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argentina / uruguay / paraguay / miscellaneous / opinion / analysis Thursday February 18, 2021 19:44 byFederación Anarquista Uruguaya

We present these texts which are relevant in several ways.

On the one hand, "7 letters from FAU" which talk about the importance and decisiveness of the Political Organisation in the struggle, where it is stressed that it is not possible to aspire to a revolutionary outcome of the political accumulation of the popular struggles without such a specific organisation. Political organisation which is not a vanguard but a driving force which pushes and contributes to the popular struggles, but which has as its mission an important area of specific tasks to develop in a process of such characteristics.

These texts date from around 1968 to 1970 and in them we will see these concepts clearly expressed, through the sieve of the language of that time.

Secondly, two "tendency" materials are published, both at trade union and student level, setting out the need to deepen the struggle and also explaining what the unity of the trade union movement is for and what role a student tendency should play.

We hope that both materials will be useful to anarchist comrades all over the world. Health and Up with those that Struggle!

7 FAU LETTERS AND TWO TRADE UNION DOCUMENTS

Preamble

History has no second parts, neither good nor bad, they are acts, some recurrent and others merely circumstantial. What is useful to us is the teaching it leaves us, the general elements that allow us to visualise some degrees of succession of current events. It gives us the possibility of being incidents, if we are moved by an ideological impulse of transformation, within a delimited framework, but no more. Even at this point, it shows itself to be implacable, with the implacability of the passage of time. It brings with it a series of elements that do not allow us to make an easy, pretentious and superb manipulation of it...

Within these considerations these materials appear as material for the study of the actions within the popular movement and its organisational forms. It keeps a distance from what has to do with formulas of solutions in society, which today is presented in a totally different way. It contains referential elements, ideas, experiences and historical facts that allow us to be incidentals. Each reader can take charge of his or her own conclusions, although in this case it is material to be objectified and converted into a positive element of social and economic transformation.

Mass actions and armed struggle, trade union mobilizations and direct action, had a constant and permanent presence during the period of the end of the 60s. Mass actions that meant a political deepening, ranging from economic, social and political demands to actions that meant direct confrontations with the repressive forces. Development, for example, of an armed struggle that implied a greater technical capacity and a further deepening of the people's struggle. But within a framework in which at no time should the aspiration to a socialist society, to that of a more just and united society, be left. The materials offered, the first dating back to 69, Pacheco already had a long history of government with security measures that had involved closures of newspapers, closure of political organizations, prisoners in prisons and barracks and another series of outrages. The legal dictatorship he was promoting was in full swing, with a parliament functioning with all parties. Unemployment, attempts to control the unions. Prisoners, whether social, trade union or political, of all kinds, passed through the barracks, killed..., torture... A whole chain of monstrosities for which the state was responsible and driven by national and international capitalist interests. A bourgeoisie determined to put an end to the people's struggle and to project the advent and establishment of a dictatorship that would consolidate its claims. In the countryside, maintaining the medieval privileges of the latifundia, with workers who did not know their rights, subjected to starvation wages, without any possibility of organisation and trying to keep them at a low level of education. All those who tried to come up with ideas or solutions to overcome these problems were easy victims of persecution. The police stations and the barracks in the interior witnessed the passage of thousands of people treated as "stateless communists", trying to validate any kind of aggression. It is from this period that the death of a canillita at the hands of Pereira Reverbel, Senator of Artigas, dates, who saved the action of justice with complete impunity. Politicians, military, police and ranchers were an infamous threat to the country that was being created. Intimidation and persecution were commonplace and this is something that the rancher and the boss wanted to show as the rancher-dictator Bordaberri later did.

No less important was the situation of the industrial and service workers in the cities. Union leaders confined in all the barracks and police stations of the country, sentenced to prison for subversion, beaten and wounded in demonstrations, tortured and a whole lot of atrocities for trying to defend the conquests and the rights of the workers.

"Strong government and an iron fist", meaning repression, was the political vision of those who ruled. From the beginning, this was the way it was conceived, and over time it became more rigid until the military took a direct part in the matter, counting on the tolerance of all the politicians of the system, with a few exceptions, some of whom paid with their lives.

From Gestido to the military dictatorship it was a long process, but throughout this period the popular movement was developing and putting into practice a series of resistance mechanisms that have virtues that can be taken into account to this day. Perhaps the most important part is the response and mechanism for the forging of a strong people. Capable of confronting a dictatorship and breaking it down even at the expense of their own sacrifice.

The whole first part constituted by the FAU Charters points to that. Formulating, organising and responding by the popular organisations, trade unions and social organisations to the political situation that was being shaped by the bourgeoisie. Operational forms of action and dissemination for the defence of the people and perhaps most importantly: to involve the workers in the struggle that involved confronting capitalism. After the coup d'état and consequently the general strike as a response, the result of such preaching was seen. The labouring people confronting the dictatorship is a clear result of the way to be followed at all times with similar situations that arise. But it is also a constant of struggle to reduce and eliminate the exploitation whenever it occurs.

It is in the part that corresponds to proposals and scope of the trade unions that the importance of this process is most clearly understood. It is there that the notions and the political scope to which the workers can reach are clearly marked. To achieve the understanding that their political role and the knowledge of how to implement it is not merely that of conquering demands by following the path that the system has always tried to mark out for them. They can elaborate, execute and achieve political objectives, breaking the steel fences that they try to impose on them.

A good lesson this one!
How do we see it today?

It is good to put on the table some indications that appear at the moment as clear premises for the work of the popular movement.

They say that "power exists in acts", the same can be said about the revolution. As Michel Foucault reminds us, "given the nature of politics, radicalism is of the order of existence and not of discourse". It is not an entelechy or something that comes before a certain spell. It is not an isolated act. It demands modifying practices, of rupture, of discontinuity, in fields such as the economic, ideological, political-legal, and general cultural, to be hitting and breaking that vast network of domination. All of this takes shape in a process with active popular participation. A people that we would compose as a wide spectrum of the oppressed and exploited that we designate in this historical stage as the group of Oppressed Classes. A people that suffers, within the structural changes that have occurred, a fragmentation of importance that must be overcome.

Where structures of domination have developed and emerged in other places than the traditional ones. We must build solidarity ties that link, that make the unity of their struggles a first-rate foundation for them to form a social force capable of effective struggles and quality steps. We are not talking about gradualism, or linearity, or taking over enemy stands one by one. We are talking about systematically, strategically, opposing a universe that understands the new historical reality, the changes that emerged in complex processes.

So far, what we can expect from this material, only action, experience, struggle, can open a path of socialism and freedom.

Up with those that struggle!

Publications Committee
Montevideo, 19 May 1969.

SOME CRITERIA FOR WORK AT THE MASS LEVEL (1)

The process of the struggles in our country is making clear a wide and complex set of experiences. It is essential to analyse them in order to extract clear and precise guidelines for action. We begin this analysis by addressing some problems that can be deduced from the trade union activity, an aspect of the greatest importance within the set of tasks that we have before us today. Despite the experience already accumulated, despite what daily practice shows, there are those who insist on presenting as exclusive and incompatible, methods that only define different levels of the same struggle and that can and must be confluent and harmonious. There are those who continue to artificially oppose mass action and armed struggle, union mobilisation and direct action. This strategic conception is full of "alternatives" that contain as many subjectivisms animated by an interestingly mechanical and abstract thought. "Either we mobilize and organize the masses or we take up the machine gun. Either we go to the lessons or we all start "shooting".

It is these "arguments" that are still heard. In general followed by the corollary that they are destined to suggest: "the conditions are not given yet, let's continue with legal propaganda, peaceful acts, election fronts, parliamentary battles, strikes and stoppages without violence". It is also said with the same meaning and with the same practical consequences: "let's organize the Party first". In our country the different levels of struggle, the different methods, are happening simultaneously. To emphasize the convergence of their effects, to perfect their work, is the central task of the present. It is a largely original and new task, given the specific characteristics of our country (high urbanization, extensive mass movement, gradual and different rhythms of contradictions, existence of forms of armed struggle, increasing repression, etc.) and the fluidity and complexity that characterize this transition period. What experience has shown is that the legal, traditional methods, which appeared before as useful to achieve gains in wages, are not enough now to break the policy of freezing. What we can see, on an international scale, is the innocuousness of the electoral route as a way of gaining access to power, the negative side of deceptive parliamentarianism, the vulnerability of the vast public organisations and apparatuses, and the relative ineffectiveness of the traditional means of propaganda available.

Does recognising all this mean renouncing action with the masses? Does it mean the need to isolate oneself from them? To abandon the task of organising them, of stimulating them in their mobilisation, of helping to enlighten them? Of course not. And at this point, a few points about the modalities of trade union work in relation to these problems are particularly relevant.

Trade union activity can and should also be developed at various levels. In fact, it has been doing so for some time now. There are high levels of struggle that have already been achieved in trade union actions. Within these, in a necessarily summary schematization, one can recognize these variants, which are in fact mere stages in the process of a trade union conflict:

• Agitation (events, flyers, graffiti, demonstrations) to set the scene and spread the word about the motives for a subsequent mobilisation.
• Strike or stoppage aimed at achieving it.
• More or less combative street demonstrations to stir up opinion and galvanise and unite the ranks themselves.
• Direct action as a means of public impact, to punish treason and repressors, to radicalise one's own mobilisation.

One of the characteristics of the reformist methodology is its exclusive attachment to the first two forms of action. This, together with the cult of obedience to the "apparatus", often disguised as "union discipline", and to the procedures and formalities (to "isolate the enemy") to be channelled towards parliament (where the Party representatives "show off"), constitutes the reformist recipe for union activity. If the objectives pursued are not achieved, "another great victory" is proclaimed, and it is a matter of deducting "political balances" ("hundreds of new members", "thousands and thousands of new voters..." in close or more or less remote elections).

All this is well known. And it has become traditional. But in the current conditions this strategic scheme proves to be insufficient. To act as a union, with a revolutionary perspective, with a revolutionary direction, melting in the masses, without giving up the claiming role of the union action poses difficulties, suggests problems. To locate those, to elucidate these, let's start from the beginning.

A correct orientation means facing the platforms of demands with a revolutionary direction and with appropriate methods.

The essential function of trade unions, which legitimizes their existence as a mass organization is their function of struggle. We must avoid the mistake of trying to turn them into a kind of political party with total definitions of the most diverse problems. This was a misconception to which anarcho-syndicalist militants slipped, but they fulfilled the difficult task of founding the first "societies of resistance" in the Rio de la Plata, based on criteria of class intransigence.

In the present conditions, the essential thing is to decide on union actions, combative and hard, which determine the conquest of the most felt and deeply rooted demands. There is room for some clarification in this respect.

The role of militancy is to encourage, promote and stimulate the struggle and not to wait for it to emerge spontaneously. It is to create the concrete means (organisational, financial, informational, etc.) so that the struggle finds adequate channels, opportunity and forms.
It is necessary to have clear criteria as to which are the objectives around which to focus the struggles. Demands are not lacking, by the way, in all the unions. The problem is to choose which of them it is preferable to agitate first and then launch them as a reason for mobilisation.
The success of this choice is decisive for success. There is no need to "plug in" slogans. Don't be vague or confused or do too many things at once. Several slogans can be shaken, but there must be well-defined, clear and achievable objectives (goals to be achieved).
• You can't mobilise a union in depth for issues that are only of interest to a minority of militants. Subjectivist "occurrences" are not valid here. Only deeply felt demands can really move a trade union. But it is often the action of the most active sector that makes these demands clear and defines them for the union as a whole, clarifying their content.
Trade unions are, by definition, mass bodies. It would not make sense, from a correct perspective, to try to turn them into mechanisms for plastering and vertically handling the masses. The trade union apparatus must be a channel and not a quagmire. The organisational forms to be adopted must ensure the broadest, quickest and most direct contact between the rank and file and the representative organs of leadership.
• Within the framework of a reactionary and repressive government policy, any trade union conflict is currently facing serious difficulties. These must be analysed with objectivity and realism and presented to the union clearly and without defeatism. If, despite the difficulties, the masses want to fight, they must continue with them and not stop them. We have stated this repeatedly. The worst defeat is the defeat without struggle.
• If a trade union, faced with the obstacles it encounters in the struggle, wants to retreat and it is impossible to instil more combativeness in it, either because of its own weakness or because there are really insurmountable difficulties, it should not insist on moving forward until it is isolated. It is necessary to be able to withdraw in order, with opportunity, without becoming disoriented and always speaking clearly. One must not invent victories when they do not exist.
• The launch of a mobilisation, the relevance of a withdrawal, is established through a concrete analysis of conditions and possibilities.
What elements to take into account in this analysis?
Firstly, the situation of the union: level of organisation and awareness, experience of struggle, availability of cadres, etc. Secondly, the situation of the whole popular movement: possibilities of solidarity and influence on other sectors, predominant orientations in directions and apparatus, etc. Thirdly, the peculiarities of the moment: the rise or fall of the struggles, the situation and means of the enemy in the situation. With an analysis of this type, in close contact with the masses, the most difficult circumstances can be faced effectively.
• In a period like the present one, the isolated struggle of a union is doomed to failure. We must be concerned to give every struggle the greatest possible scope. In extension, outside the union. In depth, in mass support, within it. This presupposes adequate coordination and organisational forms. A basic structure that translates punctually and faithfully the opinions and reactions of all the members of the union. The broadest freedom of discussion and criticism within the trade union cadres, as a guarantee that those opinions are expressed without hindrance.
• When a combative orientation predominates in the direction of a union, the reformers, crouching, wait for the most difficult moments of the struggle to bet their cards on retreat, on capitulation. When repression grows, when victory is slow in coming, the well-known proposals against "adventurism" emerge from those who, on many occasions, have proposed real adventures at the beginning, in the ascending phase of mobilisation.

