Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bolivia: Morales represses landless occupations

Statement of the ORI (International Red October)

The government of Evo Morales savagely represses workers and farmers who occupy land. Free the prisoners of struggle! For a National Committee of Struggle! It is necessary to coordinate the struggles to regroup the workers ranks and to prepare the campaign to defeat the government of the popular front!

Spurred on by the numerous declarations of the government of Evo to make an “agrarian reform”, thousands of landless farmers, homeless unemployed and even “cooperative” miners (1) , have seized land in different departments of the country. Some land has even been seized from big landowners in Santa Cruz. In Oruro too, hundreds of poor farmers, - many led by the Movement Without a Roof (2), “cooperativistas” and members of the Movement Without Land (MST), have camped in tents, facing cold and hunger in the hope that the government will make grants of land to those who have occupied it.

On the contrary, Evo Morales, the “government of the people”, the defender of the indigenous peoples ordered that the occupations be savagely repressed and the poor farmers evicted from the land which was then occupied by the military. This action of the government has already caused one death and a number of children are now missing. With tear gas, rubber bullets and dogs, the police savagely attacked the demonstration the landless peasants (MST) with their supporters and relatives staged days after in Oruro.

But not only this, in Caracollo, - a town near Oruro – there was another forced eviction and brutal repression. The government returned to attack and injure the poor farmers with rubber bullets and ferocious dogs, arresting the leaders of the MST.

Is this the government “of the indigenous people” that is going to give land to the poor farmers? Or, on the contrary, while it beats, jails or kills those poor farmers who fight for their right to have shelter, house and land to produce and to be able to live, it defends by force the private property and large farms of the big landowners. The fact is: this is the ‘agrarian reform’ of Evo Morales, representative of the big estate owners; a ‘reform’ in the service of the interests of landowners and the church.

  • No confidence in this repressive government that defends the interests of large estate owners and big farmers, the coca bourgeoisie!
  • Immediate expropriation of the properties of the landowners and big estate owners!
  • Distribute all the land among the poor farmers!

The agrarian reform that returns the land to the poor farmers will not come from the hand of Evo Morales - nor his concocted Constituent Assembly. He has demonstrated that he is representing and defending the private property of the landowners. Only a workers and poor farmers’ government based on organs of self-determination and workers and poor farmers militias, that expropriates the large estate owners and landowners, will be able to take the land for the poor farmers.

The bourgeois government of Evo Morales is already killing the people!

The government of Evo Morales is another government of the Rosca (3), a servant of the transnational companies and the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie. And as such it defends the property and the interests of the classes it represents.

We saw the so-called “nationalization” made by Evo on May 1st. It was same policy of the Chinese ex-bureaucrats who became the new bourgeoisie of the “mixed economy” when they restored capitalism in China. In Bolivia it only made the state company – YPFB - into a 51% shareholder and partner of the transnational companies that produce most of the hydrocarbons in Bolivia. Thus, this nationalization of Evo Morales, - devised and defended by Chávez, Castro and the WSF along with the fake Trotskyists - was an attempt to expropriate the heroic anti-imperialist struggle of the masses to throw out the transnational companies, to truly expropriate without compensation their assets. Instead Morales protects the right of these companies to make super profits, and in exchange for strangling the revolution, negotiates for a larger share of the profits.

Morales’ policy toward the so much promised “nationalization of the mines” of COMIBOL applies the same principle as his ‘land reform’. So not to frighten the landlords Morales will only make available the state owned barren land of the desert of the high plateau! Nevertheless, the poor farmers have already paid the price of his ‘land reform’ with their dead and wounded and imprisoned. That is the price they have paid for believing in his promises and trying to act accordingly solving the problem of land reform themselves.

On the other hand, while he promises the nationalization of the COMIBOL and all the mines, it has isolated and threatened the wage-earning miners by forming an alliance with the leaders of the cooperatives who employ thousands of rank and file cooperative workers as virtual slaves without any rights (4).

But this nationalisation promise is worthless when Morales has just granted the right to exploit the El Mutún Mountain, the greatest iron (5) reserve of the world, to the greedy imperialistic monopolies, like Jeindal Steel, in a joint venture with the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz!

It is obvious that the bourgeois semi-nationalization of Evo Morales, along with his promised nationalization of the mines and ‘land reform’, are a fraud perpetrated against the masses! They are part of a plan devised by a popular demagogic bourgeois nationalist leader to deceive the masses, so that the imperialistic monopolies, as well as the mining bourgeoisie and the great landowners, make small concessions to the masses to prevent a real expropriation of their property, and by this means are guaranteed both their property rights and their super profits.


Break with the treacherous labor leaders, agents of the bourgeoisie!

Before these serious attacks on the more radicalized sectors of the peasantry, as with the attacks on the LAB airline workers, and the health female workers in Santa Cruz, the leaders of the main workers and peasants organizations have maintained a shameful silence. Neither the COB, CODs, CORs, nor even the CSTUB have done anything to free the militants imprisoned by the ruling class. A few leaders have made lukewarm declarations of support of the members of the MST and poor farmers butally repressed by the government. But this is not enough! We need to break the silence now and turn those weak declarations of support into actions to release our prisoners from the claws of the ruling class!

The rank and file teachers of La Paz have shown they are part of the revolutionary vanguard that confronts the repressive government of Evo Morales. Nevertheless, their leaders who claim to be revolutionary Trotskyist members of the POR, did nothing to coordinate the workers struggles, not even with the militant rank and file students that the POR leads in Cochabamba and La Paz (where they are fighting against the university authorities). But this is nothing new, since the bureaucracy of Solares guarantees that the left will maintain the social peace so that the government can try to strangle the revolution and not alarm business interests.

While this situation remains, the COB does not have any weight nor the strength to attack the government because Solares –while he remains in charge - is in fact the guarantor of the destruction of the COB. Yet, the workers still see the COB as their organization. For that reason the congress of the COB planned for the 19th June, must be transformed into a congress of real rank and file delegates with revocable mandate to prepare it for the struggle against the government and the treacherous leaders. This is the only possible way to arm the the COB. Enough of bureaucratic congresses that do not serve the workers fight. For a national congress of delegates of the broad base of workers, farmers, students, etc. Unite the workers ranks and all the sectors in fight to declare war on this repressive government which represents the ruling class.

Following Evo Morales, Chávez, and all whole World Social Forum that defend the interests of the national bourgeoisie, the landowners and the imperialistic monopolies, there will be no gas for the Bolivians, nor land for the peasants, nor liberation of the nation from imperialistic oppression.

Only by defeating the “Bolivarian revolution” – the caricature of socialism of Evo Morales, Chávez, Castro and all the WSF –can the workers and poor farmers of Bolivia return to the revolutionary road of October 2003 and May-June 2005 to take up again their demands raised almost 3 years ago, and go on to the victory of the workers and peasants revolution!

For that reason, against the conspiracy that confuses the masses, there is no time to lose in reviving the semi-soviet of the El Alto workers, miners and peasants as the “headquarters of the revolution”, and to raise once more the demand:

‘Neither 30 nor 50%, nationalization!" "Kick out the transnational companies!"

  • Neither 30% nor 50%! Nationalization without compensation and under worker control of hydrocarbons, all the refineries, pipelines, oilfields, plants, facilities, and all the properties and funds of the bloodsucking transnational companies!

The only way to win minimum demands, for land, the mines, and the gas for all the Bolivian masses, health, decent jobs and wages, etc., is to return to the road of October and May-June. We have to centralize and coordinate our struggles.

