Published today (Oct. 21st) by Agitación Inmanente, ultra-left comrades in Chile. What follows is our quick translation (a few typos may appear which we’ll be editing. Hit refresh!).
The revolt generalizes despite brutal State repression: this Monday, Oct. 21st, we go on a strike against everything.
It’s been a week since the Santiago Metro fare reached the astronomical price of $830 [Chilean pesos] and the uncontrollable student youth proletarians – which bears the virtue of negating this world through practice, avoiding any type of dialogue with power – launched an offensive calling on a “massive [fare] evasion” which self-organized a massive disobedience movement, that had from its inception the sympathy of many in our class, since this mode of collective transportation is used by at least 3 million people everyday. The State responded by deploying hundreds of special forces police to protect stations which provoked clashes within the system of subterranean trains, leaving hundreds injured and arrested. On Oct. 18th there was a rupture: in the middle of a new day of protest against the fare hikes, there began a total shutdown around 3PM, one by one, of the Metro Santiago lines which provoked a collapse hitherto unseen in the metropolitan urban transport. On that day the spark began and the proletarian class demonstrated its power, when thousands of people took the streets, overwhelming the repressive forces and participated in large riots in the city-center that exceeded any expectations. The ENEL corporate building (an electrical company that operates in Chile) burned in flames and various Metro stations met the same fate. Capital & the State showed their true face to the population, declaring a “State of Emergency,” which brought out the military to the streets, for the first time since the end of the Dictatorship as part of the social conflict.
After that night nothing will ever be the same.
On Saturday afternoon a call to assembly at Plaza Italia quickly devolved into a generalized revolt with insurrectionary tinges, reaching all corners of the city, despite the strong military presence in the streets. The uprising literally spread across all the cities in the Chilean region. Like an oil spill there spread cacerolazos, barricades, attacks on financial buildings, strategic sabotage on infrastructure necessary for the circulation of capital (tollbooths destroyed, tags on highways, 80 Metro stations destroyed and 11 totally reduced to ashes, dozens of busses burned), 130 bank branches damaged, 250 ATMs destroyed, some break-ins to police commissaries and a military barracks in Iquique, and that which has most irritated the dominant class: looting of supermarket chains and large commercial centers.
Looking out on this panorama, which for us has been a party, where the proletariat has self-organized and confronted its condition of extreme precocity, there has spread the “State of Emergency” to approximately a dozen cities who are taking part in the struggle, in which a curfew has also been imposed, enforced by gun point by the military and police riff-raff now 10,500 strong, and work under the the carte blanche directive to shoot to kill.
Looting and the satisfaction of immediate human needs
Sacrosanct private property was questioned in a radical way by dozens of thousands of proletarians who expropriated everything they could in most supermarkets and large shopping centers, totally looted, and in many cases set on fire, before a terrified bourgeoisie which constantly calls, by way of their representatives, to crush without further thought what they call “a small group of violent protestors and vandals.” However the reality is far from that: since, although they deny it continuously, this is not the action of a minority, but a massive phenomenon that has been expressed with an unstoppable force.
Those of us who have been dispossessed and who survive however we can, living in debt, struggling to to get to the end of the month, through practice affirmed that we do not have to pay to get what we need to satisfy our needs. The reproduction of commodified daily survival in this way imposed way of life, is contingent at all times on the accumulation of the bourgeoisie’s capital, at the expense of wage labor and the life of misery that we endure day in and day out. We have done nothing but expropriate that which belongs to us and which has robbed us of our lives and that is something that they cannot stand. Definitely, the generalized revolt signifies a way for us to proclaim ourselves as human beings and deny our current condition as commodities.
The press: spokespersons for Capital and defenders of the commodity
The press has played a fundamental role in the defense of “common sense” and channeling of what is called “public opinion,” that is, the dominant logic of the capitalist system, where material things & the production of commodities matter more than human lives, emphasizing again and again, in the defense of “public order,” “the rights of the people,” private property and “social peace” to justify the massacre being promoted by businessmen and the most reactionary sectors of society. Through the misrepresentation and / or concealment of information, the spread of lies and staged scenes, the criminalization of social subversion, the entire press has become a collaborator of State terrorism: for all this they must assume the consequences.