In this perspective, avoiding isolation (of the most combative militants, within the union; of the union within the whole of the popular movement) becomes one of the fundamental aspects.

But this requires a stable and functional, broad and non-sectarian coordination of all those who are truly willing to fight. The formulation of the theme leads us, necessarily, to the consideration of other aspects that we cannot avoid.


Montevideo, 26 May 1969.

SOME CRITERIA FOR THE WORK AT THE MASS LEVEL. (2)

Within the framework of the present complex situation and for an evaluation of the tasks of the revolutionary militants, within the trade union and popular movement, it is interesting to consider the experiences gathered during the actions carried out by the First Ordinary Congress of the National Convention of Workers. In this sense, it is necessary to formulate some points aimed at clarifying the meaning of the former, as far as it has to do with certain aspects that are abundantly distorted or devalued by self-serving confusionist propaganda.

1.

The Congress imported, first of all, a reaffirmation of the enormous possibilities of the labour and popular movement.

Over and above the attacks of the reaction, despite the deviations, hesitations and betrayals, the trade union movement has an important potential force that, insofar as it is channelled through an adequate strategy, will be able to conquer, for the people, important advances.

It is important to take this into account when it is said that "there are no conditions" to deepen the struggle, that the policy of "preservation of forces" is necessary, of constant backward movement in the face of the attacks of the reaction.

When the need of subordinating the tactic to the obtaining of "allies" outside the working class is raised openly or in a hidden way. When disproportionate importance is given to the so-called "national bourgeoisie" and it is used to try to reduce the role of the working class to that of a kind of left wing of the great "national front" led by it. When the possibility of the trade union movement taking the lead and leading the mobilisation and struggle of the people in our country is so much questioned, it is important to evaluate objectively and realistically the forces available. Only by proceeding in this way, it will be possible to clearly establish the role of the popular, mass movement in the process. What it can do as such, in the present situation. And also what it cannot do. What is the task of a specifically political organisation, adapted in its organisation and methods to the current conditions.

2.

Secondly, this Congress reflected the process of clarification of positions that has been taking place within the trade union and popular movement. In the face of all the major issues under discussion, two orientations were clearly outlined. The first, which is the majority in the CNT apparatus, once again showed its self-satisfied subjectivism, its refusal to deepen its self-criticism, its defence at all costs of an essentially reformist orientation, whose harmful effects no longer escape anyone who is not blinded by sectarian prejudices. Another, which showed at the Congress a volume that many did not suspect (some 150 delegates out of a total of 509) reflected the growing awareness that a radical change in the CNT's orientation and working methods is essential.

Members from a wide range of different sectors agreed, with a suggestive reiteration, on the need for a more combative, more persistent, better coordinated and offensive action, in view of the programme's objectives and, in the first place, against the wage and salary freeze imposed by the government.

The emergence of this trend is not new. Nor is it the result of a mere sum of wills at the level of the delegations attending the Congress. It still insufficiently translates, at the level of leaderships and apparatuses, an increasingly broad consensus coming from below.

Already in July last year, in full force of the security measures, six unions, echoing a state of mind involving broad sectors, even beyond its "borders" trade unions, formulated criticisms, very concrete, which accompanied and founded the proposal of a plan of measures of struggle, to address the escalation reactionary. The leading bodies of the CNT not only did not take up this proposal, but every effort was made to hide it or to distort it in its meaning and even in the content of its proposals. There was talk of "adventurism" and "childishness". Shortly afterwards, the popular struggle was reduced to its minimum expression, participation in COPRIN was accepted, and it was fallaciously argued that the lifting of the security measures was "a great victory"...

Relying on the still insufficient coordination of those who supported a combative orientation, on the hesitations and perplexities of others who claimed to support it, the reformist apparatus managed to make its criteria prevail. Now it is evident to what extent its hegemony within the trade union movement has been questioned.

The fact is that the need for a plan of struggle on the offensive, the need to adopt methods of direct action, is being suggested by daily experience. These methods are becoming part of the normal range of procedures in all trade union conflicts of some importance. In view of the harshness of the repression and the difficulties of the situation, the hardening of the methods of struggle is even occurring spontaneously. Actions that were once easily categorised as "adventurism" are the bread and butter of today's mobilisations.

Apart from the dogmatic conceptions supported by the reformist apparatus, the line of militancy and struggle is winning over wider and wider sectors, it is growing. And this growth has manifested itself despite the procedures put in practice during the preparatory activity and the development of the Congress by the reformist leaderships.

3.

The Congress lacked adequate preparation. After a long process of struggle, which was experienced during the last year, in view of the important changes in the situation since then, a broad discussion was necessary at the grassroots, a frank self-critical opening was necessary to enable a real balance of what had been done, with a view to draw useful conclusions for the planning of future tasks.

But this did not happen. It was decided to go back to the old, well-worn way of dealing with the administrative tasks. The corresponding reports either arrived late or did not arrive at all. Their discussion was so "rushed" that it was hardly done at all. The dissenters were harshly attacked.

According to the old, time-honoured method, their arguments were dispensed with and covered up with gratuitous insults.

The sound of "unity" was crushed as usual. Attempts were made to present those who are simply not obsequious as "divisionists". The whole range of old recipes were mobilised, to which a leadership attached to sclerosed bureaucratic routines, suitable to "take over" bodies and positions, useless to promote and lead struggles. It is not surprising that in these conditions the congress has been a very imperfect reflection of the true feelings of the working class.

Pointing out all this is useful, but it should not be the centre of our concern. In the end, what matters, the only decisive thing, is to elucidate who organizes and practically leads the struggles and not who has the majority at the time of the congresses.


Montevideo, 2 June 1969.

BEWARE OF DETOURS,
THE FOCUS IS ON THE STRUGGLE.

Parliament wants to become fashionable again. With extensive publicity, it intends to focus public expectation on its actions, the discussions and votes that take place within it. Mobile transmitters, which report "up to the minute", with a sporting tone, on the progress of the sessions. Generously titled comments in the newspapers, abundant radio broadcasts, they want to convince the people that the General Assembly, which for nine months did not make a quorum to consider the Security Measures, is now the scene of decisive events for the country. The well-paid "fathers of the fatherland", who turned a deaf ear to the gunshots with which the repression killed people on the streets, who ignored the presence of dismissed and sanctioned people, who continue to make themselves accomplices of the government's policy, want to return to the limelight, they want attention once again to be paid to their pantomime. Those who "erased" themselves when COPRIN was approved, those who submitted meekly when they were threatened with dissolution, "guave" now and say they are ready to submit "heroically" to the "verdict of the ballot boxes".

It is too early to know for sure if this complicated and tangled game of political manoeuvres will really lead to new elections. It is even uncertain whether, once these have been resolved, they will be carried out or whether their results will be respected. In any case, what is already clear are the aims that this parliamentary "affair" is pursuing, the role that the eventual elections that would result from this "conflict" between sectors that have so agreed to support the government's reactionary policy would play. Whether there are elections or not, it is symptomatic of the approach to the issue and the importance attached to it through a well-orchestrated media campaign, so obedient to "the voice of the master".

In a way, all this tends to complement the repressive policy developed consistently in recent times. After the beatings, the elections, seem to be the formula. A reality of frozen wages and salaries is complemented by an illusion of fluidity, of political dynamics. A reality of the closure of expectations of improvement for the poor living conditions of the people is complemented by the fantasy of an electoral "opening". The social tension created by the effects of the government's economic policy is falsely intended to be channelled into the dead end of a new farce. The reality of the hardening of the situation, the stark truth of reactionary politics, is combined with the expectation of a change... of Parliament.

Voting instead of fighting is what, once again, the oligarchy proposes to the people through its political representatives.

Whites against Reds, Etchegoyen against Pacheco, Jorge Battle against Etchegoyen, "oppositionists" against "officialdom", current constitution against constitutional amendment. Many options. The more the better. So what does it matter? In the end, with Pacheco or Etchegoyen, with Jorge Batlle or Gallinal, the dominant classes will always retain power. And in the process, everyone is offered the opportunity to believe again, to deceive themselves again, to hope that "now we do...". If the game does not go well, they always have the resource of kicking the table. There is always the possibility of resorting to violence, of abandoning the farce and appealing to force.

The only "change" that a new election can bring is a redistribution of the influence that the different oligarchic sectors have in the government. What share of profits will each of these sectors deduct from the reactionary policy that is being developed and which they all agree to continue. How will they share out what they take from the people, what part will go to the large landowners or bankers, to the big businessmen or speculative traders. That is the only thing that a parliamentary "renewal" can alter.

The real change, the one the people need, is not achieved through elections. It will only be the product of a long and difficult struggle, going through paths that do not cross the utopian electoral illusionism that reaction encourages. This is well known, although there are always those who try to pretend not to know it. In any case, it is still useful to make a few points regarding certain complementary objectives that are being pursued through the latest political moves.

Firstly, to revive the belief in the possibility of a major change within the current system by peaceful means, without violence. They clearly feel the popular malaise. They see with fear how the struggle is hardened, how the means of direct action are popularized, how the influence and prestige of the revolutionary forces is growing. They see the retreat of the reformist orientations within the workers' and peoples' movement. They see that the resistance to their politics, far from disappearing, is taking more and more dangerous forms for the preservation of their system. Then they try to make believe that it can still be "improved". That there are open peaceful ways to achieve it. That it is by voting and not by fighting that change will be brought about. They insist on this, the clearer their awareness of the real sterility of the path they are proposing. The need to deflect popular discontent towards it becomes all the more pressing the greater the real powerlessness of the system to continue granting reforms of any importance. Tightly bound up with the impossibility of satisfying popular demands, the oligarchy offers to intersperse, in the reality of the repressions, the deception of the elections. The possibility of voting is intended to replace, in the immediate future, the impossibility of reform.

The election campaign is the way through which the representatives of the oligarchy get in touch with the masses, try to regain their influence on them, disguise themselves as their "representatives". The unpopularity and discredit that have fallen on the parliamentarians and politicians in general is evident. In a situation like the present one, when it is becoming increasingly difficult to continue using traditional methods (distribution of jobs, distribution of favours, etc.) to create "clienteles", the party apparatuses are losing their functionality. The ascendancy of the warlords, the prestige of the clubs, is declining as they "give" less and less, in the context of a situation where people's needs are increasing. In view of this, it is essential for them to attempt a "reactivation of political life" aimed at restoring the parties' importance and gravitation in national life. This would be achieved through an electoral campaign that generates expectations, hopes of renewal, that through massive propaganda mobilizes old sentimental values that still retain their effectiveness in many sectors. In the process, another, no less important, goal for reactionary interests is achieved.

Dividing the people around empty banners, in an electoral bid that is practically inconclusive, preventing them from fighting for real demands and solutions to the acute problems that affect them. In the action, the people are grouped together for concrete reasons. In the election, they are divided by abstract pretexts and utopian illusions.

Those who are never really divided, those who stand together above the bands and parties, in defence of their positions against the people, are the privileged ones, the members of the ruling classes. Their disagreements, their circumstantial conflicts, never make them lose sight of the common defence of their class interests. They never deceive themselves in this respect and that is why, as long as they know that they have the majority assured, they will continue to proclaim that elections are the only "correct" way for the people to express their opinions.