It is necessary to create a National Congress of rank and file workers and peasants’ delegates to unite the worker ranks, to defeat the collaborationist leaderships, to organize a great fight to revive the road of May-June, 2005, the road to the workers and peasants revolution. A congress that unifies immediately the CODs, CORs and returns to the tradition of the revolutionary COB of the Theses of Pulacayo so that the workers can prepare for a general strike to defeat the counterrevolutionary government of the popular front and to win all our revolutionary demands:

  • Immediate nationalization under workers control of the iron deposit of El Mutún!
  • Renationalisation without compensation and under workers’ control of all the mines, LAB, Illimani Water, and all other privatised companies!
  • Down with the trap of the concocted Constituent Assembly and the autonomy referendum!
  • Immediate freedom to the poor farmers, the cooperativista workers, and of those in the Movement Without Roof and the Movement Without Land, the comuneros of Ayo-Ayo and other political prisoners in the jails of Evo Morales and La Rosca!
  • Punish the assassins of over one hundred worker martyrs of October!
  • Sack the murderous officer caste of the Armed Forces!
  • For committees of soldiers who democratically choose their officials and who send their delegates to the Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress!
  • For immediate wage increases, with a minimum wage sufficient for the family shopping basket and indexed to inflation! Reducing working hours until all who want to work have jobs!
  • Expropriate without payment of all the large estates, startong with the territories of the big landowners of the East, and distribute the land among the poor farmers! This is the only and true ‘land reform’!

Only a workers’ and peasants’ government, supported by the independently organised, armed masses, can achieve a true nationalization, fulfil the demands of October 2003 and May-June 2005, and guarantee a truly democratic and sovereign Constituent Assembly!

  • Unite now all those who are in struggle!
  • Form a National Committee of struggle!
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ORI (International Red October) Bolivia, member of the Fraction Leninist-Trotskyist, June 2006
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Notes

(1) Self-employed miners organised in cooperatives. When the Bolivian tin mines ceased to be profitable, the government “privatised” the least operative by leasing them to groups of the previously sacked miners –organised into cooperatives- to exploit the remaining few, poor, and laborious to mine, deposits of the mineral.
(2) i.e homeless movement. Many unemployed or poor employed workers do not have theur own houses – that they cannot afford an apartment or small house- and have to live many packed into each room of an old or derelict apartment-house. Or they set up cardboard, tin or adobe huts on an abandoned piece of land, risking eviction by the owner with the help of the police or the gendarmes. Or they go to shantytowns, where they are harassed by the police and the petty criminals. Like in Brazil, in Bolivia these Dwellers Without a Roof are organized in a movement.
(3) Rosca used to mean the group of very rich tin mine-owners that “owned” Bolivia and controlled governments up to the 1950s. But now the word refers to the Bolivian national ruling class, mostly landowners who are also oil barons or small partners of the oil and gas companies, and more recently, also big coca growers.
(4) While it is supposed that the cooperatives have a democratically elected and recallable board of cooperative directors as leaders, the reality is that they are led by an entrenched and treacherous bureaucracy – the equal of that of the COB that seeks agreements with the government and the ruling class. These bureaucrats act as agents of the bosses, deciding about everything (investment, purchase of tools, etc.) , not paying the rest of their fellow miners their share of profits, subcontracting other miners, etc. The rank and file cooperative miners earn even less than a common miner, because the bureaucrats use the excuse of ‘low’ profits and ‘high’ costs to rob the cooparative and fill their own pockets. They have lost the basic conditions of ordinary workers such as health services, pensions, etc. because they are legally considered as “owners”, not as workers under a boss. The same has happened – thanks to the fake Trotskyists that covered for the bureaucrats or became bureaucrats themselves – with the workers of the “recuperated” factories in Argentina, all of which have been turned into “coooperatives”.
(5) In fact, the El Mutun Mountain contains huge reserves of iron and manganese.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Long live the heroic struggle of the Chilean youth!

The only way to win: A National Joint Congress of the Workers and Students to prepare and organize the National General Strike!

More than a month! This is how long the splendid rebellion of the Chilean youth has lasted. They are the workers and poor peasants’ children who are standing up struggling for the right to study, to recover the free, public education that was destroyed and privatized by Pinochet’s dictatorship which has been extended and deepened by successive “concertacionista” governments.

On Tuesday, May 30, during the first national student strike, more than 800,000 youth went onto the streets of the cities and towns all over Chile, confronting the ferocious repression ordered by Bachelet, and the “pacos” (1) arrested more than 1,200 protesters nationwide. On June 5, hundreds of thousands of students again shook Chile from the North to the South and from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean with their second national strike.

But the policy of the pro-bourgeois and reformist student movement leadership – who decided not to mobilize the students, but told them to remain calm “reflecting on current events” inside the occupied schools – prevented the rebellious youth from taking to the streets again. The leaders were worried that the students would go on masse to the factories and the rest of the workplaces, to the hospitals, etc., to call on the workers – their parents – to join the struggle.

These treacherous leaders knew that hundreds of fighting students were willing to do that, to get all the working class to join them, because they knew how to interpret the youth’s chants:

“Copper flying in the sky, education laying on the soil!”; “Education, first to the workers’ children; only then, to the bourgeois’ ones”.
[The price of copper is sky high, education stays on the ground; fund workers’ education first, bosses’ profits from what is left]

  • No negotiation or conciliation with the government of Bachelet!
  • No to a cave in of the struggle for the free, public education!

The youth and students in their hundreds of thousands stood up in struggle, they suffered a ferocious repression and hundreds of arrests and imprisonment, they fought in La Alameda (2) and in the streets all over Chile, not to get scraps.

Millions of workers and peasants are encouraging and supporting the struggle of their children. The national general strike is the only way that the gigantic political mass struggle of the youth that is stirring the whole of Chile can break through to the rest of the working class. But the pro-bourgeois and reformist student movement’s leaderships, colluding with the union bureaucracy of the CUT, made every effort to frustrate such a workers-students alliance. Such an alliance won in the streets would have been a sure step towards the national general strike. These leaders, lackeys of the civil-military regime and of Bachelet are scared that the spark of the student movement will “set fire to the prairie”, opening a “French May” (3) that could shatter Chile to its foundation.

After the May 30 strike, Bachelet tried to curb the struggle of the youth by offering a few small concessions. But the student movement rejected those crumbs because it’s minimum demand is for a free, public education at all levels.

The splendid student strikes on May 30 and June 5 showed that it is necessary to fight for everything; that to achieve a victory in this struggle means winning free, public, education for everybody. It is clear that to meet the needs of the working class and all exploited people, it is necessary to make a national general strike of workers, students and poor peasants that continues until the downfall of the civil-military regime and its Pinochetista Constitution of the ‘80s.

The eyes of the class-conscious workers and of the revolutionary youth in Latin America and the world are watching very closely the great struggle of the Chilean students, a twin struggle to the recent heroic rebellion of the young workers of France confronting the imperialist regime of the 5th Republic.

The Chilean youth are today the vanguard of the struggle against the regimes and governments in Latin America which try to hide behind a “socialist” or “nationalist” disguise – as Bachelet does – that they are really the servants and partners of imperialism. That is why the struggle of the Chilean youth belongs to the working class in Latin America as well as the worldwide working class.

No private charity will replace the education we demand!

The Pinochetista dictatorship destroyed free, public education in Chile by means of the repressive 1980 Constitution (sanctioned by the military dictatorship but agreed to by all the concertacionista politicians). By means of the LOCE (see footnotes 4 and 5) that the infamous Constitution of the ‘80s consecrates, education ceases to be a responsibility of the state. Education was put in the hands of the municipalities and then privatized and transformed into a “service” to be bought and sold. (6)

Any one that wants to, if they have enough money, can open a school or a college, collect fees, and also ask the state for a helping hand in the form of a subsidy which is added to the money from the fees to constitute a profitable business. If you can pay, you study. If you cannot, you don’t study.

