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40 years after the coup: taking back the initiative, building the popular alternative

category bolivia / peru / ecuador / chile | the left | opinion / analysis author Wednesday September 11, 2013 22:22author by Periódico Solidaridadauthor email publicacion.solidaridad at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Another September, and one that could not be more charged with symbolism. As we recalled last month, it is 40 years since the coup d'état of 11 September 1973, in which the Chilean bourgeoisie, with the active support of the government of the United States, overthrew the Unidad Popular government, beginning a period of intense repression against the left and the organized people. [Castellano]
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40 years after the coup: taking back the initiative, building the popular alternative


Another September, and one that could not be more charged with symbolism. As we recalled last month, it is 40 years since the coup d'état of 11 September 1973, in which the Chilean bourgeoisie, with the active support of the government of the United States, overthrew the Unidad Popular government, beginning a period of intense repression against the left and the organized people.

It is clear that the violent repression suffered throughout the 17 years of dictatorship sought to instill fear, like a wall preventing the resurgence of popular organizations. That fear was extended through "sabre rattling" until recently, but is no longer there - it is finally beginning to fade. We can proudly say that we are managing to shake off the terror that was imposed on us and in the process we have taken back the streets as a space for political expression, for challenging the bases that the system stands on through basic demands.

Those of us who in recent years have mobilized throughout the country, be it in the student demonstrations, in the struggle to change the unfair pension system, in the strikes or in the community barricades and strikes against centralism, have been fighting - whether we know it or not - against the deadly legacy of Pinochet that can bee seen in the current economic model, the current institutional structure and the aberrant social deficit that we have to endure as a people. The main purpose of the coup leaders was to create the conditions of submission to enable them to make a profound transformation of the country through a series of labour, economic, social and cultural reforms that sought to put an end to the leading role of the popular sectors.

During the thousand days of the UP government, the people were able to make significant progress in their most pressing demands, combining the efforts of workers, the urban poor, students and professionals, working side by side to build socialism and promoting initiatives of Popular Power that were antagonistic to the order of the rich, that took the shape of embryonic organs of power, such as the Cordones Industriales [Industrial Belts], the Comandos Comunales [Neighbourhood Councils], the occupations of land and the control of territory, the Juntas de Abastecimientos de Precios [Supplies and Prices Committees], amongst others. Undoubtedly, it was the period of our history with the greatest opportunity for political participation by the great majority of the country, which had been systematically neglected by formal democracy and constrained force until then.

If there is one lesson that libertarians believe it is necessary to learn from those years, it is the desire for collective construction, to generate the unity needed to build the social force capable of making structural changes. The challenges that we as the left face are huge. In the face of an accelerated process of realignment of the ruling bloc forces that seeks to harness and co-opt social protest, it is urgent that we forge joint spaces that pivot not around a particular tactical option, but around the strategic objectives of politically projecting what we accumulated in these years of the revival of the popular movement and to dispute the hegemony of the owners of the country. In this regard, it is useful to remember today the sense of political generosity and unity in diversity that allowed the people and the Left, despite their differences, to become the central player in the life of the nation.

This month we remember those who fell while fighting for a dignified life for all and we renew our commitment to dedicating our best efforts to opening the path to socialism and freedom - that is the best homage we can pay.

Not one second of silence, fight all our lives!
Long live those who struggle!
We will win!

Editorial from the September 2013 issue of the Chilean libertarian magazine "Solidaridad". Translation by FdCA - International Relations Office.

Related Link: http://periodico-solidaridad.blogspot.com
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