Therefore, in front of the reaction's confusionist manoeuvres, in front of the attempts to divert the people towards the dead end of the elections, the answer is only one: to broaden and deepen the struggle. To unite everyone in the struggle to break, now, the policy of freezing wages and salaries. To surround the unions in conflict with the broadest solidarity. To promote, with all the energy, the popular mobilization. Without admitting pretexts that differ from it or slow it down in order to ensure an eventual "peaceful" electoral process. To combat any tendency to subordinate the action of the trade union and popular movement to electoralist interests and perspectives. Today, tomorrow and always the only true thing, what can decide, is the organised mobilisation and struggle.


Montevideo, 9 June 1969.

SOME CRITERIA FOR WORK AT THE MASS LEVEL (3)

The events of the last days clearly show the great reserves of combativeness, the will of resistance of the people. At the same time they give the measure of the failure of the regressive policy that imperialism applies through the governments of Latin America. The failure of repression as a form of social "pacification". See, for example, the nearby example of Argentina. After years of fierce dictatorship, the proletariat and students of that country have given the most convincing demonstration that it is impossible to dominate a people by applying the repressive "models" of importation used by Onganía and so admired by Jorge Batlle and Pacheco.

Here, in our country, worker and student mobilisations are growing, which constitute the worst omen for the "success" of the Rockefeller mission and the worst condemnation for the regressive policy of the government.

On the other hand, what was intended to be a demonstration of austere and sacrificial civility ends up, in Parliament, in a real sainete - Jorge Batlle, aware of his unpopularity and cornered against the possibility of an election that would benefit Echegoyen and Pacheco "supports the government" by ordering, from Europe, the censure of Peirano. Peirano's distancing from the government, which has deliberately become a kind of lightning rod for popular repudiation, would be a further attempt at "détente". Has anything changed or will it change with Peirano's departure from the cabinet? The logic and statements of the government itself clearly indicate that it will not. Will the government's reactionary economic orientation change? No. The causes that determine it are very powerful and, as everyone knows, the underlying reasons must be sought outside the country.

On the other hand, the same people who promoted this deliberately spectacular political crisis are the ones who shied away from lifting the so-called "economic security measures". They are the same ones who declare their general agreement with the policy in progress. The fact is that, as in any difficult situation, the various sectors of the oligarchy are in keeping with their main objectives, even though they maintain secondary contradictions with each other. That is why it is very negative to help focus public attention on Parliament and to encourage, directly or indirectly, hopes that the profound change which the people need can come from there. That change can only be achieved through struggle. This has various levels that must be integrated harmoniously, complementing each other.

The trade union struggle, the mass activity, is one of them. We want to come back to this topic today, in circumstances that demand, imperatively, a coordinated, planned, offensive and deep action against the reactionary orientation of the government.

There are still questions and problems that need to be fully clarified concerning the strategy to be formulated for the labour and people's movement.

Let's see some of them.
The experience of the last years has shown, to the point of exhaustion, that an isolated union, even if it is strong, faces great difficulties to succeed, within the framework of the current situation. The need to coordinate the struggles becomes evident.

However, this coordination is not carried out or is carried out very imperfectly.
Why does this happen?
There are real obstacles and artificial ones. Those who create the latter often hide behind the former to legitimise their attitudes.
Let's analyze one and the other.

• The different levels of income, the different treatment, let's say, that the system gave to the different unions, stimulated the raising of also different demands.
This, in itself, is not a particularly novel feature. It is the way all union movements proceed in their early days, when the value of immediate and local objectives predominates. When what is kept in mind, primarily, are the particular demands of each union.
• It would be wrong, however, to consider this way of dealing with trade union struggles as natural, permanent and unchangeable. It is only viable in cycles of economic expansion, when it is not too difficult to obtain concessions from a prosperous bourgeoisie. When the situation changes, it is necessary to proceed in a different way. A more complex strategy is needed and therefore greater maturity, inventiveness and flexibility in trade union militancy is required. Also, more harshness and combativeness, conditions that are not incompatible, as some suggest, with the previous ones.
• In our country, the regime of Wage Councils sanctioned and favoured union particularism. Each sector fought for the Council of its group to meet, then put pressure on the employers and the government to accede to their sectoral demands. Negotiations were held or fought at different rates for different demands.
• Perhaps these struggles could have been unified if they had been wanted. But there is no doubt that the situation favoured their dispersion.
Regular and spontaneous practice made this dispersion and de facto isolationism the most common, the traditional.
It has happened many times that strikes, mobilizations and even strikes are taking place simultaneously, without any real coordination between them. This situation has even occurred between branches of the same headquarters. There has been institutional coordination, but there has been a lack of operational and practical coordination.
By practical coordination we do not mean, of course, the exchange of notes, declarations, delegations or even the holding of events or a partial solidarity strike. Of course, this has often been done and is done. Doing so is right and must be continued. But, in the current situation, that is not enough.
What we understand by coordination is the adoption, by all the unions, of concrete support measures that force the decision of the conflicts that arise in any of them.
The approach of the isolated struggles is linked to the more or less spontaneous form that they have been taking.
Of course, in the approach to a struggle for demands, one must take into account exclusively what are the aspirations felt by a union. It is not valid to forcefully postulate objectives that are not shared by the masses of the union. It is true that one cannot artificially provoke important mobilisations. In this sense one could speak of a "spontaneous" origin of the demands.
The spontaneous rise of the masses' combativity is an important element in every revolutionary process and it is not by drowning or hindering this push that the struggle is radicalised. It is not against this that we aim our criticism on "spontaneity". We do it in the conviction that in such a situation it becomes decisive to channel the spontaneous impulse properly so that it develops and gets organised to achieve the most effective results. To do this, in order to be able to strike at the most opportune moment, concentrating the greatest amount of force, it is necessary to foresee. And that means organising oneself, going beyond the spontaneous stage. It means a plan of struggle that establishes objectives, work criteria and joint measures in stages, based on a general assessment of the situation. It implies a direction that leads and directs effectively. That is capable of determining the facts instead of running after them once they have occurred.


Montevideo, 16 June 1969.

SOME CRITERIA FOR WORK AT THE MASS LEVEL. (4)

Various facts unequivocally mark the growing development of a tendency that seeks, within the workers' and popular movement, to impose a more combative orientation, of more determined confrontation with the reactionary policy of the government.

First was the election in the Uruguayan Banking Association, where the 19th list made important advances. Then the CNT Congress, where a valuable nucleus of forces around the militant line was operated. And recently, in unions as diverse as the FUNSA workers' union and the Montevideo secondary school teachers' union, this same orientation has shown its growing relevance.

We will provide further information on the internal elections in FUNSA's union. This is, without a doubt, the conclusive ratification of the ratification that the Union of Workers, Employees and Supervisors of FUNSA has been holding for years and which has contributed to placing this organisation in a leading position within the national workers' movement.

In a union with very different characteristics, in the Gremial de Profesores de Montevideo, a relatively recently formed grouping, which expressed itself electorally through the 68 list, in its first appearance, attracted wide support, obtaining 6 of the 15 positions in the Executive Committee.

These facts reflect the growing discredit of the reformist line held by the CNT's executive management bodies. They testify to the strengthening, in the most diverse trade union circles, of the orientation that brings together the sectors of the Workers' and Students' Resistance. The repeated demonstrations of the union bases, if anything, show the wrongness of the tessitura of those who associate militant positions with lack of mass support, with "adventurism". Those who think this way, spreading paralyzing theories of regression, underestimate the importance of the level of consciousness and acquired. Who can validly doubt that through the struggles of the last times a broad development of this level of consciousness of mass combativity was processed?

To be able to deduce from the facts that this conclusion, which represents the failure of repression in its attempts to break the popular resistance, is particularly important now, when it is precisely one year since the implementation of the security measures.

The main task that needs to be carried out is to deal organisationally with the vast number of forces that are being mobilised. To this end, it remains essential to bring them together to form a solid trend that can influence the whole of the workers' and people's movement.

In this respect, it is necessary to be very clear about a few things.

• It is not enough to have a favourable opinion in a union. It is necessary to implement it organizationally. It is essential to create, in every union where there are possibilities, groups that unite all those who are willing to sustain a clear line of struggle and combat.
When we speak of groupings, we do not mean merely the holding of occasional meetings between colleagues in similar positions. Nor do we mean the simple presentation of lists in union elections or the constitution of groups with that more or less exclusive purpose. By groupings we mean stable, intermittently structured bodies with their own means of action, which develop permanent action. Trying to influence the orientations of the union. But also, by deploying its own action, in coordination with similar groups of the same tendency.
In the groups, we must proceed broadly, without sectarianism, but on the basis of clear and precise positions.
Two dangers always threaten groups of tendencies: militant sectarianism and imprecision in positions, also limiting in the end.
Avoiding the sectarianism that isolates.
The sectarian attitude originates, usually in the erroneous approach which attempts to attribute to groups with tendencies within the unions, tasks proper to specifically political organisations. By virtue of this error, the aim is to provide these groups with comprehensive and exhaustive definitions of the most diverse problems. Sometimes we even try to define them at the level of political ideologies. In fact, they become a kind of local micro-party.
The propensity to make these mistakes is preferably observed among independent individuals who, lacking the possibilities to adequately channel their political concerns within specific organizations, try to do so by partisanizing the trade action groups.
But this leads us to other points that we will make.


Montevideo, 23 June 1969.

SOME CRITERIA FOR WORK AT THE MASS LEVEL (5)

In the last letter, we referred to the risk that the erroneous criteria that lead to the introduction of levels of definition in groupings, which make them a kind of small union "party", entails for a policy of creating groupings. this way, the organisation is rapidly becoming sectarianised and closed off, the aim of which is precisely to ensure broad mass contact, at a more definite level than simple union organisation, open to all. To avoid the indefinition that paralyses. The opposite error to the one noted above, consists in underestimating the need to set out, with sufficient clarity, the objectives of the group, whose principles, whose limits we can say, remain so vague that they can be understood by anyone. In this way, the group ceases to be a trend, a precise level of definition, and becomes totally identified with the union in which it operates. This criterion leads to the formation of groups that are too heterogeneous and therefore not very operational, where doing anything or adopting any position requires endless internal discussions, question of sustained action, the latent divergences become apparent, they become more acute and the conditions for division, disintegration and failure begin to be created. Organisation is a means, an instrument to develop the struggle for certain objectives. It grows to the extent that it fulfils those ends, to the extent that it is functional for that purpose. It is therefore wrong to make organizational growth an end in itself. This must be taken into account. It is often the case that colleagues who are concerned about applying an organizational criterion promote the creation of groups without foreseeing this decisive aspect. Without clear objectives, the organization lacks functionality, the object of its own existence is blurred, contact with the mass is lost, and the mass only supports those who promote concrete actions for concrete objectives.

Sometimes meetings are held, a group is created, it is instrumented organizationally, work is done around some specific goal (participate in an election, act in a mobilization) but once that is over, it is not known what to do. The meetings languish and lead to endless general discussions. The group is left without objectives, without "having things to do". If such a situation persists, it inevitably leads to impotence and failure. No matter how numerous and well organized a group has become, it is not a matter of being a group. No matter what positions they hold within their union. If you do not have goals, if you do not actively fight for them you will fail hopelessly.

The opposite is also true. Any group, no matter how small, if it chooses its goals properly, if it actively and enthusiastically promotes the struggle for them, will grow. Those who want to fight (and in the present situation there are more and more who do) will go there, they will recognise in the comrades who make up the group their real and true leaders, even if they suddenly do not occupy any leading position in the union. And that is the leadership function that matters.
But when we talk about objectives, what do we mean? At this stage and at the level where the struggle is currently taking place, the objectives of a tendency grouping will usually be union-type demands.

We have already stated that the demands to be taken up are defined by the degree of urgency with which they are demanded by the mass of the union. In this matter there is no room for "occurrences". Only the demands that are really felt by the people will be taken up. However, the function of a trend grouping is not limited to trying to get the trade organisation, within which one acts, to take those demands (which are the immediate objectives of the grouping) as objectives of the general trade action.

To the extent that such a grouping translates a higher level of definition than the trade organization (which is for everyone), it must have its own approach, even for the demands. Its function is to lead the struggle within the union and therefore, in its own approach as a group, it must go beyond the more circumscribed approach of the union organization.

Any concrete demand is a partial, localised manifestation of more general problems. In the area of wage demands, for example, it is a fact that they all clash with a general government policy. To point out this fact, using the struggle for demands to clarify, at the level of the masses, the reasons and characteristics of this policy, is a task that sometimes cannot be done through trade unionism. In those cases, the grouping as such must do it.

However, as a result of the development of the general level of political understanding and consciousness that we are witnessing, this type of relationship and significance is often already the heritage of trade unions. In such cases, there is a tendency to make more definite approaches at the mass level, at a higher political level.