Privatization is prevalent, from the kindergarten to the university. Besides, the selective entrance to the university (7) has been ratified by the PSU (Prueba de Selección Universitaria, or Exam for the Selective entrance to the University), which is also a paid service. Other means of “selection” are the fixed number of places in the different colleges, fees, etc. This has been retained and implemented more widely by the successive governments of the “Concertacion” from 1990 on. A worker has to pay no less than a 15% of his/her miserable salary to ensure even the most elementary education for his/her children!

The ‘80s Constitution and the civil-military regime that supports it have already made working families suffer the worst deprivations. Public, free education has been destroyed; the working class has been transformed into miserable wage-slaves; the small peasants have been robbed of his/her land; and Chile has been chained to imperialism by two rounds of FTA ‘agreements’. The hundreds of thousands of students whose struggle is being supported by millions of exploited in Chile, have understood the character of their struggle and what is actually at stake in it.

The concertacionista “Bushelet” (8) government has also understood. It is ready to concede on some partial, secondary demands, handing out some crumbs, and putting in place a commission that could conciliate with the reformist and pro-bourgeois currents active within the student movement. The government speaks about reforming the LOCE to deceive the hundreds of thousands that are protesting, in the same way that they tried to deceive the striking contract workers that were struggling against the Subcontracting Law.

The government of Bushelet and its agents within the student movement are trying to disarm and break up the great political mass protest of the Chilean youth. With a fraudulent and devious plan they want to prevent the spark of the insurgent youth from setting fire to the prairie of the exploited masses in Chile, that could jump the fence of the notorious civil military concertacionista regime and turn it to ashes.

The magnificent rebellion of the youth, in their struggle for education has shown clearly that on one side of the barricade there are the militant students together with the workers and the poor peasants, and on the other side, the Pinochetista-concertacionista regime, its government, its parties, and their agents, the union bureaucracy and the pro-bourgeois and reformist leaderships of the student movement. The heroic and massive struggle of the Chilean youth must not be sacrificed to the class interests of this infamous regime.

  • A free, public education at all levels: that is not negotiable! Down with the LOCE (4) !
  • Down with the Constitution of the ‘80s (5) that consecrates the LOCE!


Down with the class collaborationist leadership of the student movement!


Our enemies have stolen our education, our jobs, our wages and our land: Let them not steal our struggle! The gigantic political protest of the rebellious youth must not be surrendered to Bachelet through negotiation in her “Consultant Council for Education”. There they will only discuss the handing out of miserable crumbs and cosmetic reforms for keeping in place the substance of the private and elitist education that the bosses and the imperialist monopolies demand for Chile.

After the second great student walkout, “Bushelet” set a devious trap for expropriating the heroic struggle that is being fought for free, secular, public education. She has rallied support of the pro-bourgeois and reformist leadership of the student movement for the “Presidential Consultant Council for Education” by announcing that she will appoint to it 6 high school student leaders and 6 university student leaders. There in the headquarters of power of the murderous civil-military regime, she will try to sacrifice the heroic struggle of the Chilean youth.

We are then before a new trap designed to finish the privatization of education as a lucrative business for the imperialist monopolies and the Chilean bosses. It is a trap to get the students out of the streets and prevent them from joining with the workers movement for a great national general political strike which could defeat the ‘80s Constitution, the regime and the government, and win free, public education and all the demands of the exploited. Therefore anybody that defends this devious negotiation – like the leaderships of the CUT, the CP, the pro-bourgeois and reformist leadership of the student movement – proves they are the agents of this repressive ‘Bushelet’ regime.

  • Down with the “Consultant Council for Education”!
  • For a national student congress, with mandated, recallable rank and file delegates, elected by the assemblies of militant high school, university and technical college students!


Down with the trap of the negotiations and the “Consultant Council”

No to any meeting, negotiation or conciliation with the government, which goes to Washington to lick Bush’s boots while receiving in its backrooms the leaders of the “Concertacionista” parties’ youth, including those of the CP’s, and violently represses youth in the streets with the murderous “pacos”, jailing the students, and at the same time keeps locked up the Mapuche comuneros (9) and the rest of the political prisoners!

On Friday, June 9, the pro-bourgeois and reformist leadership of the student movement that dominates the ACES (Asamblea Coordinadora de Estudiantes Secundarios, or Coordinating Assembly for High School Students) (10) announced that they were calling off the walkouts and the sit-ins, and that the struggle had ended because they were going to meet Bachelet and the regime’s parties within that “Council”. But to be able to call off the struggle, they had first to destroy every direct democracy organism born in the heat of the struggle of the rebellious youth.

These class collaborationist leaderships are nothing less than the agents of the Pinochetista-concertacionista regime’s parties – the Christian Democrats, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and also the Pinochetista parties as the UDI (11) or RN (12) – within the student movement. The ACES, a completely bureaucratic and unrepresentative organization that they have put in place, is a miscarriage produced by the defeat of the great student struggles of 2004 and 2005, which were also unashamedly betrayed by these leaderships.

These agents of the regime within the student movement and their ACES are supported and backed by all the reformists: the CP, the Castroite and Anarchist organizations, the MPMR (13) and also by the ex-Trotskyists, as Clase contra Clase (14) that praises this student leadership that has just openly betrayed the greatest struggle of the Chilean youth in the last few decades.

  • Get the unrepresentative student delegation out of the negotiation board with the repressive government that is starving the Chilean people!

To continue struggling, to win, the militant students need the widest direct democracy in order to create their own organizations to coordinate and centralize the struggle.

  • For a national student congress, with delegates mandated and elected by the rank and file who create a truly representative CES (Coordinadora de Estudiantes Secundarios, or High School Students’ Coordinating body) in each town and city, coordinated and centralized regionally and nationally!
  • For General assemblies at each College, Department and University to achieve truly representative bodies of delegates in every Chilean university, coordinated nationally by a great national student congress of rank and file delegates who should have a mandate and be recallable!
  • Only representatives that are mandated by a broad, direct democracy among those that are struggling can truly represent the rebellious and heroic Chilean youth.
  • To win and achieve all the demands of the exploited, the only way is to organize and deepen the struggle for a national general strike.
  • For a national congress of delegates of the rank and file of the workers, the students and the poor peasants to obtain it!

We have to fight for the heroic student movement to attain a higher level of organization through direct democracy.

They didn’t take to the streets for more than a month, nor struggle in La Alameda, Valparaiso (15), Arica, Temuco (16), etc., to end in this treacherous negotiation, this sell-out “Council”!

If the student movement breaks this trap, it could converge again with the workers movement, the Mapuche people and the poor peasants, and prepare a decisive struggle that could end in victory. But the union bureaucracies, as well as the class collaborationist leadership of the student movement, want the Chilean masses to believe that the demands of the different sectors are different and so the struggle and the negotiations must be done separately.

That’s a lie! Stop deceiving and isolating those who are struggling! Stop negotiating separately, stop weakening and strangling the struggles! For one demand, by one, united movement of students, workers and poor peasants!