Some examples of what we affirm includes the following:
- Hiding the number and cases of murders by repressive forces and to keep us in the dark about repeated allegations of “excessive use of force in arrests, abuses of children, mistreatment, blows to the face and legs, torture, undressing of women and men and sexual abuse,” as indicated by the National Institute of Human Rights.
- Dissemination of stories of looting at “farmer’s markets” in some municipalities such as La Pintana, Puente Alto, among others, which is totally false. People have denounced this on social networks and alternative media that this has indeed been done by undercover police who have tried to promote an internal fight within our class.
- Promoting fear among the population and emphasizing that the looting will affect private homes and small business, when these are only isolated events which our class must categorically reject.
- Differentiating between “citizens” and “criminals,” between “peaceful” and “violent” protestors, betting on the division and isolation of the most radicalized elements that are part of the movement and that are trying to provide an anti-capitalist orientation to the development of the revolt.
- Remaining a silent accomplice around the cuts of water supply to several municipalities in the southern sector of the Santiago, which suspiciously coincide with the places where combativeness against the State / Capital & its institutions, and where authority is most flatly despised.
The government acknowledges 8 deaths, but we know there are many more.
As President Sebastián Piñera affirms that “we are at war against a powerful enemy which respects nothing and no one,” the despicable Andrew Chadwick, Minister of the Interior, in a brief statement made on television said on television that 7 people had “died” – without mention that they were killed by the State – omitting any further details. We who have been present in the struggle and coordinate with comrades in different parts of the country know that there are much more dead. Videos and photographs have been circulated through social networks and counter-information media (which are being systematically removed from the internet) of people killed by the military and the cops in various places fighting. We count at least – without any real confirmation due the deliberate concealment campaign and disinformation by State / Capital – at least 16 persons dead: 1 person in Quinta Normal, 2 in San Bernardo, 5 in Renca and 2 in the municipality of La Pintana, killed in a fire in the middle of looting, 1 person killed in Lampa deliberately run-over by the police, 1 shot by the military in China, 3 in the city of La Serena and one in the municipality of Pedro Aguirre Cerda killed by police repression. We know this partial balance sheet account can be much higher, since as we quickly write this text, strong clashes continue under the curfew with the military, cops and the IDPs in multiple outbreaks throughout the Chilean region.
The general strike this Monday, Oct. 21st, and some of our viewpoints
Tomorrow, a diverse conglomeration of mass organizations have called for a general strike, the first one which may actually be effective; effecting productivity in a direct way, due to the collapse of the transportation system, at least in the city of Santiago. The State is doing whatever it can to get people to go to work: they have partially rehabilitated Metro Line 1; they’re attempted to restore bus service and have called on the population to show “solidarity” and help their neighbors get to work. The only thing the capitalist class cares about is that we continue to produce for them; we’re only good for producing and circulating commodities and growing their accumulation of capital. For this reason we call for work abstention and to participate actively in the strike, just as the Union of Metro Workers have done, noting “police and military repression.” Further we find it pertinent to put forth the following viewpoints.
- To not fall into the dynamic of going against each other when it comes to food, water and the satisfaction of our needs: this is the State’s game, to divide and conquer. To resolve our problems we must organize ourselves on a communitarian basis, there is no other way out.
- Avoid a situation where the parties and social democrats rise up as “representatives,” and appropriate themselves of the struggle, in an attempt to decant a resolution to the conflict with cosmetic and superficial reforms that do not aim to eradicate the root of the problems which affect us as a class.
- Occupy education centers, converting them into places of resistance, debate, gatherings and self-organization, gathering of food & medicine and spaces to attend to the injured.
- Organize assemblies based in the territories where the struggle is developing so that we can collectively resolve our orientations in the on-going revolt.
- Demand the freedom of the nearly 1,700 detained due to their participation in the revolt.