In short, it is a matter of not losing sight of these three things:

What defines the grouping as a trend are political positions and approaches that clearly differentiate it within the union as a whole and give it its own profile. That is why it differs (in its content, purpose and structure) from the trade union organisation, where everyone participates and whose positions may vary according to circumstantial majorities in assemblies, elections, etc.
• That level of definition, in the groupings, must be, at present, sufficiently broad so as not to identify totally with specifically political, "partisan" groups, let us say.
• Having a certain political definition does not mean ignoring the problems involved in making demands. It is always necessary to have concrete objectives for the work of the group. And these objectives must, as far as possible, include the demands that need to be promoted within the union.


Montevideo, 30 June 1969.

THE LONG MARCH TOWARDS
THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE.

Once again, we are experiencing an upsurge in repression. Disproving the prognosis of those who spoke of détente and the easy optimism of those who trust in the government's isolation, there are, once again, security measures. Their reintroduction, barely three months after the previous ones were lifted, shows how essential they have become to the regime. The extent to which the regime has become incapable of providing solutions to popular grievances. The fact is that preserving the oligarchy's fabulous profits has become incompatible with accepting the most obvious claims.

Every time the budgetary authority or an accountability is raised, the response to the wave of protests and mobilisations is the implementation of security measures. The only consequence of this is the accentuation of social tensions, the hardening of confrontations, the growing hatred of the people towards the beneficiaries of an intolerable situation. Even tougher regimes do not succeed in eliminating these tensions. The problems that motivate protest do not disappear, but become more acute with repression.

The regime's own contradictions are not diluted but rather accentuated by the use of force. These can eventually lead to apparent successes in the short term. They may succeed in deferring problems, but ensure, for the future, the destruction of the system. The case of Argentina, where the popular struggle is being revived after years of fierce dictatorship, illustrates this truth, which is evident from history. The new application of security measures is once again shattering the illusions of liberals and reformists who dream of a return to the Uruguay of the 50s. The arbitrary closing down of EXTRA, after many resignations and declarations, has become a mere matter of legislative privilege, which can be negotiated in terms of legal abstractions and subtleties, ignoring the real issue: the agony of freedom of expression. The fact is that in the framework of economic and social deterioration, there is only room for freedom for those who support the system, only free play between bourgeois factions is allowed. If anything, reformism, in its different variants, is tolerated, since it also plays a role of "social conservation", of integration into the system of the possibly opposing forces, we are seeing.

When the situation becomes really tense, the famous parliamentary quorum never appears to consider the measures and everything indicates that in this situation, the same picture will be repeated as on the previous occasion.

Everyone plays their own game. Echegoyen and his faction are waiting for the government's political drift, supporting it in the application of the repressive measures and attempting to contain some of its outbursts, in order to preserve the institutional forms in terms that will allow it to capitalise on its red discredit at the elections. Helping to repress and benefiting from the unpopularity that this same repression entails would be its double game. To reach a white government, with domesticated unions, would be their goal. The internal contradictions in the distribution of the profits that reactionary policies bring to the oligarchy weigh heavily as basic conditions. But always on the basis of the common defence of class interests and the acceptance of the need for repression.

The game of the liberals (red and white) is somewhat different. They continue to cling to the bourgeois scheme of the "prosperous times". They are confident that the political-institutional norms of bourgeois democracy, that the existing legal system, is the most effective way to make the system work. They fear the overflow of power and have learned from the experience of many Latin American dictatorships that this can be dangerous for the politicians. That an excessive concentration of authority can even compromise the "equitable" distribution of profits among the various segments of the bourgeois class. Some are linked to the sector of the industrial bourgeoisie (the so-called "national bourgeoisies") and encourage developmentalist utopias.

Others are simply old professional political foxes, who know that it is not with sticks that votes are obtained and that often the sticks bring the end of the elections themselves... and their end.
All of them prefer to "dialogue" with the trade union movement. They agree to make room for it, to institutionalise it within the system, as is done in the USA and other developed countries. They consider it more useful, for the normal functioning of the system, to have "sympathetic" unions, ready to discuss "peacefully" wage issues, ready to admit "reasonable sacrifices" to "save the country". They know that the origin of the deterioration lies in the armoured structures, in dependence on imperialism. But they are enablers. For them, for their bourgeois thinking, the world is made like this and is unchangeable. They believe that it is not possible to change the structures or to break with the empire. Resigned to the framework this creates for them, they go through the whole range of ineffective files, of remains without future, of utopian illusions, of claudications and betrayals, typical of those who dream, in the era of imperialism, of a "national capitalism"

It is the inevitable fate of those who want to make the policy of the national bourgeoisie, with a "national bourgeoisie" almost non-existent. Reformism in the trade union movement acts as a kind of left wing of that bourgeois liberalism. Its function is to act as a pulley to transmit the positions of the liberal bourgeoisie to the popular movement. The reformist leaderships advance and retreat together with the liberal politicians independently of the advance and radicalisation of the masses. When these politicians influence the government (as it happened in the first months of the Gestido period), they make a pact with them, try to avoid difficulties, they ask for an "understanding" attitude from the masses. They shore us up, abandoning, without any scruples, the popular aspirations. When the liberal bourgeois policy (which differs from the reactionary one much more in its methods than in its real content and aims) fails, this means the failure of reformism, which is left without any way out. The dilemma of the reformist orientation lies in the fact that it subordinates the action of the popular movement to the attitudes of the liberal bourgeoisie, in a situation where the latter has nothing concrete to give to the people.

The right way must be, and in fact is, the opposite. It is the trade union and popular movement bringing together all the sectors harmed by the government's reactionary policy, which must (and in fact does) play a leading role in confronting it on a mass level.

In this sense, as we have pointed out on other occasions, the central problem is the delay of the subjective conditions (level of clarity and consciousness, degree of organisation, availability of means of struggle in all fields), with respect to the objective ones (magnitude of the economic-social deterioration, entity of the problems affecting the people).
The expression (and cause) of this is the continuation of the reformist influence in the popular movement, especially in its apparatus. Another characteristic, conditioned by the previous one, is the frequently spontaneous modality that the struggle adopts.

When we propose the need for a plan of offensive struggle, we start from a positive evaluation of this spontaneous tendency, but, at the same time, we approach with realism the limitations of this modality of action. It is necessary to organise for a prolonged struggle, our insistence on the concrete ways to achieve this, starts from the conviction that only by channelling this spontaneity organizationally, only by framing it within an adequate strategic conception, will it be possible to obtain the definitive victory.

Reformism, on the other hand, in the face of the spontaneous reactions of the people (which simultaneously translate the shortcomings of that orientation and the beginning of its disintegration) opts for a policy of restraint.

To slow down now is to attempt, utopianly, to freeze a process of growing radicalisation, which is generated by the evolution of the objective, economic-social situation. To advance means to stimulate and support that spontaneous process of radicalisation, while at the same time trying to achieve, as far as possible, its overcoming, translating it into higher strategic-tactical and organisational conceptions, appropriate to the level, also higher, at which the struggle is posed.

This includes several things, which we have sometimes raised:

• Organize, union by union, the most combative elements in permanent groups, with defined positions and their own tasks.
• To coordinate these groupings within a common trend, which in the joint action will process their political cohesion and decide on their working methods, their working experience, their experience of struggle and their organic structuring.
• To develop the means to enable the consistent application of direct action methods, to support and enforce union measures, to promote mobilisations on the streets and occupations, to punish traitors and divisionists, to contain the continuity of action and to raise the morale of the struggle at the moments when the mass movement enters periods of ebb.
• To develop an armed apparatus that, growing through a prolonged succession of actions, converging with the mass movement, becomes in a position to dispute power to the bourgeoisie in a favourable conjuncture.

The characteristics of our national situation demand from us the difficult commitment to face and realise simultaneously all these tasks that constitute different levels of a single revolutionary practice.

Without organised groupings in the unions, but firmly coordinated in a solid trend, we will not have a truly national political perspective in the mass movement. We will continue to be prisoners of union localism, locked in to particular wage expectations, which are correct, but cannot be the only thing, on pain of being frozen at the level of the economic struggle.


LETTER TO THE CNT

Montevideo, 17 July 1968.
Comrade President of National Workers' Convention, Mr. José D'Elia

Present:

The undersigned trade unions address the highest permanent bodies of the CNT, through them, to express their opinion on the serious situation that exists. And to leave formally a plan of minimum struggle, of resistance to the security and freezing measures, to be applied by the whole of the working class, the students and the people. This approach, which reflects the spirit of struggle of vast sectors of the proletariat, reaffirms previous ones that we have formulated before the CNT's Representative Committee and its regional committees.

"AGAINST THE WORKERS AND AGAINST THE COUNTRY, THE MILLIONAIRES IMPOSE THEIR LEGAL DICTATORSHIP.

______________________________________________________________________
The despotic and anti-worker nature of the regime is already evident to everyone; the bourgeoisie and the government have taken off their mask. A more or less "legal" dictatorship is already in place in the country. The fact that the parliament meets and that the political parties hold authorised meetings is one of the characteristics of this "legal dictatorship", where for the time being those in charge are willing to tolerate a certain decorum. In the meantime, persecution is being launched against the unions and all those who are fighting. Militarization is increasing; suspensions and dismissals in official banks, ANCAP, UTE and other distribution centers; imprisonment of hundreds of citizens; violation of houses; beating, gassing and shooting of students and workers; banning of meetings and union assemblies; systematic campaign of confusion using censorship, venality and fear of newspapers and radios; persecution of union activists, action of "yellow" elements and groups and projects to regulate the unions. In this month and peak of security measures, this escalating curtailment of individual, trade and public freedoms characterizes the purposes and methods of the government. This government has direct representatives from all the fundamental nuclei of the Uruguayan oligarchy connected to foreign companies and governments. Of a government that does not have popular support, not even stable political support, but does have it from the Rural Federation, the employers' association of the banks, the Stock Exchange, the Chamber of Industries and other sectors of the bourgeoisie and the latifundia.

Everything becomes even clearer when, in the framework of this revolt against trade unions and fundamental freedoms, wages and salaries are frozen and reduced; adjustments are not paid to retirees and pensioners but more and more advantages are granted to landowners. In the midst of this reality, the financial and political links of the government and the "national bourgeoisie" with the Argentinean oligarchy and the gorilla dictatorship of Onganía, under whose "protection" they are trying to "integrate" our country, are getting stronger. Undoubtedly, with the approval of the United States and within its plans.

The government is therefore attacking the freedom, the workers' rights and the independence of the nation. Meanwhile the rich are getting richer and more and more Uruguayan families lack the essentials in terms of food, housing, health and education. The violence of the regime is being dumped on those at the bottom. In the first half of the year the cost of living rose by 64%, which means that in these six months the purchasing power of wages, salaries, pensions and retirement benefits is 64% lower than it was at the beginning of the year.

CNT TO FIGHT!!
WE CANNOT "DIALOGUE".

_____________________________________________________________________
If there was a lack of evidence, comrade President of the CNT, now they are breaking their eyes: In this social situation there is no room for "dialogue", in other words for conciliation and softness. In these circumstances, no one can trust the possibilities of the trade union movement to "saviours", "commissions of notables", "démarches", or "amnesties". It is not possible to seriously postulate "tactical withdrawals" or to argue that it is necessary to stop fighting measures in order to produce a "de-escalation of repression". In Uruguay, the national and foreign bourgeoisie is taking advantage of all the mechanisms of the "orange reform", and the clearly fascist inspired articles of the Constitution and the Penal Code, to establish a legal dictatorship. In our country, as the facts show, we are living in an increasingly advanced military or police state at the service of the so-called "living forces" that in order to expand and maintain their business and their "order", again and as their equals did in the time of Artigas, do not hesitate to "integrate" themselves under the protection of the Buenos Aires oligarchy. The classic coup d'état has not been carried out; but the "legal" coup d'état is taking place, through an escalation against the unions, against the liberties, the standard of living and the independence of the country. When we formed the CNT, and on various occasions, the trade union movement defined a course of action in the face of situations such as the one we are experiencing. This decision was taken to resist in all forms, including an indefinite general strike and the occupation of workplaces, under any attempt at a coup against the people.

