Chile: An Agreement Between the Elite, But Without the People

Juana A.
https://www.convergenciamedios.cl/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Humanidad.jpg“They’ve never had anything to lose, never until now. Now there is a family, “the people” they say. That it is not just a mass, there is organization, companionship, affection, security and love. Some say the hood “evolved,” I don’t think it’s right to say that. I think a group in society gave them a chance, and they responded. Did they stop being violent? No. Did they stop being angry? No.

The hood doesn’t come from just anyone, no. Its origin is the periphery, the doctor’s office, the municipal school with the name of metralleta (machine gun). Not everyone can be a hood now, no. Because it is not to tie a T-shirt on one’s head, and throw stones, it is to live inequality in one’s own flesh, it is to have rage with a system that forgot and repressed them, that mocked them for being poor, for not knowing how to read at once, for wearing used clothes, for eating rice every day they could eat.

Many today value the work of the capuchitas. The “first line”, they baptized them (forgetting the protective guanaco linens), but in reality they are the children of the struggle, in all its forms.

In the early hours of Friday, November 15, between roosters and midnight, we find news of the ”historic” agreement, made by the government of Piñera and the opposition parties.

From the moment “The Agreement for Social Peace and a New Constitution” of the political elite was announced, there was no doubt that we were once again faced with a new and old oligarchic interpretation of “what the people want”, and in representation of “that people” they decided something, but without consulting the people. Then, with the rage that we had contained for decades, we saw how they celebrated an infamous pact. From Boric to the hated Van Ryselbergue, they were happy, they honored an “exit” that implied taking the people off the streets. The architect of the “agreement” between these repudiables was RN Desbordes, elevated as the statesman of the year, a recognition won because he articulated a new formula to deceive the people. In the official photos of the first hours the Communist Party is not present, although later it announced that it will participate in the process.

It is a pact of treason.

Some politicians from the Frente Amplio (Comunes, RD y de Convergencia Social) have participated in this agreement made behind the backs of our people. Of course it calls the attention to the electorxs of this conglomerate why politicians who said they were on the side of the people, of the people, fell into the old practice of pact between the political class that only seeks benefits for itself with this ”constitutional convention”. The answer could perhaps have several aspects, but one of them is the visceral contempt of these misnamed “representatives” for the self-organization and self-representation of the people. It is the arrival of the “sensible politician”, in which the strategy of being part of the institutionality is taken to one of its extremes.

Betrayal of the people is the currency of exchange required to become a “republican” in the eyes of businesspeople and wealthy families. That shameful gesture of good behaviour before the class enemy was needed no matter how far away or detached they were from the part of the people enlightened (or not) who trusted these youth. This is the path to be followed by a division that takes place at the exact moment when a political conglomerate, even if it were said that it is the living incarnation of the working class, decides in its name to try to channel its interests through a supposed representation in bourgeois institutions. From there, to pact with the class enemies behind the people is such a thin line that it crosses the first wink that this institutionality makes to pass to the “republican history” of this country, even if it is at the cost of the betrayal of their own. They have crossed the threshold, as has been done countless times by the CP, the PS, and now this sector of the Frente Amplio, which in spite of its own comrades, must give explanations whose arguments must be borrowed from the party of order. The disgust and nausea of the first moment mutated into puerile verbiage and its arrogance grows, at the same time as the rejection and contempt of a people that deepens its hatred of everything that smells of institutional pestilence is multiplied, each public appearance of the representatives of this spurious agreement, and with the mass exit of parties, leaders, hundreds of militants and entire communal people of the Frente Amplio.

On the other hand, a week after its implementation, the mask begins to fall. The Right began to ignore the “spirit” with which the agreement was reached and said that Pinochet’s Constitution would not be touched, and politicians began to manoeuvre their quotas of representation in that Convention. The agreement is falling apart.

It is an agreement not to touch the economic model.

The consensus achieved by the political and economic elite of this country aims to safeguard everything that has made possible to date, the Constitution of the Dictatorship, which provides institutional protection so that the model is not touched, preserving its cornerstone: market interference in the production and reproduction of life and safeguarding the sacrosanct private property.

