The social revolt in Chile has still not come to an end. In the third communiqué of the “Federación Anarquista de Santiago”, the autonomous and horizontal structures of the movement are at the centre: Territorial assemblies are supposed to enable the self-organization and the cooperation of different areas and to establish a real power of action independent of the state and capitalism. In doing so, they should go the whole hog and question the basic structures of capitalism, such as private property. In contrast to this are the citizen assemblies, in which mostly a new constitution for the Chilean state is discussed.
Originally published by Federación Anarquista Santiago Facebook page. Translated by Enough 14.
Statement by the ” Federación Anarquista Santiago ” on the social uprising in Chile.
1. The current situation is characterised by uncertainty. The courage of the people can neither be stopped by bullets nor by alms of the bourgeoisie. The oppressed class resists fearlessly throughout the entire territory of the Chilean state. We call for the mobilizations to be maintained: On the streets, in the communities, in the gymnasiums, in the work places, and so on. We are aware that the days of the uprising have a wearisome effect. For this reason, it is important to develop and strengthen the territorial assemblies. They should overcome the institutional orientation of citizens’ assemblies and not revolve around a new constitution. Rather, an “agreement of the general public” should be in the foreground. The autonomous and horizontal territorial assemblies should become a resistant point of reference for the oppressed class. Both local and global problems should be addressed and the assemblies disseminated in order to spread the conflict in different areas. On the other hand, a communal organization capable of satisfying immediate and everyday needs is indispensable to push back the state. We must come together and join forces so that the social uprising does not stop at the moment of catharsis, but also becomes the beginning of an emancipatory process.
2. The government has lifted the state of emergency and withdrawn the military due to pressure on the streets. But the repression of the special forces – the militarized police – has intensified. It has claimed 25 lives, there are more than 4,300 arrested, more than 1,600 injured, more than 160 people have lost an eye to rubber bullets, 19 people have been sexually abused, more than 133 people tortured. These figures are in line with government data, the actual figure is likely to be much higher.
As if that weren’t enough, the director of the National Institute for Human Rights (INDH) claimed that there were no systematic human rights violations. Such statements show that state institutions tolerate violence against people who fight.
We call for international solidarity, we demand the release of all prisoners and we commemorate the people who died.
3. The opportunist nature of the political parties has become clear in recent days. On the streets one looks in vain for the leaders of the parties – who of course have never felt the repression on their own bodies. But that doesn’t prevent them from staging themselves as “representatives of the people and of popular demands”. But the movement has never needed the political parties and will not need them in the future. They want to negotiate with the government, a government that has the blood of our murdered brothers and sisters on its hands. They want to give new impetus to a democracy that smells like tear gas. They will never defend our interests because they are not part of the oppressed class. We reject their “new social pact” because it is not a radical change for the people. We are not prepared to sacrifice our struggle for a masquerade that will give a “more human face” to the current system of rule that ignores our needs.
4. For its part, the “constituent assembly” is a slogan which is well received in our class. As if it were a magic light that could solve all our problems, it spreads illusions among the militants. For this reason, a critical attitude of our class seems enormously important to us.
For us, the “constituent assembly” is only an instrument for finding an institutional solution to the conflict that will benefit the interests of the oligarchy. As a class, we have not yet developed any firm and militant forms of organization that could, at best, give orientation to this process. Therefore, the short-/medium-term development of a “constituent assembly” means nothing more than handing over the fate of the movement to those who oppress us. There is currently not the necessary correlation of forces that would allow us to assert our interests as a class. The establishment of a “constituent assembly” would be tantamount to a tragedy for the militants because it would bury years of class struggle under a “democratic, bourgeois and participatory” constitution. A constitution that only serves to oxygenate this corrupt democracy so that the foundations of the ruling system remain untouched.
On the other hand, there are people who understand the establishment of a new “constituent assembly” as a slow and long-term process in which the forces of the citizens’ assemblies and the territorial assemblies flow step by step into the structures of the Chilean state. We also dissociate ourselves from this position, because for us the union of forces – which is an essential task – is not to develop a “constituent assembly”, but to achieve the self-organization of the oppressed class, which without any consent of the oligarchy formulates a new social contract in which the pillars of the existing system of rule are buried forever: Patriarchy and capitalism with its colonial rule in all its expressions, the nation state, the binary gender system and land theft for the purpose of raw material production. We will not rebuild the state, we will not believe in democratic oppression, we will not contribute to the cementation of domination. We leave that to social democracy.
We know that a political constitution binds us to and maintains the institutional pillars of neoliberalism. Pillars that need to be changed if we want change. But it is not just a legal-political question, because it is impossible to negotiate with the oligarchy on fundamental issues of class struggle. Think of private ownership of land and water, a conflict that goes beyond the legal framework of the constitution. Even if the constitution that some actors aspire to presents itself as multinational, popular and feminist, and even intends to recognize nature as a legal subject, it will not change the rule of patriarchy and capitalism. Therefore, our biggest task is to strengthen a union of emancipatory forces with a programmatic content that aims not to stop at individual interests, but to spread the territorial assemblies to establish the foundations of another coexistence and create a new world.
However, this does not mean that we as anarchists should stay away from the various assembly structures. We should fight to ensure that assemblies are not misused as a platform for electoral interests. We should build autonomous and horizontal structures out of the assemblies. We must be present in order to oppose the prevailing ideology and even sketch out the outlines of another society. We must be present in the assemblies because we ourselves are oppressed, because we are part of a struggling population, we must strengthen these structures so that together we can move towards emancipation.
5. We call for the struggle to continue on the streets and in the different communities and neighborhoods. Territorial assemblies need to be expanded and strengthened to develop an organized community that includes more and more areas. Let us spread the power of self-organization.
Let’s continue the fight!
Let anarchism gain root!
Let us build an organized community!
Long live the struggle of the oppressed!
Immediate release of the prisoners of the uprising!
Federación Anarquista Santiago, November 5, 2019.
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