And it is more than an attempt of coup d'etat that we are enduring. We are under the beginning of a plan of repression and surrender similar to what other brother countries, especially Argentina, have endured. We must take example and not repeat "mistakes", like those made by certain trade union leaderships there, which left the way free for the "gorillas". The unions and the CNT now have a huge responsibility more than ever. And the only way that can be taken is the one that in the factories, in the labourers' quarters and on the streets, they are demanding enough contingents of organised workers; the way of struggle in depth, without conciliations, developed with firmness and responsibility. We are fully aware that the situation is not simple, and that the struggle can be hard and has to be long. That is why we must fight it from now on. For the sake of elementary solidarity and at the same time for the convenience of all, we cannot allow ourselves to be delayed so that the unions are left alone in the fight; they are being fought on their own strength to face a repressive apparatus that is acting in such a way as to crush one by one the pockets of resistance. The struggle must be general and united. Any hesitation in front of the current situation, comrade president of the CNT, can be fatal for the workers and for the country.

And therefore, beneficial for the Uruguayan gorillas who from the government are already giving a "legal" blow against our salary and our freedom. Let's face them, now, before it's too late!

THE URUGUAYAN PEOPLE PROVED THAT THEY DO NOT GIVE UP.
ALL WORKERS, UNITE IN THE STRUGGLE!

______________________________________________________________________
The permanent work in contact or formal or informal arrangements can sometimes prevent the whole picture from being covered. It does not seem essential for the permanent bodies of the CNT, and in particular the one that has decided to command the Convention in these circumstances, to properly assess the real correlation of forces. In other words, without underestimating the enemy, the true magnitude of the possibilities of our working class and our people should not be underestimated either. We know that the oligarchy, which is the one that really governs, has important repressive, financial and propagandistic means at its disposal, orchestrated its action within a continental plan. But we also value, and we urge all the comrade leaders of the CNT to do so, the real reality of struggle in Latin America that our people have never been alien to by repeatedly demonstrating their willingness to struggle.

This time it has been demonstrated in difficult instances. We must take into account the capacity of struggle shown by the working class and the Uruguayan people, in order to immediately elaborate a plan of struggle, which does not stop it, but drives it and channels it. While the radio stations and all the newspapers applied self-censorship and the apparatus of confusion and intimidation of the oligarchy worked intensely at all levels; despite all that and the repression, the threats to confusion, the whole working class responded magnificently to the agreed upon measures, and the clamour for more radical measures, within a plan of struggle that includes all the unions, is felt in all the working class neighbourhoods. Despite the harassment, threats and persecutions, the militarised unions have defied the repression and firmly carried out the general strikes decided by the CNT, and also led to the implementation of union measures in the workplaces, strikes and street actions. This has happened, for example, in the official banks, where the personnel have expressed their willingness to resist and their demand for union and deeper and more general measures in many ways. In ANCAP's refineries, in UTE's headquarters, in the occupied textiles and study centres: in the strikes, street exits and confrontations with the repression developed by the health workers, students and workers of Maroñas, Villa Española, La Teja, Belvedere and Nuevo París, the fighting capacity of the Uruguayan people has been expressed, which is also shown in other areas and unions in Montevideo and in the interior. It is therefore a question of preventing this struggle from being split up and weakened. On the contrary, it must be unified in actions of ever greater magnitude. Let the unified and real struggle wear down those who launch repression against the people and strengthen them. This can be achieved through a joint plan of struggle. Through which the high level of combativeness and consciousness achieved by vast sectors of the proletariat will be expressed

-BAO WORKERS' UNION
-FEDERATION OF ROAD ASSOCIATIONS IN URUGUAY
-UNIQUE UNION OF ENRIQUE GHIRINGHELLI
-URUGUAYAN HEALTH FEDERATION
-AUTONOMOUS TRADE UNION OF TEM
-UNION OF WORKERS, EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS OF FUNSA
______________________________________________________________________


THE THREE "F" DOCUMENT

INTRODUCTION

The Uruguayan trade union movement analysed, discussed and determined, criteria for fighting a coup d'état from a long time ago. In June 1968, the CNT's Representative unanimously resolved "the occupation of all workplaces and the general strike in the event of a coup d'état or equivalent situation". The first Congress, then the second Congress and the assemblies of all the unions and the meeting of all the Base Committees - in May 1972 - reaffirmed this resolution. The resolution was clearly unanimous. Throughout this period, different unions and leaders at all levels pointed out: the foolishness of a plan of struggle that would intensify and unify the different union positions of confrontation with the oligarchic offensive expressed in pachequism. Only the uncompromising struggle of the trade unions was able to raise the levels of consciousness and organisation of the unions as a way to enable the fulfilment of the CNT's resolutions.

The need to adapt the structure, forms of operation and leadership practices of the unions to the new situations imposed by the pachecato (develop solid base committees by section or workplace), to establish and develop intermediate levels of leadership, to strengthen the links between the leadership and the bases, to promote militants at all levels, to deepen union unity while respecting the expression, at all levels, of the different orientations and trends.

The need to confront the regime vigorously in order to break Pacheco's economic and social policy, to prevent its consolidation, its absolutist and repressive control of the state apparatus. In fact, the junctures in which the process of accumulation of forces and the contradictions in the field of the oligarchy made it possible to break Pacheco's economic policy were not taken advantage of, a practice of dispersed struggle - without planning - was followed in response to the blows of the oligarchy, the popular movement was weakened and the strengthening of the oligarchy was enabled by the failure of the working class to achieve political objectives - by and possible - in various junctures of the pachecato: August 1968 and June 1969.

The need for the CNT leadership to study and plan, throughout the trade union movement, the appropriate measures to ensure effective implementation

THE JUNE 27TH COUP

All the technicians agree that from 1955/57 an economic-structural crisis took shape which became progressively worse. The two great traditional parties that shared power, with multi-class electoral support bases and a wide spectrum of tendencies within them - ranging from populist formulations to extreme right-wing expressions - without prejudice to the interests of the oligarchy. The advance of the economic-structural crisis and the decrease in the wealth to be distributed generated growing social tensions. Since 1960, attempts have been made to apply the recipes of the IMF (wage freeze), as a way of maintaining the quota of the latifundia, the large industrialists, bankers and exporters at the expense of wage earners and small producers in the city and countryside.

The workers lost part of their wages. Within the framework of the struggles understood as the answers of the trade unions to the crisis, five events of fundamental importance in the process of the class struggle took place:

• The extension, with an unprecedented amplitude in the life of the country, of unionization.
Trade unionism is no longer an exclusively workers' phenomenon, but a phenomenon of all employees.
• The raising of the political level of trade union mobilisations, expressed in the programmatic proposals.
• The progressive hardening and radicalisation of the methods of struggle.
• The creation of the CNT as a massive expression of trade union unity and the programmatic advancement of the working people.
• We workers lost part of our wages.

In 1964/66, trade union unity was established: a declaration of principles, a programme and statutes accepted by all the unions when the CNT was set up. The oligarchy responded to the new level reached by the workers' resistance with the "Orange Reform" and the constitutional dictatorship of Pacheco. Pachecato constitutes the process by which the oligarchy assaults the Executive Power and concentrates in its hands all the instruments that define the economic policy of the country. Thus, with the parliamentary endorsement finally expressed through the "chico" pact, the oligarchy from the Executive unifies the Armed Forces to serve its repressive policy. The unions and the people have been fighting against this process from 1966 to the present. In an unstable balance between the possibilities of the oligarchy and the potential for struggle of the trade union and popular movement, facts and confrontations are hidden, and the oligarchy is settling its contradictions.

The political "crises" are representative of the expression of such contradictions, of the imposition of the real power of the oligarchy over the formal power of the parties expressed in Parliament. On the other hand, the armed forces, which were gradually incorporated into the support of this policy and left the barracks in 1972 (fight against "sedition"), began to follow a path with certain autonomous characteristics, within the framework of the state apparatus of which they are part. February 1973 was a sign of the process that the Armed Forces were going through. Communiqués 4 and 7 could be, to a greater or lesser extent, an expression of the real aspirations that existed within the Armed Forces at the time, or mere instruments of demagogic propaganda. What is indisputable, in light of the events, is that the expectant passivity with which the popular movement faced its actions from February onwards was a mistake. It was therefore a mistake to mobilise without a decision to achieve immediate objectives of their own that were of such importance to the workers and - in some cases - coincided with points in communiqués 4 and 7, whatever interpretation was given to them. Wage improvements were postponed until July despite the unleashed inflationary process, the huge demonstrations of 19 March and 1 June, indicative of the combative mood of the masses, the solidarity action for the respect of trade union rights, and the defence of the sources of work, did not develop in a coordinated manner with the required amplitude (Juan Lacaze conflict, intervened banks, Frigonal, integration of the boards of the Autonomous Entities). The campaign for the nationalization of the banking, foreign trade and refrigeration industries was not developed, despite the elements provided by the speculation with wool, the pressure of the managers of the Banco Mercantil, the presence of Gari in Lanasur. No maximum solidarity was deployed to respond to the attacks against the registered HISSA unions; etc.

As a culmination of this expectant city, the celebration of Mayday is even planned as a party, in a completely inadequate attitude in relation to the harshness of the class struggle. Finally, with the coup of 27 June, the armed forces have unequivocally positioned themselves as the armed wing of the interests of the oligarchy and imperialism.

THE STRIKEAND ITS DEVELOPMENT.

On the very morning of the coup, in compliance with the resolution of the Congresses, without stopping to wait for a central order, nor in the face of hesitation that might occur at some level, important workplaces (especially factories) were occupied.

By midday the occupation was almost total, reaching places with little history of trade union mobilisation.

From 27 June to 4 July the strike was almost total. We highlight that period:

• The generation of electricity was kept under workers' control and the supply of fuel depended entirely on union resolutions.
• On 30 June, 1, 2 and 3 July an offensive of eviction operations took place. In the majority of cases, they were re-occupied (in some cases up to 7 times), except for Lanasur, which was unilaterally occupied by the Armed Forces and could not be occupied by the workers. In Alpargatas, Bao, etc., the repression reached an extreme violence without achieving the softening of the workers and militants who reoccupied their factories.
• On Thursday 28 and Friday 29 June, the army withdraws fuel from ANCAP. On Saturday 30th, the army occupies it, taking over the stored fuel.
• Serious difficulties have been reported to the Coordinator of the Press Unions.
• On Saturday 30th difficulties in transport start to be observed.

From 4 to 8 July, the strike in the transport sector collapsed and was broken in the municipal, dockworkers, SUANP, and railway companies, as well as in COFE where the strike was never organically decreed. There are also uprisings in the sectors that had decreed it themselves. We do not know who was responsible for these uprisings, or in agreement with whom. The funerals of the fallen students and the great popular concentration on Monday, July 9 showed a high level of presence and militancy. Finally, on Wednesday 11, the Representative lifted the strike without any conditions. As a result, there are still: the dismissed, the demanded, the summarized, the persecuted. The level of struggle of the occupied places at that time eloquently pointed out the firmness and the vanguard role of the working class in the battle fought. The battle was fought in the heat of the people, with the support of the neighbourhood.

LESSONS FROM THE STRIKE

This general strike is the most important political action carried out in Uruguay by the whole of the proletariat, the salaried sectors, the student body and vast social sectors. They are major political contributions of this strike:

• The participation of big masses acting together as a form of political protest against the dictatorship, made in the form of strike and occupation of workplaces.
• The leading role of the working class, which made a qualitative leap in the political leadership of the popular movement.
• The awareness of its strength by the people's movement and the necessity to create the political, organisational and technical conditions for the struggle for people's power, without which no programme of the people will become a reality.
• The generalisation of the whole trade union movement, of street demonstrations, practised under extremely difficult conditions.
• The recognition of the importance of the plans of fight (criteria and objectives, planning, organization and forecast), for the development of the fight. Their absence prevents the full potential of the struggle from being deployed.
• The confirmation of the importance of the Base Committees, of the development of the militancy by section, company and intermediate levels, as support and exercise of the management in any circumstance.
• The identification of the needs for a regional and zonal structure built from the workplaces, building from these a solid intermediate direction (regional and zonal of the whole trade union movement in Montevideo).
• It is in the practice of a conciliatory trade unionism, in the systematic softening of methods, in the constant condemnation, by sectors of the trade union movement, of every expression of radicalisation in the methods of struggle, all of which is linked to the lack of appropriate plans of struggle, to the lack of an adequate trade union structure, It is also due to the lack of sufficient intermediate cadres rooted in the base, in the practice of a vindictive trade unionism, disconnected from the programmatic aspects, that the explanation for the serious deficiencies that several unions showed must be sought, to such an extent that the strike could not be maintained and even, in some cases, effectively decreed.

NO UNION WAS DEFEATED, A STYLE, A METHOD, A CONCEPTION OF UNION WORK WAS DEFEATED.