When Luksic ordered lxs políticxs to do the “pega”, it meant, among other things, that they found a way for people to return to their homes, to withdraw them from the protests and barricades, a situation they had not achieved either with the militia in the streets or with the beasts of the FFEE that would slaughter the people.

The command of the powerful was clear and severe. They could not allow the Chilean peso to continue devaluing, hence the bailout of the Central Bank. The fear of the loss of their profits during one week spread among businessmen accustomed to getting richer and richer at the expense of the exhaustion of our minds – bodies and the depredation of our lands and seas.

They are imposing on us a peace that in their eyes is normal, but that is nothing more than deepening the structural violence that first began in 1973 and that this new constitution will allow to continue to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of families that today are tired of all the abuses.

Hence, at the first minute, the business community applauded the agreement, imagining a hegemonic alliance that goes from the FA, through the DC and anchored in the RN- UDI, with the objective of demobilizing the people, because the great learning inherited from the Concertación is that we have to appropriate the discourse and the demands of the people to divert their struggle to the passageways and parliamentary kitchens, so that nothing changes.

A dictatorial institutionality.

In the eyes of millions of people, in Chile as well as in the world, what is behind the so-called “democratic” shell is revealed. The patriarchal, capitalist, neoliberal, corrupt police state is exposed. All mechanisms of power and control are dislocated when the popular uprising within hours becomes national in scope. The media try to distort and criminalize everything but they can no longer do so, because the massive radicality of the struggle surpasses them. It is estimated that around 5 million people have mobilized throughout the country.

In just a few hours, the people were confronted with the real state without mediation. Politicians without the capacity to articulate a coherent message and without being able to explain what was happening given their remoteness and indifference incubated over 30 years. Businessmen giving orders to parliamentarians to work a way out of the crisis and leave their businesses in peace. An inept and inoperative executive, without the capacity to react, except to order the repression unleashed by the custodians of the bourgeois class. A Congress without the capacity to operate or orchestrate an exit for weeks. Mayors of transversal form race to sustain the institutions that were obstructed, etc. The presidency of this country dislocated in the hideouts of La Moneda, while the republican trajectory of civilizadxs ciudadanxs is going to hell. The infamous pact was born in the darkness of the old Congress (a symbol of the oligarchy) because the Congress in Valparaiso lay in a state of latency.

The Self-Defense of the People and Humanity

In a matter of days, the people approved all forms of struggle whose repertoire ranged from barricades validated as a method of self-defense and an impediment to suppression, the recovery of supermarkets and consumer centers, to the massive march, for hours, of indefatigable days, culminating in the early hours of the self-convoked popular assemblies, in the massive cacerole or in the barricades in the town.

It is fundamental that we understand this in this way because it is a direct and unambiguous interpellation carried out by thousands of workers and popular youth, lxs of the “first line,” lxs “hoods,” lxs hundreds of new heroes of the people, who have provided us with the ground on which to move.

They have carried out the political siege with heroism and struggle. The people’ violent struggle passed the test. It is validated because it is beginning to be understood that these years of subjugation began violently, is consolidated daily, and is validated when from the State itself, through the informative chains managed by transnational groups, that criminalize every act that manifests their discontent with the neoliberal model.

It was validated by the people with or without the hood. By the young people of the “first line” that with their shields protected their brothers, before police ferocity. It was fully understood by the thousands of fighters sprayed with repellent gas products spread by miserable and cowardly cops.

The systematized violence of the state is answered with struggle on all levels of the people who are beginning to rise up.

Resignation and imprisonment of Piñera and those implicated in Human Rights violations. Dissolution of the FFEE.

That is why the streets and popular assemblies demand the resignation of Piñera and an effective prison for him and all the political leaders who are or have been implicated in human rights violations. The lowest level is that police, IDPs and armed forces must be held accountable for the repression and murders in detention and during the ongoing uprising. It is imperative to demand the resignation of the entire Congress and the immediate release of those prosecuted under the State’s internal security law, the release of Mapuche political prisoners, and compensation for the victims of the repression.

