the only options left to the government were: negotiate a great national agreement or resign. To Piñera’s salvation, the “left” and the right united to find a way out of the crisis. After intense negotiations, the Peace Accord of Nov. 15 emerged, which proposed channeling the crisis towards a New Constitution. With that, Piñera remained in government, the generals at their posts, and the institutions carried on their functions.
Nov. 12 was the peak of our struggle and demonstrated that it was possible to overthrow Piñera, win the trial and punishment of the military and politicians responsible for the repression and initiate a profound process of social change. However, the organizations that were emerging as leaders of the process channeled it towards the Peace Accord and not towards an indefinite general strike and an insurrection that could open another road to revolution.
From that moment on, the reformist organizations began their grand scheme. The Communist Party, the Frente Amplio, and the SP (Socialist Party, a directly bourgeois party but with weight in the social and trade-union movement) began to disarm the social movement and lead everything towards the Constituent Assembly. Thus, the CUT and different federations and unions led by those parties, were lowering the intensity of their calls, and in spite of their calls for new National Strikes, there was no construction at the base and the demand for Piñera’s resignation was abandoned. This situation became pathetic when, a few months later, the union bloc of the Mesa de Unidad Social (Teachers’ Association, ANEF, CUT, NO + AFP, etc.) called for an “11 minute strike” against the Piñera government.
Together with the demobilization of the union movement, these parties challenged every popular assembly, town hall, and territorial or popular organization. A large part of the popular assemblies were divided in the face of the Constituent Assembly and many began to write “from below” the New Constitution, leaving behind the plan to overthrow the government. A sector of the separatist feminist movement also played a very reactionary role, dividing many spaces of popular organization and forming separatist women’s organizations, which weakened popular organization.
After the Accord, broad popular sectors continued in the streets. Many collectives that distrusted the traditional politicians said that it was necessary to continue in the streets, but they did not have an alternative strategy or sufficient weight within the working class and the territories to impose another agenda.
The Peace Accord closes the path to real change
The Peace Accord was a brilliant move by the business class and its parties, in the first place, because it placed fundamental limits on the sovereignty of the Convention that would write the New Constitution. It prohibited the Convention from touching Free Trade Agreements (the backbone of Chilean neoliberal capitalism); it kept it subject to the Supreme Court and Parliament; and it established the ⅔ quorum for votes, which the businessmen knew would give their parties the power to block transformations affecting their interests.
In addition to all these obstacles, the Agreement included two Plebiscites, which would be new opportunities for big business to completely defeat the possibility of a New Constitution written “democratically,” which ended up happening with the victory of the Rejection.
All that “anatomy” of the Agreement had one function: to block all social changes that would mean touching the privileges of the owners of Chile—the Chilean big business and the transnationals. Boric and the Frente Amplio were fundamental to generate that “solution.” The Communist Party, although it did not sign the Agreement, came out to support it the following day with some “objections.”
From that moment on, the strategy of these parties was the one that led the process. That “institutional left” began to promote the idea that it was possible to achieve social demands without breaking with the right wing or the former institutional parties, and without confronting big business. They installed the idea that it was possible to conquer the changes in a peaceful way and through a Constituent Process under the control of the current regime.
The Constituent Process and political forces
In the first plebiscite, with the voluntary vote, more than 78% of the voters approved the need to write a New Constitution, even a sector of the right wing and all the former institutional parties, since they were betting on containing the changes within the Constitutional Convention itself. The farthest right wing (Republicans, UDI and sectors of RN) was the only one that remained in the Rejection, but was heavily defeated. The election of the constituents was also a great blow to the traditional parties, with the entry of dozens of independents to the Convention.
On the other hand, while the Constituent Process was taking place, the situation of the working class continued to worsen. The pandemic was a hard blow to the workers and the people. We had thousands of deaths; many lost their jobs or had to work in even more precarious conditions. Due to the fear of a new social outbreak, the Congress was forced to approve the withdrawals of the AFPs and some bonuses. However, there were no changes that would solve the deep social problems. Thus, the Convention continued to concentrate the discussion on the future of the country. With the decline of mobilizations, the constituents came to play an even more important role.
Several factors led to the failure of the Constituent Assembly. There was a real division of tasks between the different parties and the independent constituents so that we could reach the proposal of the New Constitution and the triumph of the Rejection.
The right wing, the main representative of big business, being an absolute minority in the Convention, attacked it from all sides. Right-wing politicians and constituents used their influence in the media to delegitimize the Convention, organizing a real boycott and taking advantage of every political event to attack the Convention members and the popular movement. Big business also attacked the Convention through the employers’ organizations, which during the whole process generated fear in the population, saying that if this or that proposal were approved, the country would enter into crisis or would be destroyed (this happened with the proposal for the nationalization of big mining, the proposal to put an end to privatized water rights, the proposals on pensions, health, education, etc.).