  • Down with the Organic constitutional Law on Education created by the ‘80s Constitution! For a public (state), free and secular education at all levels!
  • Down with private education: immediate statization (17) without pay of all the private schools, colleges and universities, under control by the students, the teachers and the worker organizations!
  • Down with the PSU! Free (unrestricted) entrance to university!
  • Public, free education must be financed through the rejecting of the external debt, heavy taxes on the big bourgeoisie and the banks and the reduction of 80% in the military budget (this budget today finances the mercenary Chilean Armed Forces that work in the service of Her Majesty the Queen of England and the mass murderer Bush)!
  • Stop robbing the workers’ miserable wages and the poor peasants’ empty pockets by making them finance the education of their children!
  • The huge copper profits must be used for the workers and their children’s health, education, decent jobs and living wages!
  • For the complete renationalization (18) of copper, without compensation and under worker control, breaking with all the FTAs that help the imperialist monopolies to plunder our nation.
  • Down with the barbaric law on subcontracting devised by the slave bosses and “Bushelet’s” government! Equal pay and labor conditions for equal work. Everybody on the normal payroll, and working under collective bargaining agreements!
  • The Mapuche nation-people must be have their land returned; land for the poor peasants, through the expropriation of the big landowners and the imperialist monopolies!
  • Immediate freedom for the student and Mapuche movement fighters imprisoned, and for the rest of the political prisoners! For the dissolution of the murderous police of Pinochet-Bachelet!
  • For worker-student self-defense committees to defend ourselves from repression by the “pacos” and from the fascist gangs of neo-nazi thugs harboured in the municipalities, the police stations, the military headquarters and the ANI (Agencia Nacional de Inteligencia, or National intelligence Agency)!

Any struggle for the most elemental demands of the Chilean students, workers and exploited – for education, for land, for decent jobs and wages, against the imperialist rule – will inevitably confront the civil-military regime, and these demands would only be achieved by defeating this regime, that is, demolishing every part of the government and its Constitution.

By fighting in the streets, the student movement has won the right and has the authority to call the Chilean working class and exploited people to work together to prepare and make a national general strike.

The general strike must be voted in assemblies in all the factories, the ports, the schools, colleges and universities, in all the fighting organizations of the Mapuche and the poor peasants!

The spark of the struggle was begun in San Antonio, where the students, health workers, teachers and lecturers, unemployed, etc., created a united organization of struggle, the MASA (Movimiento de Acción Social por San Antonio, or Social Action Movement for San Antonio) which coordinated the demands, and united the marches where everybody marched hand in hand in the streets to the port in that city.

In Concepcion (19) , the massive mobilizations in the streets, the demands of the workers, the high school and university students, converged. This is the method that has to be generalized and deepened: from the student assemblies and the sit-ins of the schools and colleges, it is necessary to march on the factories, the workplaces, to go to the workers, and to vote together for the national general strike and for a national congress of workers, students and poor peasants!

The union bureaucracy of the CUT has betrayed the students’ struggle, by refusing to call for a general strike that remains until it is victorious. The pro-bourgeois and reformist leadership of the student movement also betrayed it handing it over to “Bushelet” and Co., through the deceitful negoatiations and “Council”. All of them have proved once more to be faithful servants to the civil-military regime and its government.

  • Enough of union bureaucrats that surrender all the struggles of the workers, supporting the Pinochetista regime and its government, and preventing the students and workers from uniting to win!
  • Enough of class collaborationist student leaderships, that give in the heroic youth rebellion!
  • We have to impose a national congress of the Chilean workers, students and peasants of rank and file delegates, to attain the national general strike, in order to triumph!
The huge majority of the workers and the exploited people look upon their struggling children’s demands and feel them as their own.

The only true solidarity and support is that the working class take in their own hands their children’s struggle! Because to win it is necessary to attack the interests and the property of the exploiters who support and benefit from this iniquitous regime against the Chilean youth! And this can only be done by the working class with their class methods, as the leader of all the exploited, by means of the national general strike against the regime and the government of the FTA, that starves the workers and the common people and plunders the Chilean nation.

  • Let the spark of the student rebellion set on fire the prairie of the class struggle together with the workers and all the exploited! Let’s go on an indefinite general strike!
  • National Congress of workers, students and peasants, to put again in place the glorious “Cordones Industriales” (workers’ revolutionary councils) of 1973!
  • Long live worker and peasant Chile, with its upsurging students and youth!
  • In the heat of the Chilean youth’s rebellion and of the militant struggles the Chilean working class is fighting, let’s set up a new, internationalist, revolutionary workers party in Chile!
The heroic rebellion of Chilean youth belongs to the Latin American revolution that has begun!

The heroic rebellion by the Chilean youth is another episode, a link in the chain of revolutionary struggles by the workers and exploited in Latin America, which has had its sharpest episodes in the last few years in Ecuador, Argentina and in the great Bolivian revolution. All the reformist leaderships of the CUT and the student movement have shown once more that they are servants to this infamous civil-military regime, which is as bad at exploiting and repressing workers to allow the plunder of the nation’s resources as the mineowner regime and Goni’s lackey government in Bolivia – the government that was defeated by an mass insurrection in 2003.

With their conciliations and negotiations, the servants of the civil-military regime aim to stop Chile from becoming a new revolutionary Bolivia with the workers and exploited getting rid of the pro-imperialist and repressive governments.

The coordinated action of the treacherous leaderships in the continent, united in the World Social Forum, has so far succeeded in strangling the Revolution in Argentina, and in containing it in Ecuador and Bolivia.

Today these leaderships are determined to prevent the Chilean workers from entering the same road opened by our worker and peasant sisters and brothers in 2003 in Bolivia. But despite their actions, the Latin American revolution has revived, each time more vigorously, in the splendid struggle of the Chilean youth, in the opening of the Mexican mine, steel and educational workers, and above all, in the struggle of the Latino immigrant workers in their millions that in US –the heart of the imperialist beast!

These WSF leaderships are guarding the pockets of the bankers and the corporations that reap millions thanks to the privatized education in Chile and steal this country’s copper, natural resources and produce. None of these concertacionista leaderships, nor any of the union bureaucracies that lead one of the most exploited worker movements in the world, could lead or even support the heroic revolutionary struggle of the rebellious Chilean youth. Nor could they lead or support the heroic struggle of the thousands of the miners in the subcontracting copper companies, or that of the poor peasants and the Mapuche people for their land.

Against those that divide the fighting masses, against those that sell-out all the efforts and energies of the militant workers to kneel at the feet of the Pinochetista Constitution and the “sacred” FTA of Bush and Bachelet’s, we should set up – from the barricades of El Teniente in Rancagua and La Andina in Los Andes mines (20); from the struggle of the thousands of dockworkers and sailors in the Chilean ports, from the revolts in the factories against slavery; from the barricades of the students’ struggle today – a new revolutionary leadership of the Chilean exploited masses capable of victory.

The working class and the rebellious youth need a new, revolutionary workers party.

The forces achieve that are already there. The Partido Obrero Internacionalista (CI) (Internationalist Worker Party (FI) of Chile, a member of the Fraccion Leninista Trotskista (Leninist Trotskyist Fraction) looks forward to converging with those forces, because the only thing that prevents the struggle the Chilean exploited from winning are the treacherous leaderships. They divide our struggles and betray our demands.

Therefore we call the student youth from the high schools, the universities, the technical institutes that are struggling, we call the old and young workers that do not negotiate crumbs, we call every one of them that truly want to enter the fight to win, to build together a winning strategy. We call them to organize together, hand in hand in the same struggle, to set up that new, revolutionary party that the Chilean working class and its vanguard – the youth – need and deserve today in order to win. A party that from now on, in the current struggles, tells the truth to the rebellious students, to the workers and the poor peasants: if the workers and the poor people are to live, the civic-military regime, its ‘80s’ Constitution and all its lackeys must be defeated.