In short: the force of the GENERALSTRIKE against the dictatorship (a historically unprecedented experience) hit it to some degree. It did not succeed in overturning it, but it managed to bring together against the dictatorship a very broad front of unevenly structured forces. The struggle tested all orientations, all organisational and trade union work systems, all tactical criteria.

Correcting the shortcomings in the light of the experience, so that the next wave of the popular movement will drown the dictatorship, is a necessary task that demands broadness of criteria and seriousness of analysis.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

In analysing the causes of the coup, we point out that the oligarchy is mounting an offensive to consolidate its power. This is not the culmination, but a further milestone in the process begun in 1968.

The geopolitical reasons (the interest of foreign monopoly capital and imperialism in the Plata basin) are factors that influence an increasingly serious economic, structural and political crisis. In the political field the regime is practically isolated, the armed forces are its main effective support. Aware of this reality, the dictatorship seeks to build its social support base. It has a monopoly on information to practice demagogy.

The economic policy of the oligarchy only serves it, the foreigner, the imperialism. It will aggravate the structural causes of the crisis, the alienation of our wealth, the stagnation of production. It has an anti-patriotic, anti-national sign, exposing more and more our validity as an independent eastern nation. Despite this weakness (relative social and political isolation), the dictatorship has a monopoly on information in order to practice demagogy, it has all the power, including the state armed forces, it is supported by imperialism and in the economic field no catastrophe or collapse can be foreseen in the medium term, but rather a stagnation similar to that which the country has been enduring. We can therefore conclude that the defeat of the dictatorship (in its present form or those it may adopt in the future) depends basically on the resistance and struggle developed by the popular movement. The trade unions and the people have a long-term struggle ahead of them, not a short-term one.

The WORKING CLASS, the backbone of the popular resistance during the 15-day strike, must continue to play its cardinal role. The social sign of the political solution to this situation depends on the gravitation of the working class and its most combative sectors in the process of resistance that has started. It depends on the weight of the working class and its most militant sectors that we advance towards the people's power from this stage of resistance. Only the leading role of the people will prevent that this struggle ends with a way out behind the scenes and means a new frustration for the people and especially for the working class.

PERSPECTIVES

From the above, it leads to maintain that with the dictatorship NEITHER TREGUE, NOR LEGITIMATION. But we must note that after the strike, within the framework of the decree of July 4, 1973, the employers have found an opportunity to beat the unions. One aspect of the process of recovery of the latter, is to understand that the general actions of the trade union movement will only be possible insofar as possible generalizations developed by subsidiary unions or by regional or zonal unions. We understand that these actions must be linked to the following immediate platform that will nucleate and guide them in the struggle:

• Freedom for all comrades in prison, immediate cessation of torture. Full validity of the right to information and assembly. Repeal of Trade Union Regulations and all repressive legislation, an end to persecution and the legalisation of the CNT
• Reimbursement of all those dismissed, summarized and dismissed for union reasons.
• Wage adjustment in accordance with the indices established by the CNT for July (73), updated to the indices of cost containment and subsidies for the fundamental products of the family basket. Measures against unemployment and creation of new sources of work.

It is a task then, in the short term, to unite the militancy in the understanding and assimilation of the lessons of the general strike, on a common -minimal- appreciation of the perspective, on the character of the present and future struggle. This is even fundamental to fight against dismissals and prisoners.

Therefore we want to emphasize:

• The dictatorship seeks to broaden its social base; this must be prevented. The trade unions should, by proceeding as broadly as possible, coordinate their efforts with the various social sectors that are defined against the dictatorship. The realization of the reactionary character of Bordaberry's team in economic and political terms requires that those who are committed to the dictatorship be severely punished. Within the framework of this characterization is that the working class must promote the creation of a FRONT OF POPULAR RESISTANCE that brings together all the forces that oppose the dictatorship and agree to carry out the programmatic changes that the People's Movement has already approved: nationalization of foreign trade, banking, land, refrigerators, etc. Here we must bear in mind the interests that unite us and the different degrees of alliance that can determine and lead us towards the objective of the working class and the people.
• With the dissolution of parliament, the oligarchic attack is directed against the trade unions, the university and education, the student associations, the opposition political parties and movements, not necessarily to destroy them but to condition and limit them. The decree called "Security at Work" has this purpose. The unions will not allow themselves to be regulated by the dictatorship and the employers. The tactic of confrontation will have to be processed by appreciating the force available. We are not afraid of elections by secret ballot, as we have always done and are willing to do. But we will not allow ourselves to be swamped. We will never give up the methods of struggle that the labour movement has coined in 100 years of experience and in the general strike.
• To adapt the unions' methods of struggle and organisational guidelines to the reality of the repressive levels established by the system. To assume the responsibilities that derive from the intensity reached by the class struggle at all levels. Not to fall into the tactical dispersion, to unite and combine the forms of the trade union struggle according to the circumstances.
• Street mobilisation must be part of the actions to be undertaken, ensuring that they are properly prepared.
• Insofar as the regime has a monopoly on propaganda, it is necessary to develop (give it the value it has) the agitation and propaganda front AT ALL LEVELS OF THE POPULAR MOVEMENT.

AT ALL LEVELS OF THE PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT, IT IS NECESSARY TO FIGHT FOR THE MENTALITY OF RESISTANCEWE HAVE MADE AN EXPERIENCE. WE HAVE FOUGHT A BATTLE. THERE WILL BE OTHER BATTLES. WE ARE INVINCIBLE. WE ARE A PEOPLE THAT DOES NOT LET ITSELF BE SWEPT AWAY.

ORGANISATIONAL ASPECTS

• It is essential that all unions review their organizational structure, working methods and functioning, taking advantage of recent lessons.
• It is necessary that a national plenary of trade unions functions on a permanent basis, that it organizes its work according to a Representative Board (with a Secretariat and an adequate regional structure).
• After the discussion of this document, it is necessary to discuss it in plenary in order to elect Representative Table according to the reality of the trade union movement.

The Secretariat must ensure the decisive gravitation of the workers' unions that held the central weight of the strike. It must also ensure that all the classist currents acting in the labour movement are represented.

argentina / uruguay / paraguay / anarchist movement / opinion / analysis Wednesday February 17, 2021 18:53 byFederación Anarquista Uruguaya

Today we present in English the FAU text "40 points for action here", a material of balance and analysis of the social situation and the struggles of 1968.

The authoritarian advance in Uruguay was relevant at that time, as was the resistance to it and the new levels of popular struggle that were developing. In this context, the "40 points", as well as being a balance sheet, mark an orientation of work in the trade union milieu, but are extendable to the whole social milieu, focusing on political organisation as the decisive factor.

It is a material of enormous relevance that is still valid today and can guide the work of social insertion in the most diverse situations. It is very useful today.

The text is made up of several points that deal with the national situation at the time, the political and ideological changes, the disastrous role of reformism in putting the brakes on the struggles and attempting to channel them into the electoral-institutional terrain and, finally, the approach to the method of class-based trade union building and struggle to be deployed in the framework of a general strategy of rupture.

We hope that this material will be of use to anarchist comrades all over the world. Health and Up with those that Struggle!

With the year ending, the doubts were clarified:

40 POINTS FOR ACTION HERE

At the end of the year, the events that have taken place since 13 June have only confirmed the characteristics of the regime as described above. There is, however, a variant. The nature of the events that have taken place, the depth of their effects and the historical density of these last few months perhaps give them the dimension of an unprecedented experience. As a result of its rapid development, a new, unprecedented situation has arisen in the country which requires careful analysis by all those who aspire to bring about a change in the heavily negative trend that has prevailed in these last stages of the national process.

A REPRESSIVE MODEL FOR URUGUAY

Although the goals pursued by reaction are continental in scope and correspond to a global policy drawn up by US imperialism, the specific procedures for applying them in each country are adapted, as good as bad, to national peculiarities. That is why in Uruguay, a country with a civil and legalist tradition, the first thing that was done was to create, through the "orange" reform, broader legal means for repression. Then, now, they began to use these new legal powers.

1) It is clear that in Uruguay, the best formula for reaction and imperialism is not, at this stage, the classic type of gorilla dictatorship, but the constitutional dictatorship enabled by the current text. This provides a "strong" Executive and a legally subordinated Parliament that has also proved to be in fact pressuriseable and complacent.

This operational formula enables the manipulation, for the benefit of the oligarchy, of the deep-rooted legalistic myths so eagerly spread by our traditional political liberalism. There is nothing better than institutional, "democratic" clothing to dress up the essential gorilla reality of the regime. Never before has the crude reality of violence and oppression inherent in the bourgeois regime become so evident, the role of mere and deceptive appearance to which the most expensive and famous institutions of democracy are relegated, when the demands for the preservation of the socio-economic foundation of the system impose the need to resort to open violence.

The most salient feature of the present moment is that, for the first time in many years, the reaction seems ready to come to an end. Long months of persistent repression, developed according to a coherent plan of gradual implementation, bear witness to this. It is useful, at this point, when the situation appears to be entering a new stage, to assess some characteristics of this immediate unprecedented escalation.

2) Repression is intense but measured. It does not close off all possibilities, while it unloads the criminal rage of the police against the student and labourer fighters. But it always leaves something that "can be lost", that is at risk if "disorder" continues: the constitution and "legality" with whose suppression liberals and reformists are blackmailed; "autonomies" that are violated and restricted but not suppressed, to be used as hostages against "responsible leaders"; trade unions that are "regulated" but not suppressed. This gives the sell-outs, who have played such an important role in the repressive plans, reasons of "principle" to co-contemplate their retreat or betrayal. They are provided with a field of possible collaboration, more or less express or conscious, with the regime. In defence of the preservation of legality or autonomy, it is more justifiable to stop the struggle and divide it.

3) With the help of the media apparatus, for the first time almost unanimously regimented, public attention was focused on the area that was most convenient for the government: the repression of "student disorders". The generally spontaneous characteristics of these, and the isolation in which they were often left, were used to encourage the hostile reactions that these mobilisations could eventually provoke in certain sectors of the population. The aim was to present, as a simple problem of "public order", the application of security measures which, in reality, concealed an unprecedented attack on the standard of living and freedom of the vast majority of the population, through the freezing of wages and salaries, and various repressive measures. Some sectors of employees and workers, whose incomes were frozen, whose work was endangered, were convinced that the whole problem consisted of the student "riots". The already agonizing "stabilization" by decree of the prices, which was painfully endured for a short time, pointed to the same confusing result. The less spectacular nature of the trade union mobilisations, which were more effectively blocked by the reformist apparatus, favoured this misunderstanding, which has allowed so many people to see the confrontation posed as being outside their own and personal interests.

4) Repression was focused, selectively and progressively (militarization, discounts, suspensions, imprisonment, dismissals), seeking to isolate and defeat separately the key or more radicalized sectors within the autonomous entities; banks, Ancap, Ute were the centre of this selective repression of a union type. The persistent lack of a global plan of struggle by the popular movement, left practically without a central direction by the defection, perplexity and hesitations of the reformist leaderships, facilitated this policy.

5) The repression was complemented by the promotion of yellow unionism as a diversionary technique and an attempt to capitalise on the disbelief and fear generated by the repression in the less combative sectors. The difficulties suffered by the workers do not, however, bode well for the long-term success of these attempts, in which the dollars and training of the US IUES act in coordination with the employers and the government.

6) The state regulation of trade unions and university elections is the "institutional" balance that the government intends to leave as a permanent repressive form with the security measures. What they had not yet been encouraged to include in the "orange" constitution is now being introduced. The aim is to subdue two fundamental centres of resistance and, in the process, to blackmail the hesitant of all kinds. With the trade union regulation (included in COPRIN), it is a question of conquering an old, repeatedly frustrated aspiration of the reaction: to get hold of the unions, to control them, by transforming them into appendages of the state.

The provisions of the regulations are clear in the sense of slowing down and rendering less effective any trade union mobilisation that may be developed in the future. The aim is to create more favourable conditions for the surrender and divisive action of the yellow organisations and then to invest them as "genuine" workers' representatives. Control to paralyse and divide the trade union movement appear to be the clearest aims of this law. Of course, the plebiscitary mechanisms that it establishes to take any measure of struggle try to give weight to the less conscious and more pressurized sectors, which are expected to be influenced more easily, by avoiding the discussion in assemblies and by properly using the action of the publicity and repression apparatus. A similar significance is given by the so-called University Law which, through the control of the Electoral Court and the parliamentary imposition of procedures for the appointment of authorities, enshrines a principle of subordination to the government. In both cases the purposes are similar. It is not a question of suppressing the unions or making the university disappear. It is a matter of dominating them, of limiting them to the role that the reaction wants them to play within the system.