On the other hand, the Socialist Party and the Frente Amplio had the role of permanently negotiating with the independents to reach the ⅔ to approve the norms. The Socialist Party is also a representative of big business, despite its leftist “face.” Thus, together with the FA, they blocked any proposal that touched the interests of businessmen. In the main votes, the right wing, SP, and FA voted together—for example, against the nationalization of large copper mining, the release of Chilean and Mapuche political prisoners, the immediate end of privatized water rights, the defense of the private property of the big economic groups, etc.
The Communist Party, which threatened to besiege the Constitutional Convention with protests, never fulfilled its promise. Within the Convention, they voted in favor of some of the more “radical” proposals in order not to lose contact with the independents and not to burn themselves in the eyes of the population. However, the real role of the CP was to function as a “hinge” between the more radical sectors and the SP/FA. When the more radical positions were defeated, the CP helped to lead the negotiations between independents and parties. And while they had a radical discourse in the Convention, they did exactly the opposite in the government. While they voted in favor of the nationalization of copper, their spokesperson in the government, Camila Vallejo, said on television that there would be no nationalization, reassuring big business.
Finally, the independents also played an important role, since they concentrated a large part of the popular expectations and had many links with the territories and popular movements.
On the one hand, it is important to recognize that several of the social demands of the demonstrations were defended by the independents within the Convention and were approved, since the parties knew that they had to deliver something to contain popular discontent. Thus, measures such as free public education, the public social security system, abortion, etc. were approved. However, the independent conveners had a great opportunity to point out a path for the social movement that would go outside the SP/FA/PC bloc, but they did not do it.
At the beginning of the Convention, 34 independent constituents signed the Manifesto of the Vocería de los Pueblos, which raised six fundamental points for the advancement of the Constituent Process (liberation of political prisoners, demilitarization of Wallmapu, sovereignty of the Convention, etc.). This Manifesto was signed by more than 600 social and trade-union organizations.
At that moment, right at the beginning of the Convention, those 34 Convention members should have called for a Great National Meeting of all those organizations and prepared mobilizations to fight for those six points of unity, as well as the other demands of October. This was the position defended by our comrade María Rivera within the Convention and by the MIT in the movement.(1) However, the independents did not support it. After the publication of the Manifesto, which was a “national scandal”, the bourgeois press began to attack them forcefully. Thus, many began to disavow their support for the Manifesto. A few weeks later, when the Convention began, the independents completely adapted to the parliamentary logic of the negotiations, totally prioritizing the meetings with the FA/SP/PC to the detriment of the organization and mobilization in the streets. Thus, they lost the great opportunity to lead the social movement and go beyond the limits of the Convention itself. As a consequence, after a tumultuous start, the Constitutional Convention ended up being led by the parties that today make up Boric’s government, with the active support of the majority of independents.
The failure of a program and a strategy to conquer social changes
Here it is also fundamental to identify another element that led to the failure of the Constituent Process to generate social changes.
It is not difficult to identify the main demands of the millions of us who took to the streets—housing, public and quality health and education, better salaries and pensions, an end to pollution, access to water, etc. In the case of the Mapuche and other Native peoples, respect for their lands and territories and their cultures. None of these demands was a novelty and all parties and organizations recognize them.
The problem begins precisely with the question: how to solve these demands?
The sector that led the revolution until now had a hypothesis. According to this sector, the biggest problem in Chile was (and still is) neoliberalism. Then they proposed to increase the participation of the state in the economy and in the supply of public services and to make reforms to the state institutions to allow it to be more democratic. Thus, we would arrive at a more humane and less unequal capitalism. According to this sector, the New Constitution paved the way for this path. For them, it was possible to put an end to neoliberalism and have a fairer Chile without any rupture or confrontation with the owners of the country. That vision also gained hegemony within the social movements, in the absence of an alternative strategy and project.
Well, the New Constitution proposal materialized that project, and the Constituent Assembly baptized it as the strategy to win change in Chile.
In our opinion, neither was the Peace Accord the way to win social changes, nor was the New Constitution project the way to solve the social and environmental demands. The New Constitution, although it contained some conquests of the social struggles, had two great contradictions: It did not touch the domination of those 10 families and the transnationals over the Chilean economy as a whole, and it did not change the main state institutions responsible for maintaining that domination (Parliament, Justice, Armed Forces, police, etc.).