Only our own government, a revolutionary worker and peasant government based on the mass organizations built through direct democracy and armed militias, will allow us to achieve our goals. Only a government won and built on the ruins of this infamous regime that make us slaves and surrenders the nation to imperialism will be able to achieve the break with the FTA; guarantee the re-nationalization without compensation and under workers control of copper; give land to the poor peasants, decent jobs and living wages to the workers; free and quality education and health for all the exploited.

  • Public, free education must not be negotiated!
  • The wages and the jobs of millions of workers and exploited must not be negotiated!
  • The blood that has drenched our country must not be negotiated!

This is the exact moment to conquer a new revolutionary regroupment of the combative worker and student vanguard. Hundreds of thousands of workers and youth are ready and eager to enter the combat and to deepen the struggle.

The POI (CI) of Chile, a member of the LTF, puts itself in the frontline alongside the other revolutionary fighters to prevent our misleaders from selling out our demands to this repressive regime.

Against the treacherous negotiation, let’s set up a great National Student Congress to prepare a great struggle. Against the divisions imposed by the lackey union bureaucracies, let’s set up a great national congress of workers, students and peasants. It is necessary to prepare a new and powerful assault by the masses, only thus we could see the beginning of the fall for this murderous civic-military Pinochetista regime.

  • Down with the negotiations!
  • The only solution for winning the struggle is to prepare and organize the indefinite general strike.
June 12, 2006.-
LENINIST TROTSKIYST FRACTION

Partido Obrero Internacionalista (CI) of Chile
Liga Obrera Internacionalista (CI)-Democracia Obrera of Argentina
Liga Trotskista Internacionalista (LTI) of Peru
Octubre Rojo Internacionalista (ORI) of Bolivia
Fraçao Trotskista (FT) of Brazil
Communist Worker Group (CWG) of New Zealand


NOTES

(1) Popular and derogatory name given to the police in Chile.
(2) Santiago de Chile’s main avenue. It is lined with poplars (“Alamos” in Spanish).
(3) Remember Paris, 1968!
(4) The Constitutional Organic Law of Education set in the Constitution of the ‘80s.
(5) The privatization of education was established by the dictatorship and consecrated in the constitution approved through a consensus (“concertación”) between the pinochetista parties and the so called “democratic” (indeed “concertacionista”) ones, the Christian-Democratic Party and the Socialist Party, with the acquiescence of the powerful Communist Party (which dominates the unions and all the popular organizations). This constitution has set the shape of the Concertacionista regime, granting a soft transition between the dictatorship and the “democratic” (actually, thoroughly Bonapartist) governments, and the perpetuation of the anti popular and anti working class changes introduced by the dictatorship to comply with the orders of imperialism.
(6) Latin American countries, and especially some of them, like Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, etc., have a long and strong tradition of excellent public education at all levels, completely free, funded by the state at national and provincial level with a large part of their budgets. This funding was reduced during the second half of the Twentieth Century, particularly where dictatorships were established. Privatization, however, was insignificant, but began in earnest when the state began to increasingly fund the military and cut the education budget. Following the historic defeats of the masses in the ‘70s, public education collapsed and its privatization, with some differences country by country, became the norm. The first step was generally to ‘devolve’ schools and/or universities from the national or provincial budget to the municipal budget. When the cities and towns could not afford to fund education at all levels, resulting in a declining standard of education, or the closure of schools, this opened the opportunity for the private sector. In some countries education is still partially in the hands of the state (for example, in Argentina) but the governments do all they can to make the students pay for their public education, or to transfer public education into the hands of the corporations which “generously” fund some schools (especially technical schools) or universities so that public education comes tio openly serve private profits. In Chile all the kindergartens, elementary and high schools, and most of the universities, are in private hands, and the few public schools and universities are not free. The loans the poor students must pay back if they want to study – funded by the big, imperialist Banks – transforms youth into life-long slaves of the corporations.
(7) The free (gratuitous), public education was complemented with a free (without a selective exam) entrance into the university, as it was supposed that those who had approved their high-school studies had the ability to do tertiary study.
(8) Bachelet’s family name has been distorted to link it to Bush’s by the students’ creative genius, making it “Bushelet” in chants and placards.
(9) “comuneros”, people that live in a community, being an ethnic community or that of poor peasants or rural workers.
(10) A bureaucratic organization where only 4 high school delegates for each Region (province) and 4 for Santiago are allowed… while there have been hundreds of thousand fighting students, who have elected thousands of delegates in the assemblies and the sit-ins of the schools, in the universities, etc.!
(11) Union Democrática Independiente, Union of Democratic Independents.
(12) Renovacion Nacional (National Renewal).
(13) Movimiento Popular Manuel Rodriguez, a loud speaking, theatrically leftist-populist organization, heir to a guerrilla movement of the ‘80s that helped to abort the workers uprising of those years by forming the vanguard that isolated and contained the strikes and all kinds of working class actions from the masses, neutralising the struggles. It had its origins in the CP.
(14) Class against Class or CcC; this is the fraternal organization to the Argentinean PTS. It is a member of the leftist coalition headed by the CP, the PODEMOS! (“We can!”).
(15) An important port near Santiago de Chile.
(16) Arica and Temuco, are the main Chilean cities and ports in the north, having important working class concentrations (fishermen, dockworkers, sailors, industrial workers, etc.). They have been epicenters of two of the most combative students rebellions.
(17) In Spanish there us a difference between “statization” where the state takes charge of an enterprise, land, etc., and “nationalization” which could mean a foreign company taken over by a national, yet private company.
(18) Today copper is formally in Chilean hands, through the Coldelco, the state copper company. But really copper concessions go to a few imperialist companies to super-exploitation. These companies pay a relatively small royalty while taking the lions share of the copper profits without regard to the people of Chiles interests.
(19) One of the most important ports in Chile.
(20) The most combative mines in the recent struggle of the subcontract miners. El Teniente in itself has a long tradition of working class combats over the whole 20th century and the start of the 21st century too, having suffered cruel repressions in the past.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Free Mapuche Political Prisoners Now!

IMMEDIATEAND UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM FOR MAPUCHE (1) POLITICAL PRISONERS HOSTAGES OF THE PINOCHETISTA-CONCERTACIONISTA (2) REGIME UNDER “SOCIALIST” BACHELET, A TRUE SERVANT OF IMPERIALISM!

Not one more day for workers and anti-imperialist fighters in the jails of the Concertacionista governments (Pinochetista regime’s administrators)!
Out with the transnational companies from Chile and Araucania! (3)
Out with imperialism from Latin America!
Out with the GOPE (4) and their Pinochetista repression of Araucania!
For the self-determination of the Mapuche Nation-People!
For the immediate return of the stolen lands of the Mapuche people!


More than 60 days have passed since The Mapuche political prisoners Juan Carlos Huenulao, Florencio Jaime Marileo, Juan Patricio Marileo and Patricia Troncoso went on hunger strike. This desperate and brave action started March 13 within the Anglol jail in the 9th region, to demand their freedom after being condemned in 2005 to 10 years and 1 day in prison and forced to pay a fee of 425000000 Chilean pesos (approximately 850,000 US dollars).

The regime accused them of attacking in 2001, 100 hectares of forest of the transnational company Matte Mininco. They were applied together with ten other anti-imperialist militants the severe “Antiterrorist Law”, imparted by Pinochet himself in 1984, during the bloody years of military dictatorship. This law was “rectified” by the Christian Democratic concertacionista government of Frei in 1997-98.

This imperialistic capitalist system with its thirst for profits has turned our country -like the rest of the world- into a dirty prison. To the jails of this prison capitalists push the people who say STOP! after having endured unheard suffering, submission, robbery, repression, exploitation and oppression. Jail is what the system schemes for them if they confront imperialism and its client states, regimes and government, if they defy their agents in our ranks, the reformist leaderships and union bureaucracy in order to recover what was grabbed from them; if they take the law into their own hands and aim to expropriate the expropriators of the working class and the poor people !