7) Schematically, the trade unions are reserved the function of a docile computer element, disciplining the workforce; with which they can negotiate responsibly, without conflict. In times of economic difficulties, the bourgeoisie does not refuse to dialogue. What it wants is to dialogue with a sufficiently complacent interlocutor; always understanding the "needs of the country" interpreted according to the interests of the bourgeoisie, of course.

For the university, the aim is to give it the role of training technicians, or technocrats, aseptically unaware of any problem that is not strictly professional. Who do not want to see beyond the limits that the bourgeoisie considers acceptable at every moment. It is the castration of the political projection of the sciences that is sought. A university that is more coherent with the bourgeois order in crisis, more obligingly functional for the preservation of the status quo.

Trade union regulation and university law tend to re-establish the oligarchy's control over two vital centres of social power which, due to the peculiarities of our historical process, have become too autonomous. When their situation starts to become critical, the bourgeoisie has to centralise all power.

8) Constitutional reform, trade union regulation, university law, are all successive steps in the same direction. As the causes of the deterioration of the system are still in place, there will surely be further steps. The current dynamics of the process cannot but lead the regime to increasingly authoritarian political formulas. The typical liberal forms are now not very functional for the interests of the dominant classes. This is the meaning of security measures. They necessarily lead to a kind of historical frustration insofar as they attempt to solve, with political means of power, problems whose roots lie in the very economic and social structure of the system. The price and wage freeze attacks the symptoms of a disease that is deeper. But the ruling classes do not want the "cure" of the country because that cure is their death. Therein lies the contradiction that they will never be able to solve: their domination is opposed to the real solution of the problems that determine the uninterrupted deterioration of the economic-social situation. Repression only postpones, in the immediate future, the outcome that will be fatal to them. But at the same time, it brings that outcome closer in the long term. That is why there will be no more lasting normality. The situation will demand ever greater doses of repression that will create conditions in the long term for more forceful popular responses.

9) In short, it is the national version of the gradual collapse of the capitalist system on a continental and world level. Here, as in another dimension in Vietnam, imperialism and its acolytes need ever greater doses of repression to postpone their definitive death for historical minutes.

It is from this perspective that what is happening in a "liberal" country that on 13 December 1967 dawned upon the dissolution of six political organisations and the closure of two publications and which now - one year later - has been living under an extraordinary regime for six months, makes sense.

There are so many other characteristics that give the tone of the process and explain the security measures.

-absolute and almost total foreignisation of private banking
-unimpeded domination of economic life by that same bank and related sectors of traders and speculators, several of whom personally hold key government positions.
-accented subordination of all the powers (the Legislative, the Judicial and the "fourth power" of the media), to the Executive, establishing a legal dictatorship that does not formally end with the other "powers", but rather instrumentalises them as coverage of the Executive's dictatorship, which is in turn an instrument of the oligarchy.
-Small contacts, plans for complementarity, exchange and economic, political, territorial and military integration, under the patronage of the dictatorships of Argentina and Brazil and of economic groups controlled by American and European capital.
-Strengthening and technification under US leadership of repression apparatuses, especially political police and shock forces.

PAST AND PRESENT

In order to understand the evolution of these six months of turmoil, we must take into account the concepts and working methods that, over the previous years, helped to shape some characteristics of the trade union and popular movement.

Special consideration should be given to certain weaknesses of the one who recognises its origin in the hegemonic role that reformism has played in its direction during the previous stage. Even at the risk of biasing the approach, let us point out some of the aspects of current incidence. It goes without saying that the verifications we make also affect future possibilities and powerfully condition any strategic forecast that is drawn up.

10) The trade union and student movement has been the main force of resistance to the reactionary policy of the government.

Neither political parties, nor parliament, nor institutions or personalities with their well-known statements, have been major obstacles to government action. The effective resistance has taken the form of strikes, occupations and street actions by workers and students, through which the spirit of struggle that exists in a vast sector of the people has been shown.

The extent of the process of aggregation that has been taking place in our country, driven by the need to defend the economy against inflation, demonstrated on this occasion its potential value as a factor of change. However, the accumulated forces did not have the opportunity to express themselves fully, due to harmful labour criteria, which are rooted in easier times and constitute the core of the reformist style of union action. It was demonstrated once again that the need to accumulate forces is only one of the important aspects within the task at hand. No less important than that is, obviously, knowing what those forces are wanted for and how they should be employed. This implies outlining a strategy that goes beyond empiricism and improvisation.

11) The outbreaks of proletarian resistance occurred spontaneously, as the various unions were directly hit by the repressive measures, and in each case, they became more or less isolated. The solidarity actions were biased and entangled by the inaction of the "official" apparatuses, permanently concerned that things would not get any worse, that the situation would not become uncontrollable. In this they were consistent with a strategy that they still apply today: to delimit resistance and protest, to contain it within limits that do not prevent from looking for a negotiated solution. The basic thing, for this, is not to give "excuse" to the reaction to hit. This approach is based on the assumption, which experience has shown to be wrong, that repression is a mere "political" episode on the surface. From this, the theory of "isolating the government" was developed, seeking the alliance of politically opposing bourgeois sectors (which, in order to be possible, requires not "scaring" allies with "excesses" of resistance to repression). The uninterrupted succession of coups applied by the government in the last two months, in which that line has prevailed, proves the error of its assumptions and the ruin of its methods.

12) The lack of an overall plan of struggle, with coordinated actions of progressive development, deprived the popular movement of a generalized and profoundly demonstrative experience of the extent to which the thesis of reserving forces for the most difficult battles was fallacious. These combats have arrived and the theories of containment, of parsimonious and miserly use of these forces have continued to be applied.

It is clear that the lack of a plan of struggle in offensive when there were conditions for it, allowed the reaction to choose the moment and the way of striking, by virtue precisely of the paralyzing theory of "avoiding pretexts to repression". The real reasons for this are to be found in the economic-social deterioration of the regime and not in the popular mobilisations. Until today, it has never been seen that retreat is the best way to confront reaction, which does not imply that always and in any condition one must "go forward". The strategy can and must be offensive. Tactics can require retreats.

13) Faced with the escalation of repression, certain sectors of the "left" have once again appealed to the traditional dossier: taking refuge under the wing of the old and typical Uruguayan liberalism, more or less tinged with populism or utopian developmentalism.

Middle class nuclei, the weak "national bourgeoisie" (entrepreneurs dependent on the domestic market, small and medium sized industrialists and traders) form the social base of these sectors, promoted by some as the natural allies of the trade union movement. Added to this is the still broad ideological clientele of those who dream of a return to the "happy Uruguay" of the so-called Batllista cycle. These liberal sectors are adopting the left variant of the middle class, which is materialised in the "legalistic" desire to return to "normality" by making a pact with the trade union movement if necessary. Convincing it, through dialogue, to agree to make sacrifices to "save the country".

Of course, the persistent adoption of that tessitura by the reformist left implies admitting a weakness for the popular movement that they do not perceive in their desirable "allies". Alliance policy in itself is not reprehensible, and can be useful when faced with it.

The negative is the abdication at the hands of these bourgeois allies of all possibilities, of all hopes. The vanguard role that only corresponds to the workers' and popular movement is given to the representatives of the liberal bourgeoisie and petite-bourgeoisie who, as was to be expected, have given the most exhaustive demonstration of their impotence. The fact is that the liberals, the developmentalists, sometimes become bold insofar as there are (or they believe there can be) people on the street, and they become hesitant and timid when this does not happen. In any case, their help does not go beyond parliamentary speeches and frustrated attempts to carry out public acts, which have never prevented the establishment of any dictatorship, either constitutional or otherwise. The containment of the people's struggles is condemned to failure as the crisis of the system deepens. The reformist apparatuses are finding it increasingly difficult to curb or channel it. When the official apparatus does not channel the disconformities, they seek channels outside the apparatus. In the present circumstances the struggle has developed within more or less spontaneous characteristics. From this derives its intensity, but also, inevitably, its weaknesses.

14) In fact, the reformist apparatus is conceived and built as an element of framing the mass, to use it as a mere pressure group, to represent it in negotiations, much more than to lead it in the struggle. When the struggle takes the form of hard confrontations, the "central leaderships" in fact cease to lead. Classic trade union measures (strikes, actions) alone are not enough.

Repeated strikes, without being part of an overall plan, wear down the unions exposed to repression. Stoppages, sometimes lasting a few minutes, do not stop the repression from taking place because of their brevity. Acts are forbidden. The reformists' arsenal rapidly exhausted their resources and very soon they were at the limits of their possibilities. From that moment on everything becomes a search for openings that allow for honourable withdrawal.

For that, it is necessary to be forgiven, to pose as a victim before the middle class and the liberal bourgeoisie in order to get their support. And to seek the cooperation of entities as characterized as, real example, the Chamber of Industries; to lower the level and tone of complaints; to adapt to the possibilities that are becoming less and less demanded. At the end of the day, a "great triumph" can be proclaimed on the basis of whatever small thing is finally granted.

15) The struggle for immediate objectives is not in itself wrong; quite the contrary. The more precise, more concrete and more understandable by the people are the issues of struggle (the immediate platform) the more possible it will be to promote popular and trade union action and thus create awareness on the issues of substance (the programme).

It all depends on the objective and therefore on the method applied. It is not reformism to fight for immediate objectives. As it is not a revolutionary tactic to "prepare" without acting on everyday things, to neutralize oneself until "the revolution comes" (which will never "come"). On the other hand, it is possible to verbally postulate the most complete programme, national and international, and be a stubborn reformer, if it is believed and taught that the method to conquer this programme is a legalist, parliamentary, electoral method.

What differentiates a reformer from a revolutionary is fundamentally the method, basically related to what each one wants. The reformer, reformism, has a strategy to endure within the system, constituting a pressure group to obtain peaceful and legal changes within the system. The revolutionary by the direct action of the people processes struggles, fights the ideological battle, in order to create the conditions for the revolutionary forging of the people's power.

WHAT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN THESE SIX MONTHS

The experience of the security measures, as a kind of dress rehearsal of dictatorial recipes, has allowed to accumulate experiences and to detect, with more precision, the weaknesses of the popular movement. From this, a strategy for the future and political guidelines have been quite clearly outlined, which have the merit of having withstood an initial general confrontation on the tactical plane.

16) The despotic essence of the regime was more than ever in evidence. The image of an exceptional Uruguay, long elaborated by the bourgeoisie, was gradually blackened until it disappeared. Our belonging to oppressed and convulsed Latin America began to be, instead, palpable. The violence acquired a Uruguayan citizenship card. Vast contingents of workers and students prepared themselves for the confrontation and in the action they proved and showed that the security measures and the gorilla violence of the legal dictatorship were not the end of the world. It is negative and dangerous that broad layers of so-called public opinion are starting to get used to living under extraordinary detention. But the antithesis of this, which is both positive and dangerous (but for the oligarchy), is that broad sectors of the population are beginning to get used to fighting and organising in the semi-clandestinity imposed on them by the regime.

In the student centres, in many unions, determined groups were formed and strengthened. Temperate in the hard solidarity of the struggle, they learned to recognize each other, beyond the borders of the unions, and to think and apply together new forms of resistance and protest. Everywhere, daring fighters, many with no previous experience, and without means, had in check trained police, armed with repressive means proven abroad, who had not only vast logistic resources, but also the greatest impunity for their organised rage.

The struggle led by young workers and students has played an important role in the political life of the country. In front of it, the regime showed its repressive nature, its hard criminal face. Suddenly, it is no longer the codes, the parliament or other fetishes of the Western and Christian civilisation that appear to consecrate the authority. It is no longer compliance with the rules theoretically agreed upon by all, which constitutes the so-called "rule of law", the means to govern. Between the government and the people, the intermediaries (politicians, editorialists, lawyers) have almost disappeared. The regime becomes laconic: it speaks through the mouth of its shotguns, its revolvers.

The government may be trying to restore the traditional image; it may still be ridding itself of some of the most hated figures. For a growing number of Uruguayans, however, the veil will surely have fallen. This is one of the positive balances achieved by the struggle of these months.

17) The powerlessness of the reformers has been evident throughout the process. The thunderous proclamations of elements of that current as to their disposition to resist, with the most extreme means, including the violation of university autonomy or with the revolutionary general strike the hypothetical gorilla strike, have demonstrated their emptiness and their character of smoke curtain.

In the places where the most serious clashes took place, these were promoted by militants of revolutionary or independent organisations. Whoever reviews their history will see that in them the guiding and leading role was not given to the reformist leaders. This was not an obstacle for honest and militant militants affiliated to reformist guidance and leadership parties to participate actively in their upswing.