To be very specific in what we mean: When the issue of pensions was discussed, the majority of the Constitutional Convention refused to do away with the AFPs and transfer the funds controlled by those institutions to a state entity to be administered by active workers and pensioners. In education, the Convention refused to end public funding to the private sector. In housing, the Convention refused to put in place special rules that would allow the expropriation of large unproductive land for housing construction. In relation to the financing of social rights, the Convention rejected the nationalization of large-scale copper mining, which would make it possible to finance them.
In relation to nature, the Convention approved general measures, but rejected those that clashed most directly with big business, such as the binding participation of communities in decisions on large mining or industrial projects. With regard to political institutions, the changes were also superficial. The Armed Forces remained intact. No real measures for the trial and punishment of those who murdered and mutilated protesters were approved. The structure of the Armed Forces or the Carabineros was not democratized and no mechanisms for effective popular control of the “forces of order” were generated. In relation to Free Trade Agreements, the Convention maintained enormous power in the hands of the president and rejected all measures that required popular plebiscites for their approval. Most importantly, the Convention maintained the protection of large economic groups through the articles on private property. Thus, even if the New Constitution had been approved, the country would still be in the hands of the big monopolies.
While the New Constitution was coming out of the oven, those leading the Constituent Assembly entered the government, and their strategy for the changes was put to the test. As the weeks went by, it became evident that the government was more concerned with negotiating its reforms with the owners of the country than with improving the living conditions of the working masses. Thus, the majority of the population, dissatisfied with the government, with the Convention and influenced by the propaganda of the right wing, ended up voting Rejection of the New Constitution.
From our point of view (and this we have defended since the beginning of the revolutionary process and within the Convention), it is impossible to solve the popular demands if we do not confront the Chilean big business and the imperialist transnationals. The governments of the former Concertación clearly demonstrate that the strategy of carrying out reforms by making pacts with big business makes social transformations completely unviable. That strategy was precisely what failed with the Constituent Process and now with the Boric government. Although the Frente Amplio and the CP claim to have the intention of changing the country, it is already evident that their strategy does not lead to that. They have completely surrendered to big business.
Our intervention in the Constitutional Convention
From the beginning, we were critical of the Peace Accord and we warned the workers not to have high expectations in the Constitutional Convention. This was because there were many obstacles to obtaining real gains. For this reason, right from the start, we proposed that the Convention declare itself sovereign and take immediate measures that would benefit the majority of the working class.
On the second day of the Convention, the majority of the Convention members approved a declaration demanding that Parliament approve the bill to pardon the political prisoners of the revolution and the Mapuche and some other measures. Our comrade María Rivera did not vote in favor of that resolution and proposed another, which stated that the Convention should give Parliament a 15-day term to vote on the Pardon Bill and an amnesty for all Chilean and Mapuche political prisoners.(2) If Parliament did not approve them, the Convention, as a sovereign authority, should approve those measures and call for large popular demonstrations. This proposal did not even come to a vote, since the Convention board (Elisa Loncón and Jaime Bassa) installed a totally undemocratic measure that only proposals with 32 signatures could be voted on. Today, it is more than evident that the proposal voted by the Convention had no effect in reality, as we warned at that time.(3)
Already in August (second month), we proposed that the Convention declare itself sovereign and take the power in its hands to adopt “extraordinary measures to guarantee life in the context of a health emergency. General increase of salaries and pensions, termination of the current pension system, prohibition of dismissal for business needs, reduction of working hours without reduction of salary.”(4)
In order to bring the Convention closer to the population, we also proposed that the CC demand to the Parliament: “The immediate approval of a law to implement in each workplace a protected time of 10 hours per week for full-time workers (and proportional to the working day), without discount of their salaries, with the purpose that they can organize and discuss their needs and the corresponding changes in the future Constitution….”
None of these measures even came to a vote, due to the aforementioned rule.
In the inaugural speech, our comrade rescued the historical tradition of struggle of the workers and the Mapuche movement, stating that the only way out of the problems of Chile and Wallmapu is for the working class, allied with Indigenous peoples, to fight for power to end the domination of the 10 richest families and imperialism, aiming towards a socialist society. We also criticized the so-called socialist or communist countries, demonstrating that in all of them there are authoritarian governments or dictatorships at the service of the national or international bourgeoisies and their military, as is the case of Venezuela or Cuba.
Subsequently, we went on to denounce the fact that the New Constitution would be a dead letter if the nationalization of large copper mining, the greatest wealth of the country, were not approved, a proposal that we defended for several months. But it was rejected, with votes against it from the right wing, the former political establishment, and the Frente Amplio. In addition, many of the proposals of our comrade that would mean substantive changes for the population were rejected, such as the end of subcontracting, the possibility of expropriating large plots of land without payment of compensation to large landowners, the right to the total withdrawal of the AFPs, the end of public financing of private education, etc.