The murdered are the martyrs of the people, the imprisoned are our political prisoners, the humiliated and mutilated will not leave the people alone until those responsible are imprisoned. A first step is that the mobilization is beginning to recognize that there have been human rights violations and the police must stop using pellets that have injured hundreds of workers and youth throughout the country.

Therefore, it is imperative to maintain the mobilization for the imprisonment of the high commanders and all those responsible for the repression we continue to see in recent days. We cannot allow our children and brothers to be exploited by the military leadership and the Carabineros to commit crimes against humanity.

At the same time we say that conscripts have a moral duty to refuse to repress their people, as did the brave 21-year-old soldier Daniel Veloso or the thousands of young people who have formed massive ranks refusing to be part of an institution that kills their people.

It is not possible to continue validating and endorsing the actions of the Carabineros through their Special Forces of repression against the protest in general. It cannot be legitimized that from our own taxes resources are allocated to a group of over-ideologized and clearly drugged police thugs to punish our people with beastly impunity, protected by their director general, despite existing evidence. The dissolution of the FFEE is urgent because it will be the only way to prevent more deaths, rapes and mutilations at the hands of these agents of the State.

That is why it is becoming increasingly important that both military and law enforcement institutions are restructured, democratized and effectively subordinated to civilian power. Thus, there will be more direct control of the resources that have been destined to these institutions, the timely inspection to prevent perks and diversion of money and property for the benefit of the caste of officers and the high command blocking peoples’ assemblies, as well as drug trafficking that is corroding these institutions that should be at the service of the peopl

Building New Institutions of the People

The agreement reached by the same old people lacks legitimacy, first of all because it is made behind the back of the people who have mobilized. It is the collusion of the same forces that have enjoyed power that enriched the wealthiest and their extractivist companies through their laws. It is only a solution for a government whose hands are stained with the blood of our people.

It oxygenates the right and gives respite to the current crisis of representation. While all the serious studies conducted before the popular uprising indicated that the loss of prestige of the political parties that participated in the institutions increased by over 90%, by October confidence in these institutions reached rock bottom. Those who are part of this agreement are those who are part of that same rancid institutionality, which for more than 40 years has been trampling on the freedoms and social rights of the people who have expressed themselves in this uprising. This is an institutional solution supported with all the systematic cruelty of the bourgeois state, murdering, raping and mutilating whose political and judicial responsibility falls on Piñera, Rozas, Chadwick, Ubilla and Blumel, all of whom signed the agreement.

For the sectors involved in this popular uprising, any institutional solution must be rejected with street mobilization. We cannot accept institutional attacks, because it would mean sowing hope and trust in institutions such as Congress and political leaders who have already revealed their spurious character, alien to the interests of the working class. We cannot commit ourselves to institutional agendas bound from the beginning, by the blackmail of the right wing and its accomplices who were entrenched among popular voters. For this reason we say that, from now on, they should not count on us or on the mobilized people. That was not what the uprising was for, it is not what we want. Boxing us in the same old compromises as the ones that turned their backs on us will not bring anything good. That was already experienced with Pinochet’s agreement and today we will not fall into the trap set so that nothing changes and the heroism of our struggle becomes nothing. The April plebiscite has been established to legitimize a new transition, without touching the model, and the composition of the constituent Convention is designed to ensure the self-representation of the political elite and the business groups. The people would only act to validate the process through the same mechanism of delegation of powers that has been present for more than 30 years.

Our call is and will be not to meddle in pacts that are made without the people, born from above. This pact will only allow the political parties that draft the constitutional charter to perpetuate their ways of doing politics, behind the backs of the people and under their own interests and rules. The Pinochetist constitution cannot define the ways in which the sovereign people decide to elaborate the new constitution.