In the US this absolutely reactionary system has sent the Homeland Security special police into Latin neighborhoods, who have arrested 1,100 ‘illegals’ after the immigrants’ demonstrations on April 10. In France 4000 young workers (800 are still in prison) were arrested during the riots in November, 2005. The same happened in last March-April.

Late last April Bush lackey Fox government In Mexico, killed two striking miners at Sicartsa, leaving other 2 with life-threatening injuries. Today this repression continues against the militant street vendors in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco who are supported by the workers and students(5). In Bolivia Evo Morales government sent military forces to break LAB airline workers’ strike. At the same time, Morales shamelessly asked for Mapuche prisoners freedom… while he is keeping in jail the “comuneros” from Ayo-Ayo, Bolivia!

The imperialist system is also responsible for the repression, imprisonment, tortures and all kind of genocidal activities against all those who fight for the independence of the Basque Country, Ireland, Chechnya, Kurdistan; etc.; also against the Palestinians fighting for the destruction of this Bush’s gendarme in middle east, the Zionist-fascist state of Israel.

In our country, “socialist}” Lagos and Bachelet, are completing the process of making Chile into a stronghold of imperialism in Latin America (The 53rd star on the US flag, another treasure chest of the British imperialist pirates’ and a viceroyalty of the Spanish monarchy…). They have committed themselves to a terrible Pinochetista repression, using the police apparatus formed during the military dictatorship to attack the striking subcontracted miners of La Andina and El Teniente, Codelco’s copper mines.(6) They are using the police to repress the college and high school students and building a police state in the Mapuche communities by means of the GOPE. There the special forces are ambushing and killing militants as they did to the young martyr to the Mapuche cause, Alex Lemun in November, 2002.

Bachelet has avoided speaking about the hunger strike of the Mapuche political prisoners. A government spokesman, Lagos Weber, however, said that: “The prisoners are serving a sentence required by the state penal justice”. Meanwhile, senators and deputies of the SP, the PPD and even the Christian Democrats,(7) are hypocritically proposing reforms in the “excessively harsh” Antiterrorist law. Moreover, the Public Ministry (8) and the Forest Mininco Co. propose diminishing the charges on the comuneros,(9) and the so much hated Interior (Homeland Security) Minister Andres Zaldivar today promotes a “socialist concession” that would allow the prisoners to be transferred to the Work Training Center (CET) at daytime while returning them to jail at nigh. A truly ridiculous proposal!

This way they hope to carry out the white-washing of the Pinochetista-concertacionista regime based on the 1980 Constitution to continue oppressing the Mapuche nation-people for the sake of imperialism. To make this anti-worker and anti-popular regime more acceptable to the masses the CP and the CUT,.(10) through their agenda “For more Democracy and Social Justice”, are promoting reforms to the electoral-binomial system,(11) to the pension funds, the subcontracting labor law.

This colonial regime - the executive branch and the parliament as well as the justice system--, like all the Latin American regimes under imperialism, cannot even grant the most elementary demands to the masses.

For example, the World Social Forum has declared the maximum expression of democracy to be the Bourgeois Constituent Assembly of Evo Morales..-an Institution to subordinate workers´ demands to the imperialist oil companies and the bosses’ association of Santa Cruz.

But in our country as in the rest of Latin America, the democratic demands for true justice, free elections, adequate pensions not subject to fraud, land and national rights of the Mapuche and other Indian peoples, can only be fulfilled by joining the working class, the peasantry and the Mapuche people in an all out struggle to defeat the Pinochetista regime and setting up their own workers’ and peasants’ government.

The imprisoned Mapuche comrades, who have been in prison since 2002, have adopted such an extreme measure as a hunger strike,(12) because the organizations that claim to defend the working class, the peasantry and the people’s rights have turned their back on the struggle for the land rights and self-determination of the Mapuche from the Chilean State, as they had always done before.

In 2004 the same happened to the political prisoners of the “democracy”. After 15 years in jail, they went on the longest hunger strike in Chilean history. It lasted 74 days, during which they were left to their fate by the CUT, the CP, the Confech, the different union federations, etc.(13) While they were giving a lip service “support”, they shamelessly said that solution would come through parliament. But life has shown that the only way to free our class sister and brothers from the jails of the regime is direct action, strikes, protests, the mobilization of millions in the streets, fighting for their freedom and setting up dual power institutions based on workers democracy and workers power to set them free.

The CUT, the CP, the Confech, the different union federations, etc, have in their hands the possibility of doing that. All those who are for the Mapuche political prisoners’ freedom, must break up with the regime and the government. Break up with all kind of conciliation and collaboration with bourgeoisie and call for assemblies, protests and strikes to demand the immediate and unconditional freedom of the militant comrades in jail!

With every new struggle (14) the Mapuche political prisoners have aroused increasingly militant solidarity to their fight for freedom, not only in our country but all around the world as well. First there were the comuneros of Arauco and Collipulli who together with relatives and friends have taken the demand for their immediate freedom in Temuco streets. Then the students from Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO) set up barricades, hurled stones and recently took the Andrés Bello campus to the shout of “Free the Mapuche in struggle”. The students from the Catholic University of Temuco (UCT) occupied their university to demand the release of the striking prisoners. From the Arica students at the University of Tarapaca (UTA) to the Iquique students at the University Arturo Prat (UNAP) to the students of the Pedagogical College in Santiago, the same as the students of the UTEM, the USACH and of the University of Chile, the majority of the university students have joined the fight for the Mapuche prisoners’ freedom. (15)

Beyond Chile the support is growing. In Argentina different activities have taken place such as the occupation of the Chilean consulate in Bariloche; marches and forumswere held in Buenos Aires. The same takes place in Europe. These actions confirm how important for workers and common people the Mapuche cause is. Even so, this is not enough to set them free. The Mapuche political prisoners as well as the internationalist militiamen in Guantanamo, the political prisoners of the Basque country, and the comuneros of Ayo-Ayo, Bolivia have turned into a symbol of the struggle to set free all the anti-imperialist worker and popular fighters all over the world who are now the hostages of the class enemy. To set them free it is necessary to build an international coordination of all workers, farmers, peoples’ and student organizations in struggle. Only thus we will be able to fight for their freedom until no militant for the exploited and oppressed of the world is left rotting in the jails of imperialism and its client regimes and governments!

  • Immediate and unconditional freedom for all Mapuche political prisoners, the imprisoned internationalist militiamen in Guantanamo, the Ayo-Ayo prisoners in the jails of Evo Morales, the Basque prisoners of the Spanish monarchy and the PSOE, and to all the political prisoners in the world!
  • Stop all persecutions, occupations, demolitions, humiliations and murders against the Mapuche People-Nation! GOPE out of Araucania! For immediate self-determination for the Mapuche People-Nation!
  • Stop the Homeland Security forces invading Latino neighborhoods in the US! Not one immigrant jailed or deported in the US! We demand the immediate release and citizenship rights for the jailed undocumented immigrants!
  • Down with the repression launched by US puppet Fox in Mexico against the miners of Sicartsa and the people of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco! Immediate freedom and dropping of charges against the miners’ leader Napoleon Gomez Urrutia and the 217 imprisoned in San Salvador Atenco and in Texcoco!
  • Hands off Haiti all the imperialist troops! ¡Out with all the occupying troops of Bachelet, Lula and Kirchner, mercenaries of imperialism!
  • For the military defeat of the imperialist troops in Iraq! Out with the imperialist troops of Afghanistan and the entire Middle East! Hands off Iran all the warmongering US, British and French imperialists!