Two other measures proposed by our comrade would allow a fundamental change in the Chilean reality, placing the entire economy of the country and the state institutions at the service of the great majority of the population and not of a tiny minority that owns the large companies and banks.
The first of these generated “scandal” among the media, bourgeois intellectuals, and the majority of political parties (and even independents): the proposal to dissolve the present powers of the State and replace them with a Plurinational Assembly of the workers and peoples, with elected representatives in all workplaces, housing and in the non-commissioned officers of the Armed Forces, with revocable positions and salaries of a worker. Many politicians and intellectuals of the bourgeoisie qualified our proposal as “madness,” as something “outside the cultural margins of the country.”
We believe just the opposite. A proposal for truly democratic power passes through the demolition of all the present institutions, which are totally at the service of the big economic groups and corrupt to the core. Every week we see a new corruption scandal involving politicians, officers of the Armed Forces and the Carabineros, ministers, undersecretaries, etc. This has nothing to do with an ethical problem of the politicians; it has to do with the control of the big economic groups and money over the state institutions. There is no way to change this situation except by passing power directly to those who produce the wealth of our country, to the working class, organized in a democratic way. This proposal had 0 votes in the Political Systems Commission. None of the Convention members (not even the leftist independents who spoke of “popular power”) dared to vote in favor of it.
The second proposal, which went in the same direction, proposed to nationalize all the big strategic enterprises of the country (mining, forestry, ports, banks, AFPs, etc.) and put them under the control of the organized working class. With this measure, the economy could be planned to satisfy the housing, health, education, labor and pension needs of the majority of the population. This proposal received six votes in favor in the Environment Commission, being rejected by the majority of the Commission.
Therefore, in the last speech of our comrade Maria Rivera, we denounced the fact that the Convention had failed to structurally change the country and that both the right and the left (including independents) were responsible for this situation. From the MIT we called to vote Approve in the Exit Plebiscite, and we believe that this position was correct. This because we evaluated that the victory of the Rejection would mean a defeat for the mass movement and a setback even in the most minimal democratic measures that had been approved by the Convention, which could lead to the demoralization of thousands or millions of people who fought in the last years. This analysis is being confirmed today, since big business feels emboldened to approve even more violent measures against the people, such as the TPP11, which will put an end to what is left of national sovereignty, and there is a large sector of activism disoriented and demoralized by the defeat.
Where do we stand today?
The situation of the working class is getting worse every day. Inflation is eating away at wages, the AFPs continue to exist, and their owners continue to make millions from our pensions. The mining transnationals continue to take our copper for free. And worst of all, today we see a government completely controlled by the parties of the 30 years and consequently by the big businessmen. The hopes for change with Boric are fading fast.
The right wing has been strengthened after the first blows they suffered with the “social explosion.” Already during the Piñera government, the most extreme sectors of the right wing differentiated themselves from the government, demanding greater repression of the social movement and a harsher attack against immigrants and Mapuche autonomist groups in the south. The migratory crisis in the north of the country, which deepened the social problems in Arica, Iquique, and other cities, strengthened the right wing by stimulating a xenophobic discourse, which points to immigrants as the ones responsible for the poverty situation of the Chilean population. Thus, we saw lamentable scenes of Chilean marches against migration where even the tents of Venezuelan migrants were burned.
The increase of violence in the big cities, as a result of the increase of poverty, is also taken by the right wing to demand more investment in Carabineros, the convocation of States of Emergency and more violence against the poor and working population.
On the other hand, with the victory of the Rejection in the Plebiscite, the right wing, the intellectuals of the bourgeoisie and even of reformism say that what failed was “octubrismo” and “the most radical proposals.” They want to delegitimize the social mobilizations that broke out in 2019 and convince the workers that it is the politicians and the “experts,” the same as always, who will solve the social problems. As always, they lie to the people to maintain the privileges of the big businessmen and their own.
In our opinion, the failure of the Constituent Process and the Rejection of the New Constitution demonstrate the failure of the reformist project of the Frente Amplio/CP to conquer social changes by negotiating with the right wing, the former political establishment, and big business and not the failure of the social mobilizations as a way to conquer transformations.
We are convinced that if we had succeeded in overthrowing the Piñera government in 2019, we could have won a much more democratic Constituent Assembly, which would have the power in its hands to take immediate measures at the service of the people. As we will discuss in another article, the victory of a “free and sovereign” CA should be only a step to form a project of power of the working class and the people, because only in this way will it be possible to put an end to capitalist exploitation once and for all and build another society.
