Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1062/29799

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2019

Chile in revolt

Chile protests 2019, photo Carlos Figueroa/CC, photo Carlos Figueroa/CC

Chile protests 2019, photo Carlos Figueroa/CC, photo Carlos Figueroa/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Tony Saunois, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) general secretary

A human sea of Chilean workers, youth, students and others flooded onto the streets of central Santiago on 25 October. It was the largest demonstration in Chilean history. Up to two million demanded the end of Sebastian Piņera's government and the convening of a constituent assembly.

This monster march followed two days of mass protests and strikes. This revolt is taking place in face of the deployment of the army onto the streets and brutal repression not seen since the dark days of the Pinochet dictatorship.

In the face of this mass revolt by the population, Piņera - who initially proclaiming the country was "at war" - has been compelled to offer concessions, ask for the resignation of his cabinet, and lift the curfew.

He pathetically apologised to the Chilean people. In an act of gross hypocrisy he said how "happy" he was at the protest on Friday because it was "peaceful". "We have learned and we have changed" he declared before scurrying back into the sanctuary of La Moneda presidential palace.

Appetite comes with eating. None of the concessions so far made by Piņera are enough to satisfy the Chilean masses who want him, his government and the ruling elite he represents gone.

Reflecting the collapse of credibility of the government the Mapuche (indigenous) people have declared that they no longer recognise it and will establish a government in their own territories. They also declared support for a constituent assembly involving Mapuches and non-Mapuches.

This social revolt in Chile has not dropped from the sky. It is a revolt against more than 30 years of vicious anti-working class, neoliberal policies (deep public spending cuts, privatisations and deregulated markets, etc) being applied in Chile.

Since the end of the dictatorship in 1989 the neoliberal politics of Pinochet's junta (1973-89) have been continued by all governments. It has resulted in an ever growing gap and inequalities between the rich and the poor.

Yet a relatively high growth rate in the economy resulted in Chile being regarded as one of the most stable Latin American countries.

Piņera and his government have been forced into a humiliating retreat, lifting the state of emergency and the curfew. However, they are not yet driven from power and capitalism still remains. The state machine is riddled with laws and supporters of the former regime.

Constituent assembly

The demand for a constituent assembly as a means of achieving democratic rights and ending the abusive exploitation of workers and their families, has won mass support.

To achieve this, a revolutionary constituent assembly is needed. No trust can be placed in Piņera or any capitalist government to convene a democratic constituent assembly. Democratically elected committees in all workplaces and districts, linked up on a citywide and national basis, is the way to ensure a genuinely democratic revolutionary constituent assembly is convened.

Despite the brutal repression, the sweep of the movement and the issues involved have begun to have an effect on sections of the state machine. Numerous incidents of soldiers joining protesters or refusing to carry out repression have taken place.

This massive movement has been a spontaneous uprising, not initiated or led by any party or social organisation at this stage. The betrayal of the Chilean workers and masses by all of the political parties which have defended the existing system is understandably reflected in a deep suspicion and even hostility to the idea of a political party and organisation.

At the same time the absence of a mass party of the working class with a revolutionary socialist programme to take the movement forward is also the weakness of this movement.

It is urgent that this struggle be channelled into a revolutionary movement to bring down Piņera and the Chilean ruling class and establish a government of the working class and poor with a socialist programme to break with capitalism.

A revolutionary socialist programme and organisation is urgently needed. Such a programme needs to include:

Read this article in full on socialistworld.net

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 October 2019:


What we think

Anti-austerity, socialist policies can be a winning formula

Mass protests rock the globe


News

Tories out now. Bin Boris. Corbyn can win with socialist policies!

39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

Argos Christmas bonus cut


Wall Street Crash

The 1929 Wall Street Crash: When the capitalist system was on its knees


Workplace news

PCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

PCS: Support Marion Lloyd - a history of workers' struggle and a programme for the future

McDonald's - Striking to end low pay

London - 'autumn of discontent'

RMT election: Fight the cuts, vote for Jared Wood

Uni workers' pay and pension strike ballot


Butterfields

How working-class tenants beat Gentrification


Black history

Black Liberation... Only possible through socialist struggle

Obituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019


International socialist news and analysis

Chile in revolt


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North socialists lobby candidate stitch-up

Selling the Socialist

Donate to fund the fightback at Socialism 2019

Chile protests - London solidarity rally


Reader's opinion

Life in the gig economy

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 October 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Chile:

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Chile in revolt

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: Uprising in Chile - Workers fight back

triangleLambeth & South West London Socialist Party: Revolt in Chile

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: World in revolt against capitalism - Chile, France, and more!

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Chile in Revolt

Government:

triangleJohnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

triangleSinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

triangleLebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division

triangleBuilding a working-class movement for Tamil rights

Workers:

triangleNorthern Ireland's strike wave

triangleAverage wages recover to pre-crisis levels - but we're still over a decade behind

triangleThis is the BBC: fight the cuts - and the capitalist media

Socialist:

triangleCongress 2020 appeal: Donate to help us renew vital resources

triangleSocialist sellers

CWI:

triangleCWI round-up

International

International

26/2/20

Germany

Germany: Right-wing terror attacks - fight racism, fight capitalism!

26/2/20

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's strike wave

19/2/20

China

Coronavirus crisis shakes Chinese regime

19/2/20

Yemen

Yemen's desperate civil war fuelled by imperialism and regional powers

12/2/20

Ireland

Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

12/2/20

Lebanon

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division

5/2/20

Israel

Israel/Palestine: Trump 'peace plan' promises further conflict

5/2/20

Syria

Syria: Assad regime consolidates power after brutal counterrevolution

29/1/20

Trump

Trump's trashing of the environment - Dump the capitalist profit system!

29/1/20

CWI

CWI round-up

29/1/20

Libya

Libya: Civil war and chaos follow interventions by world and regional powers

29/1/20

Turkey

Turkey: Reinstate union members at SF Trade Leather!

22/1/20

India

India: Huge general strike but a missed opportunity

22/1/20

Iraq

Iraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

22/1/20

France

France striker speaks: real, deep anger needs union strategy

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999