For this reason, our efforts will be aimed at strengthening and advancing the idea of popular assemblies, the ones that are articulated in each territory and in which workers participate, to elaborate a new popular legal framework, whose guiding principles are anchored in a new productive matrix, respecting people and the environment, based on a solidarity model of relating, far from the defense of individualistic and mean interests whose genuine representatives born from this struggle will be in charge of proposing and raising the People’s Statement.

It is in this way that a new institutionality will be born that will germinate from the revolt, from below, from the bowels of the poor and precarious people and its mandate will also be born from the grassroots assemblies. This popular constituent assembly will be in charge of guiding the country.

We call to encourage and support any initiative of popular reconstitution and to continue with more strength and determination to advance in dignity and in our rights. If we lower our arms now, it would be to allow them to govern.

The Indefinite National Strike is possible if it is well prepared in unity between the unions and the self-convened assemblies, until everyone leaves and the people govern through their own democratic institutions.

The constituent process is already underway and the people are doing it!

Advance the indefinite general strike until Piñera’s government falls and a Plurinational and Feminist Constituent Assembly is convened!

Prison for Piñera – Rozas – Chadwick- Ubilla and all the accomplices of Human Rights abuses! Freedom to the political prisoners of the People!

To build and multiply the Popular and Territorial Assemblies to build the People’s Statement.

FOR THE DEFENSE OF HUMANITY!

References:

[1] https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile/2019/11/15/pese-a-no-participar-del-acuerdo-pc-valora-plebiscito-y-anuncia-participar-en-proceso-constituyente.shtml

[2] https://m.elmostrador.cl/destacado/2019/11/17/miguel-crispi-rd-reconoce-diferencias-bien-profundas-en-el-frente-amplio-y-acusa-agresiones-internas-al-interior-de-la-coalicion/

3] Sharp together with 74 militants leave the party, the communal-CS Conception, ask for Boric’s expulsion from the party and give him a deadline to do so, or if they do not resign. Equality Party freezes its participation in the FA, ecological-green party leaves the conglomerate and “leaders of the Humanist Party, the Green Ecologist Party and the Equality Party will accuse their peers of RD, PL, Comunes and Social Convergence deputy Gabriel Boric -who signed in his personal title- of having acted “inside a kitchen” and of having negotiated “behind people’s backs” (Third, Nov. 21).

4] https://www.elmostrador.cl/noticias/pais/2019/11/20/allamand-reinterpreta-el-acuerdo-politico-para-establecer-amarras-con-la-constitucion-del-80/

[5] https://www.latercera.com/politica/noticia/ppd-radicales-suman-fuerzas-integrar-independientes-redaccion-constitucional/904239/

[6] http://contrahegemoniaweb.com.ar/la-trampa-de-los-dos-tercios-y-la-continuidad-del-poder-de-veto-de-las-derechas-y-del-regimen-neoliberal

[7] https://m.elmostrador.cl/noticias/pais/2019/11/20/proveedor-de-balines-antidisturbios-de-carabineros-advirtio-en-su-manual-no-disparar-a-la-cabeza-y-que-su-uso-inadecuado-puede-causar-lesiones-graves-o-la-muerte/

https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile/2019/11/19/carabineros-ordena-suspender-uso-de-escopetas-antidisturbios.shtml

8] Source: Social Thermometer Survey, October 2019. Their own estimates: they evaluate the confidence of the population in different institutions, parties and media, with a scale of 1 to 10, where the number 10 represents the greatest confidence in the institution. The President of the Republic, Ministers, Parliamentarians and Political Parties are evaluated with the lowest confidence indexes, with results of less than 3; they are followed by Carabineros, Armed Forces, Businessmen, Courts and Religious Organizations, with indicators between 3 and 4; while Mayors and unions obtain 4.4 and 5.7 respectively. In the next group the ratings are above 6, but below 7, among these institutions figure: Universities, INDH, Hospitals and Neighbourhood Boards. Volunteer Organizations get a 7.2 and finally, Firefighters is the institution that obtains the highest confidence score, with 9.3.

Translation by Internationalist 360º