Today, big business feels strengthened by the victory of the Rejection. Gabriel Boric’s government will not solve any of the social demands and will worsen even more the living conditions of the majority of the population, since his project is to defend capitalism and big business. If before the government had the intention of making some timid reforms to pass some crumbs from big business and give them to the poorest population, now even that will not be possible, since his government is totally controlled by the former establishment. We can also expect an increase in the repression of the struggles of the working people, the youth, and the Mapuche people. It is still early to determine if the victory of the Rejection will end with such a hard blow that it closes the revolutionary process started in 2019. As we said before, the material living conditions of the working class continue to worsen and it is very likely that this will generate social struggles, independent of whether they are workers who voted “rejection” or “I approve.”
What is to be done?
The new Constituent Process being negotiated by the parties will be even less democratic than the previous one, since, by all indications, the parties of the regime will control all the quotas of the New Convention (if an agreement is reached to have a New Convention). Thus, the working class, the youth, and the people can expect nothing from that Process.
All this does not mean that we should be paralyzed, on the contrary. The discontent of our people is equal or greater than before and it is very possible that it will be expressed in different mobilizations for economic, social, environmental, etc. demands. We must overcome the fight between “those who voted “yes” and those who voted “no.” The majority of the working class voted “no,” and that does not mean that they are reactionary or with the right wing.
Union leaders committed to the social struggle, young activists, women, etc.: we must go back to the grassroots and dialogue with every neighbor, family member, and friend to explain to them that only the organized and mobilized people will be able to achieve social change.
We must patiently explain to them that all of Chile’s problems come from a common origin: the domination of the country by 10 families and some transnationals, who take all the wealth produced by the workers. The plundering of copper is of special importance, since it is the main wealth produced by our country. For this reason, the struggle for the nationalization of large copper mining under the control of workers and communities would allow us to solve a large part of the social demands and initiate a transition to another productive matrix, which does not depend on the export of raw materials and is not so destructive to nature. It is essential that we study in order to be able to give these discussions, that we manage data and information, organize talks, etc. MIT is available to support this process.
We must also explain that the failure of the Constituent Process is a victory of big business and a defeat of the project of the Frente Amplio and CP to change society. We cannot repeat the same experience nor trust in the new Constituent Process, which will be even more distant from the working people and controlled by the businessmen. On the other hand, it is fundamental that we workers are clear that the government of Gabriel Boric is against the working class and at the service of big business.
Today, Boric, Marcel, Carolina Tohá, and Camila Vallejo are the representatives of big capital in the government of Chile. Therefore, it is fundamental that our struggle be independent of the government. The social and union leaders must pay special attention to this point, since the government will try to co-opt them to take them to the dead end of negotiations, parliamentary commissions, etc., the same as the former Concertación did during the last 30 years.
During the new Constituent Process, it is fundamental that we remain organized and mobilized, fighting for the social demands that we had already conquered in the previous draft Constitution and seeking to go beyond them. However, this will only be possible if we organize the working class from below, starting from its immediate needs such as employment, wages, housing, water, the fight against sexist or xenophobic oppression, etc. The militant and democratic union leaders must begin to articulate to build a project to recover the CUT, take it out of the hands of the parties of the 30 years and rebuild a truly democratic organization that defends the interests of the workers and not the bosses. We must recover the strategy of the CUT of Clotario Blest in 1953, which raised the need to end capitalism and build a socialist society.
In every workplace, we must recover the unions for the hands of the workers, who organize assemblies to fight for their working conditions, better wages, etc. Along with this, the most conscious workers must raise the need to fight for the historical banners of the workers’ movement, such as branch bargaining, the end of subcontracting, the creation of a public and worker-controlled social security system, etc.
On Nov. 12, 2019, the Chilean working class demonstrated that when it takes action it is a very powerful force, capable of conquering enormous social changes. Therefore, we have the duty to rebuild the organization and consciousness of the workers so that we are the ones to lead a next social outburst that will inevitably happen, because the life of the working class will not improve under this system or under this state.
Finally, we also want to discuss with the thousands of activists and social fighters why it is necessary to organize politically to carry out this project. The International Workers’ Movement (MIT) is a political organization with a program for profound change in society. We want to take these proposals to the working class, to the youth, to women, to migrants, so that we can build a great social force capable of confronting the big businessmen and the transnationals, and move towards a power of the working class and the people. That was the project we defended in the Constitutional Convention and it is the project we defend in every trade-union, territorial and popular struggle. We make a fraternal invitation to all activists who have struggled in recent years and decades to get to know this project and come to build the MIT.