For the worker and popular fighters in the five continents to be set free and continue fighting hand in hand with the world proletariat, imperialism must die!

11 May 2006. Partido Obrero Internacionalista – Cuarta Internacional (Fracción Leninista Trotskista)

NOTES

(1) Mapuche Nation. The Mapuche constitute the main indigenous group in Chile. The Mapuche indigenous people while extending over much of the Andes up into Bolivia are concentrated in the south of Chile in Araucania and Patagonia.

(2) Pinochetista -concertacionista means the regime that came after Pinochet’s but which followed his 1980 Constitution (that in turn was born from a consensus among the military together with their non-military partisans on one hand and the center-left parties on the other, with the acquiescence of the CP). The “concertacionista” parties (that is, the center left parties that pacted with the military the binomial electoral system that guaranteed the dictatorship a soft landing) were up to know the Socialist Party and the Christian Democratic Party, the PPD (Party for Democracy) and a bunch of very small parties that come basically from splits of the former two. From the electoral campaign of Bachelet’s the CP has become in its own right a concertacionista party in exchange for the promise of being allowed to get some seats in the parliament thanks to the reformed electoral system (see note 10).

(3) Araucania: The southern portion of the Chilean territory that is claimed by the Mapuche Nation as their ancestral land.

(4) Grupo de Operaciones Policiales Especiales (Special Police Force Group): the GOPE became operational in 1980 after receiving training from German and Israeli SF Teams. They are primarily a Special Forces/Commando unit but are also responsible for counter-terrorist duties in government and diplomatic buildings. GOPE's 100 man strength is roughly divided into four 25-man teams.

(5) More than 250000 miners and steelworkers walked off the job between March 1-3 in wildcat strikes at 70 companies in eight states from central to northern Mexico, virtually paralysing the mining industry. The industrial action by members of the National Union of Mining and Metallurgical Workers of Mexico (SNTMMRM) resulted from both labor union and political causes. The explosion and cave in at the Pasta de Conchos mine in San Juan de Las Sabinas, Coahuila in northern Mexico on Febuary 19 killed 65 miners. After General Secretary Napoleón Gómez Urrutia had denounced the “accident” as an “industrial homicide”, blaming the owner of the mine, Grupo Mexico mining company, the government aimed to replace him with Elías Morales Hernández, a union dissident who is reportedly backed by this corporation. In many mining towns and cities the miners marched and rallied demanding not only the restitution of their leader but also safer conditions.At the beginning of April, miners and steel workers launched a series of strikes for union autonomy. On April 20 eight hundred state and federal police launched an assault on 500 striking workers who had been occupying a steel mill in Lázaro Cárdenas. Two were killed, five seriously injured and 40 wounded. Union members and townspeople retook the plant while representatives from unions and human rights organizations converged on the scene. Meanwhile, Villacero Corporation, which owns the plant, accused the strikers of being “terrorists.” Mexican courts declared the strikes illegal, but the strikes continued with labor leaders calling for a nationwide one-hour strike on April 28. The Miners Union’s nationwide wildcat strike showed Mexican industrial workers’ taking center stage for the first time in decades, and the terrible repression, with deaths, injured and detainees are a demonstration of the fears of the ruling class in front of this phenomenon. The wider context of these events are the ever deepening crisis within the Mexican union movement (after the downfall of the PRI as the only party attaining government and pervading all the Mexican institutions) and the current campaigning of the three main bourgeois parties for the next presidential elections. Surveys show a very serious chance for the bourgeois nationalist, left populist PRD (Partido de la Revolucion Democratica, Democratic Revolutionary Party) of reaching the first place in the polls.
In San Salvador Atenco and in Texcoco, near Mexico City, different sectors of the poor –last year there was the very poor peasantry of the minifundios (tiny lots for subsistence crops), this year the street vendors of everything (a condition typical of workers that have lost their industrial jobs and of peasants that cannot get one)- have held long and violent battles with the police that tried to free the area to relocate and expand an international airport. The San Salvador Atenco townspeople, besides, have accused the police for rapes and torture, taking some police officials as hostages last month. The determination of these sector of the Mexican exploited has obliged the government to pact with them a truce, once and again. Which does not mean that it has abandoned its plan of ousting the inhabitants of the area, as shown by the harsh repression that it launches on them from time to time.

(6) Codelco is the Chilean state-owned copper company. The recent strike of subcontractors at these two mines was the subject of a recent statement of the FLT.

(7) The SP (Socialist Party) is the party to which Allende belonged. In the ‘70s it formed into the Union Popular (Popular Unity), a sui-generis Popular Front supported by the powerful Chilean CP. Former president Lagos was a SP member. The SP has given thoroughly pro-bourgeois, pro-imperialist politicians to the concertacionista regime, but even now lives on its historically “socialist” afterglow, though it has practically lost any resemblance to a “worker-bourgeois” Party. The CD (Christian Democratic Party), an old bourgeois party, representing traditionally the well educated, “progressive” (actually very reactionary) elites. It has given to Chile many pro-imperialist presidents, ministers, etc, etc., before and after Pinochet’s coup (which the CD promoted and applauded), the best known being the two Freis (father and son), who both excelled in their surrendering the country to the corporations’ appetite. The PPD –or Partido Por la Democracia-, the third party of the Concertacion, comes far behind in importance and in membership.

(8) A sort of ombudsmen’s office that has a nationwide jurisdiction.

(9) “Comuneros” refers here to the people that live in “comunas” or small ethnic communities, like the Mapuche Indians. There are other kind of “comuneros”, too, in Chile, being the comunas also small peasant or poor people settlements.

(10) The Chilean Communist Party is a powerful counterrevolutionary party that has dominated the life of the Chilean working class from the first decades of the twentieth century, having prevailed over the Socialist Party and some now defunct nationalist petty bourgeois movements in the leadership of the masses. Even the ‘70s and ‘80s guerrillas, as the MIR (Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, a mixture of left Communists and all sorts of small “Trotskyist” groups) and the MRMR (Movimiento Revolucionario Manuel Rodríguez, an ultraleft split of the CP) come totally or parcially from the CP, and are a product of the disillusionment of young CP militants before the thoroughly reactionary policies of its leadership. Today the Chilean CP (to the model of its old mentors and its new “models”, the Russian and Chinese former restorationist bureaucrats become new bourgeoisie, respectively) owns a chain of Jewelries, a net of cooperatives and cooperative banks, etc. The Chilean CP is an enthusiastic partisan and propagandizer of “market socialism”. The CP reigns in the CUT, or Worker Union Central, the powerful and until recently uncontested organization that centralizes the unions in Chile. Now there have appeared some new unions that criticize the CUT, and even confront it, influenced or led by left bureaucracies coming from fake Trotskyist or by “Classist” (left unionist) groups. Some of these new unions are the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores Marítimo Portuarios (Nationwide Coordinating committee of Longshoremen and Sailors), the SinTrac (Subcontratist Workers Union), the CGT (General Confederation of Workers) Mosicam, etc.

(11) Up to now, the (“binomial”) electoral system consecrated by the ‘80s constitution allows for only two candidates, one from the “Concertacionista” parties –they first decide among them, essentially the SP and the CD, by means of a primary election, which candidate they present-. The other candidate comes from the Pinochetista –right wing, pro-military- parties which have also their own primary election (they are the UDI, Union of Independent Democrats, and Renovación Nacional –Regeneration of the Nation).

