Chile

A resounding majority have voted “approve” in the referendum on whether to change the Chilean constitution – which has its origins in the dictatorship – with a result of 78 percent against 22 percent who voted to “reject”. This is a victory that the working class is celebrating, and feels as its own. A year after the biggest-ever march in Chile, as part of a mass uprising, the people have been through a lot: repression, abuses, murder and maimings; as well as deception and media manipulations. Especially considering the pandemic, the

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50 years ago, the Allende government was elected in Chile. It carried out a host of radical reforms. But capitalism was not abolished. The tragic conclusion was the coup of 11 Sept 1973. We must remember this important episode from history.

A debate on a bill to withdraw 10 percent of pensions in Chile comes at a time when most of the working population is being affected by COVID-19 and the early stages of a capitalist crisis. The abysmal handling of the pandemic has led to the death of at least 7,000 people and the collapse of the healthcare system. A new wave of protest shows that the spirit of 2019 is still alive for the Chilean workers and youth. 

The remarkable protest movement last October represents a qualitative leap from the other mass movements and protests that for more than a decade have marked the landscape of post-dictatorial Chile. From a global perspective, it was a turning point in the context of the world crisis of capitalism. It was a truly insurrectional mass uprising that, from Friday 18 October to the end of November, involved between five and six million active participants.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created one disaster after another in Latin America, exposing the naked contempt of the ruling class for the workers of the region. But with the memory of Red October still fresh, this explosive new development is preparing revolutionary upheaval in the near future.

The Trade Union Block of the Social Unity in Chile has demanded that the government introduces an immediate preventative quarantine to fight the spread of Covid-19, otherwise, it will call a “humanitarian general strike” in order to shut down all economic activity “which is not essential for the maintenance of health and life”. Meanwhile the hated Piñera government is attempting to use the health emergency to put an end to the five month old uprising.

In this article for America Socialista (published 17 January), Jorge Martin looks back on the tremendous ‘Red October’ that swept Latin America last year, with insurrectionary movements in one country after another. Where did these eruptions come from? What were their limitations? What lessons were learned? And what is the perspective going forward?

Chile is experiencing another general strike, as part of the uprising against the regime that has been going on for almost 40 days already. The government continues to intensify the repression (denounced by international organisations) and even modifies legislation by granting itself more powers to use the army “in the protection of public buildings”, without decreeing the state of emergency, while trying to bamboozle the movement through “agreements” and promises of negotiation. The conditions for bringing Piñera down are present, but what is missing?

In his latest podcast (recorded 25 November), Jorge Martin provides an update on the recent strike in Colombia, the month-long uprising in Chile, and the struggle against the coup in Bolivia.

One month has passed since an insurrectional movement began in Chile. The mass uprising has placed the government of Sebastián Piñera, one of the richest men on the continent, against the ropes. In the face of the movement he has proposed minimum concessions that are only a trap to demobilise the working class and youth.

The general strike on 12 November was a huge success that put the government against the ropes. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions marched across the country: 300,000 in Santiago, 40,000 in Valparaíso, 100,000 in Concepcion. The strike was solid in health, education, the public sector, the ports and sections of the mining industry, and had a widespread following in other industrial sectors. It revealed the strength of the working class in a capitalist country, which is able to paralyse the economy. Almost a month after beginning, the Chilean uprising continues to advance and has not been stopped by repression (with thousands of wounded and detained, more than 200 losing eyes and

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More than a million people demonstrated in Santiago de Chile on Friday 25 October, in what was called #LaMarchaMásGrandedeChile (Chile's largest march) – and certainly, it was, being larger than the NO campaign closing rally in 1988 that brought together a million people. The mobilisation on Friday was repeated in cities and communes throughout the country and took place one week after the

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