(12) An official notice of the medical examinations of May 4 confirms the serious condition of “Patricia Troncoso and Juan Patricio Marilao”. The latter displays generalized decay, loss of muscular force, intense migraines and has lost 16.6 of his body weight…”. The same agency says on May 10 (after 59 days of the hunger strike) “According to Juan Carlos Reinao, personal doctor of the Mapuche political prisoners, Juan Patricio Marileo must be hydrated urgently due to his present condition. Patricia Troncoso displays serious problems in one of his kidneys, and must have an urgent examination…”.

(13) The Confech is the university students’ union. About the “different federations”, see note 9.

(14) Official Press Release May. 10, 2006 AT 11:21 A.M. The encounter of solidarity with pres@s polític@s in Chile, before the hunger strike of the comrades Jaime Marileo, Juan Marileo, Patricio Troncoso and Juan Huenulao, who have been on strike for 62 days inside the Angol jail in Chile, we declared the following:
1. We demand that the government of Chile and its president Michel Bachelet release immediately our imprisoned brothers in the penitentiaries of Traiguen, Lebu, Conception, Temuco and the already mentioned Angol.
2. Reform of the provision in the law by which they were condemned to 10 years and a day, plus the payment of reparation of $423.000.000 (more than 65,000 euros) to Forestal Mininco S.A. For more than a month the new government of the Agreement has not responded to the demands of the strikers.
3. We asked for the immediate repeal of the Antiterrorist and Interior Security Law inherited from the dictatorship of Pinochet, under which our brothers were judged.
4. Stop the persecution of the Mapuche mobilization. We denounced the repressive policy developed by the Chilean State and supported an international judgment against the systematic violations of the human rights to the communities, those that are militarized and harassed constantly totally by the “forces of order” of the government of president Bachelet.
5. We appeal for international solidarity and mobilizations to support us and to condemn this repressive government. We do not accept that more comrades die in the jails while demanding justice. Already there it has taken a history of 500 years of hard struggle to get where we are. The workers of the world must make our struggle their struggle and to give our struggle more force. Our fight is the fight of all and we fight to the death. We call on all to come to a protest at 5 pm on 12 May at the Embassy of Chile in Buenos Aires. For a new society, for earth, culture and freedom. Their fight is our fight. For self-determination of the peoples. Freedom to all prisoners in struggle. Marichiwew! - Organisers: · Colectivo Desalambrando - · Repique · Equipo de Educación Popular Pañuelos en rebeldía”. · Estudiantes Chilenos y Mapuche en Argentina. · Agrupación de D.D.H.H residentes chilenos en Argentina. · Agrupación de Pueblos Originarios Ñukemapu - Acción directa estudiantil.

(15)The university students have voted in assemblies either to march, or to strike or even to take their campus in some cases, to show their solidarity with the Mapuche political prisoners in hunger strike. Take notice that this declaration was written prior to the eruption of the high school student rebellion of late May and early June.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Chilean Students Walkout - Turn it into a General Strike!

by POI/FLT
Leaflet distributed by the Internationalist Workers' Party of Chile during the June 5th 'Walkout' of Secondary students all over Chile.
The POI is a section of the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction


------------------------------------
Long live the June-5 general walkout of the Chilean students!
Long live the heroic struggle of the Chilean youth!
For free state education for everybody, and to win all the demands of the Chilean working people!


This struggle must win! The heroic student movement has already confronted the civil-military, "concertacionista”-“Pinochetista” regime, and the government of “Bushelet”. (1) She wanted to put the brakes on the powerful drive of the student movement by making small concessions, in the same way as the great strike of the subcontracted copper miners against the precarious nature of their jobs was sold-out. This trap of cosmetic changes in the law that adjusted their contracts was forced upon them by the actions of the union bureaucracy that heads the CUT (Central Union) and of the leaders of the Chilean Communist Party.

But Bachelet did not succeed with the rebellious student movement. Very wisely, the student movement rejected the crumbs Bachelet offered them because the minimal demand of the students is “Free and state-owned education at every level !” This demand has driven hundreds of thousands onto the streets, to occupy schools and universities, to confront bloody repression, and the government of “Bushelet” and the FTA! (2)

Now the splendid walkout that the students have staged on June 5th shows once more that we need to struggle for all of our demands. The student movement has the full authority to call on the Chilean working class and exploited to make an indefinite National General Strike to win all their demands. In each factory, in the pits of the mines, in each workplace, office, shopping mall of port, in each school and university college, in the organizations of the Mapuche Indians movement, in the poor peasants unions, a motion has to be presented and voted for:

NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE, NOW!

For free state education at every level!(3) Down with privately owned education! Free entrance to University! The educational budget must be funded through taxing the big fortunes, refusing to pay the external debt and cutting 80% off the military budget that pays the “gurka” Chilean Armed Forces, lackeys of her the murderous Bush and Blair!

Enough of hostages packing the Pinochetista jails of the civil-military regime! Freedom now for the imprisoned fighting students, for the political prisoners of the Mapuche movement, for all the political prisoners!

As the Chilean students say, “Enough of skyrocketing copper while education is laying on the ground!”. (4) The struggle should be for the complete re-nationalization of copper under workers’ control, so that this immense wealth funds free education, workers’ health services, and bread, jobs, living wages for all working people!

The struggle for free and state owned education is the struggle of all the workers and people in Chile!

Down with the infamous contract laws of the slave-owner bosses and “Bushelet’s” government!
Equal pay and equal working conditions for equal work! Everybody should enjoy job-stability and the protection of collective bargaining aggreements!

The Mapuche Indians should be returned their ancestral land; land for the poor peasants!
For that, the big landowners and the imperialist corporations must be expropriated. Break with the FTA,! Chile must stop being another star in the US flag! Dissolve the murderous police of Pinochet-Bachelet! For self-defense worker-student committees!

FOR VICTORY NOW!

The heroic student movement has won in the streets, with their combat, all the authority to launch this call, now! Enough of union bureaucrats that sell-out the workers’ struggles and support the Pinochetista regime and President Bachelet , and prevent the workers from uniting with the students.

It is necessary to make a national congress of workers, students and peasants with delegates of the rank and file from all over Chile, to conquer the national general strike in order to get victory!

Today, dozens of unions will march along Santiago’s streets, in support of the students’ demand. After long weeks of unending students’ street fights, the union leadership can no more delay some kind of support nor extend their shameful silence about the Chilean youths struggle.

Because the immense majority of the Chilean workers and people see the demand of the fighting vanguard of the students as their own. But solidarity of the workers should be an effective one, it should become a single and united fight with that of their children, the fighting students, by attacking the property of the exploiters.

The interests and the property of the exploiters must be attacked, because it is they who support and benefit from the iniquitous fee paying regime that suffocates the Chilean youth. Only this will allow the heroic student struggle that has begun to be victorious.

The cry that echoes around Chile, together with the June-5 student walkout is:

For a NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE against the regime and the government of the FTA, which starves the workers and the people and plunders the Chilean nation.

Long live the June-5 student walkout and the gigantic solidarity of workers and people, that the student movement has conquered in the streets!

The Chilean students today, by their splendid example of struggle,have earned their place in the vanguard of the fight against the Latin American regimes and governments that under the guise of “socialism” or “nationalism” are continuing to enforce wage slavery to the imperialist corporations and governments that plunder our peoples and nations.

That is why the Chilean students have joined all the workers and exploited of the world, side by side with the heroic French youth who confronted -and still do so - the murderous 5th Republic of the French imperialists. The struggle of the Chilean youth is the struggle of the entire working class of Latin America and the world.

June 5th, 2006.-
Partido Obrero Internacionalista (POI-CI) (Internationalist Worker Party-FI) of Chile
Re-published by the Fracción Leninista Trotskista (Leninist Trotskyist Fraction)
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