18) There is a whole new and broad class of militants, emerging in the course of these struggles, who are now joining free of the reformist blinkers.

This development, the fruit of concrete practice, has not been the work of any ideological current or preaching. It is the situation itself that places every honest and combative militant who acts without artificially created prejudices, in the revolutionary camp. A united action among several unions, some of them of recent appearance in the vanguard of the trade union struggles, was outlined.

Faced with the powerlessness of the central organs to lead the struggle, the most combative unions and militants gathered as a tendency to push the struggle forward.

Such is the case of the six unions that on 17 July proposed a global plan of struggle to the CNT.

In this incorporation of new unions and militant workers ready to face the hardest repressive measures, lies the most positive and real accumulation of forces.

A similar phenomenon occurred in the student camp, where, together with Medicine, Architecture, Fine Arts and other university centres, sectors that until now have had little relative gravitation played a very important role, such as Teaching, Secondary Education and UTU. New forms of struggle appeared. Especially the street mobilization of the students acquired unprecedented levels of militancy.

19) The incalculable potential of struggle shown by the masses in the face of repression has destroyed the myth of the "passivity" of our people.

The occupations of the factories and the organisation of the resistance against the foreseeable police attack and the so-called "open occupations" of the students testified this militancy and made contact with the neighbourhoods and other striking sectors possible.

In some cases, original modalities were used, in the student CAMP, such as the so-called counter courses, which inaugurated a common area with other sectors.

The conditions have been created for a revolutionary line to have, for the first time potentially, forces to make an important impact.

SOME LIMITATIONS OF THE RESISTANCE MOVEMENT

20) The fundamental shortcoming has been the lack of an overall strategic concept. The response to the security measures has basically been spontaneous. Reformism, which holds key positions, has not driven the struggle or coordinated it. The lack of a revolutionary political centre with the gravitas and strength to fulfil this role led to the struggle being unleashed and sustained "union by union" without a sufficiently coherent and forward-looking overall perspective. For this reason, a counterattack was made, leaving the initiative almost always in the hands of reaction. The dilatory and "moderating" attitude of the reformist apparatus, the only one existing on a general scale, contributed to accentuating these difficulties, which still remain. Developing coordination mechanisms, in the midst of the struggle and the difficulties created by repression, without a long period of prior work, is a difficult but inevitable task in the current conditions. It is vital to persevere in this direction since its lack has clearly emerged as one of the most negative factors.

21) The subsistence of spontaneous "localist" inclinations that contribute to bias the struggles, hindering their coordination. This is closely linked to the above. It is still difficult to mobilise masses far from their respective factories, banks or study centres. This situation favours repressive action and hinders the possibility of carrying out bigger activities that give a basis for an integration of all efforts.

22) The elementary nature of organisational methods. The information, the organisational work, continues to be carried out mainly in the places where people naturally connect: workplaces or study centres. The effects of the closure of the university and of the lycées and industrial schools showed the precariousness of the organisation set up on these bases. In any future struggle, the conditions must be created to continue to operate outside the usual places of study or work. The above-mentioned modality is certainly the most consistent with the spontaneous level of work. But in overcoming this lies the possibility of bypassing some of the most effective repressive dossiers that have been applied.

23) The inadequacy of mobilisation on the streets, within certain modalities, as a permanent and exclusive resource. Its repeated use over a long period of time has negative effects on public opinion. It seems appropriate to alternate it with activities that help to create links with the less active sectors of the population. The lack of sufficient work in this direction by the student movement facilitated the task of isolating it and turning it into a "scapegoat" for repression.

Naturally, posing the problem and facing solutions requires overcoming the stage of spontaneity in which, to a large extent, the student body moved.

The positive aspects, but also the limitations of international student mobilisations, must be correctly assessed. These are powerful stimulants for a mass mobilisation that cannot be limited to the student body itself. If methods are not developed to integrate student action with that of other popular sectors, it can be relegated to a sacrificial and even heroic but socially superficial agitation, marginal and without a future.

24)The still insufficient participation of the trade union movement to actively and publicly mobilise the masses to support it. The workers are on strike, in the most combative unions factory occupations. It is more difficult to carry out important street demonstrations. It is the school of a long state paternalism and its counterpart, the reformist methods of work.

The successes obtained in the period of the "fat cows", applying those methods; the vast organisational work developed in times when the reformist policy was viable, gave prestige to their procedures. This is why it is insisted on continuing to apply them when this reformism no longer fits in with reality, when it only survives as a paralysing ideology.

25) The raising of the political level of the working class is in fact still spontaneous, in contradiction with the reformist line. That is why it is not possible to contribute to the development of a relatively revolutionary practice and consciousness without destroying the ideological obstacle constituted by the reformist conceptions. These are not defined only by the membership in this or that group or political party, but by the application or not, in facts, of revolutionary methods of action and organisation. Of course, the reformist practices are coherently applied by the Communist Party, which inscribes its political line in an international strategic conception that, as we know, is not revolutionary. That is why the development of a revolutionary action and consciousness leads in fact to the confrontation with the orientation, the leadership and the apparatus of that party. This is proven by the facts.

REFORMISM DRAWS RIGHT-WING CONCLUSIONS

As well as positive aspects, in these six months the popular movement has shown limitations and shortcomings. For many, this creates scepticism or pessimism about the possibilities of trade union action as an important factor in the struggle against government policy. As well as no methodology of a revolutionary type is being put forward, at the level of mass work or at other levels, certain currents that, while continuing to proclaim themselves as supporters of Che, Fidel and Olas, draw right-wing conclusions from the situation they are experiencing.

The real shortcomings of the trade union and popular movement demand efforts to overcome them: through struggle, through processing facts that create awareness, through inseparable ideological and organisational work. This will make the strengthening of the people's movement and its vanguard detachments possible.

But those who draw conclusions from this process from the "left", from the right, think otherwise; perhaps what they have always thought coherently and which, given that the situation was not yet so defined, was concealed until now.

26) One of these right-wing conclusions, which is at the root of others, is the lack of faith in the people, in the unions, in the struggle, in direct action. From this derives a practice focused on management, conciliation, dialogue. Less dialogue and more struggle to confront the government, has been proclaimed from the revolutionary left. More dialogue and less struggle is concluded from these claudicating theses.

The security measures; the reactionary escalation against the freedom and the living standards of the people; the conspiracy of the bankers, the ranchers and the bourgeoisie against Uruguay, do not promote among those who think this way a radicalization of actions and concepts. On the contrary.

"Defending the constitution", "returning the country to normal", is the watchword, the idea-force, the line of these currents. This is the way to go - and we are going - very far. For the time being it means sticking to the legitimacy of the "orange" constitution. But...didn't we agree that the "orange" was an appropriate text for the crudest oligarchic domination? To accept this legitimacy is to give up essential positions. The bourgeois constitution and legality end up being accepted as a natural and immovable order, outside of which it is not even possible to reflect. This is precisely giving the battle on the ground chosen by the enemy, accepting its basic assumptions, the mechanisms that it has deemed necessary to constitutionalise, and then trying to breathe through its loopholes, objecting that such "excesses" are illegal. As if he forgot that the "orange" constitution was drafted by the Uruguayan oligarchy and promoted by the empire, precisely for that purpose: to curtail freedoms, freeze salaries, apply the Monetary Fund line and impose order.

27) The reformist orientation is an orientation of restoration of something that existed before; it is a return to the 13th of June, to the moment that gave rise to what we now have; it is a conservative orientation. That in the first place. But in addition, this "return to normality", this return to 13 June is-as we have seen-impossible, it is utopian.

And to make the "struggle" for these conservative objectives, for this utopian restoration, viable, what is logical, what is coherent? To postulate conservative, not revolutionary methods, what are these methods? Reformist methods. They are expressed in theses such as: It is necessary to stop the struggle in order not to give excuses to the repression and thus isolate the government; it is vital to defend the privileges of the parliament, where a great battle for freedoms must take place; it is necessary to open up to the alliance with the bosses of industries and Freemasonry. And in parallel: to create "broad" movements, not with the aim of promoting and deepening the trade union struggle (which would be correct), but to dilute the trade union struggle, relegating it to a secondary level. And later, for all tastes: to support the progressive wing of some traditional party ; or to increase the electoral front of the left (the current one or another that is invented); or to create a third party for the 1971 elections. As we can see, all the same, regardless of intentions and labels. The reformist path, the path that history has shown to be the dead end. It leads to trying to perfect and increase not the revolutionary methods of work, but the reformist methods. Those who are thinking in this way are stubbornly evaluating the possibility of realising "fronts" with politicians and sectors that have repeatedly shown their hesitations and extreme weakness. (Many of them did not even dare to vote against the COPRIN project in the Senate).

When the repression questions the most elementary rights, the reformists are clinging to an electoralist perspective, in the service of which they intend to put all the mobilization , the real fight of the masses. Thus a new derivative for popular energies is attempted.

Those who draw the right-wing conclusions from the experience of security measures believe that it is because of too much struggling and not too much retreat that the current situation has been reached.

In the background of all this there is an ideological conception, which is at the root of the analysis they make of the reality of the country, and of the methods they use in common , the so-called "left wings" that continue to plan within the right wing parties; and the right wing leaderships of "left parties". Together they constitute a kind of "His Majesty's Opposition", an increasingly harmless backdrop to the regime's growing despotism.

GROW, IN ORGANIZATION, IN EXPERIENCE FOR A PROLONGED STRUGGLE

1. The resistance movement has not weakened due to the lack of popular support and "the lack of politicisation of the masses"; if the struggle has not reached higher forms in extension and depth, it is not because the people have spontaneously chosen to "tame". 2. It is not the trade union organisation that is questioned by the absence of a growing and planned resistance. 3. The political conceptions transplanted by reformism are not attributable to the popular movement or to trade unionism.

28) What fails is a certain conception of the trade union movement: the union conceived as a mere organisation for negotiation and pressure; the union used for simple ministerial or parliamentary procedures; the union that only lives actively when there are wage conflicts.

Of course, lobbying is inherent to the union and must remain so. But the way in which it is carried out, the dimensions attributed to it, is what circumstances themselves require to be changed.

The demands and levels of struggle imposed by the crisis raise the need to use new methods of trade union action or, if you want, to adapt to our days the best of the tradition of revolutionary trade unionism. The period of the "fat cows", of the more or less easy things, created favourable conditions for a methodology of procedure, conversation, management and dialogue. Now the reality is very different, also the methods must be.

29) There are several things that are already clear, which have been evidenced by practice. No single union can achieve major successes. Developing concrete solidarity mechanisms and actions on a large scale is decisive.

Not isolating oneself means taking into account the spread and public impact of the conflict or mobilisation. Union support, support in the neighbourhood, support in the population. The reaction begins by isolating before openly repressing.

From this we can conclude on the one hand the importance in the clarity of the objectives of any union struggle; concrete objectives related to the general interests of the working class and the country are a fundamental element. On the other hand, the aspects of enlightenment, propaganda and agitation around mobilisation or conflict. In the present conditions of regimentation of the publicity apparatus, this forces an intense, original and direct agitation and propaganda work. Hand in hand with the above, the verification of the importance of the facts, as the best form of propaganda. The main thing is never the negotiations, but the measures of struggle that make possible a propaganda that is attended to and a favourable "negotiation". The spreading of the method of occupations and the willingness to resist violent unemployment mark this dignified and effective way, through which the trade union is and can be more and more a useful weapon of action.

30) The disintegration of the reformist ideology is beginning to take place among the most conscious and combative sectors. But reformism, which is weak when it is fought, recovers and appears as soon as the struggle weakens or ends.

This raises important problems because every union groups indiscriminately developed sectors ready to fight, hesitant sectors that support it circumstantially and weak sectors that never support it. These elements are combined in different ways depending on the circumstances, to the point that very often it is difficult to recognise in a trade union in conflict its own peacetime physiognomy. The aim is to involve as many workers as possible and with as much intensity as possible in trade union action. The closest contact with the broadest base is vital at all times. From that point on, the decisive thing is not to have the formal leadership of the union, the majority of the executive committee, which does not mean ignoring the usefulness that this often has. But what is decisive, in all cases and in any union, is the leadership of the active sector, of the one that weighs when there are mobilisations, of the one that is able to create the conditions for the struggle. The work at the base of the union, among the militants, in the assemblies, in the mobilisations, on the streets, is the central work; the participation in the more or less administrative life of the institution must be developed according to the other work.

31) For all these reasons, it is essential that each union should have a grouping that brings together the most combative part. Its action must be permanent: to organise the comrades with methods in accordance with the present times; to promote actions; to train; to guide. The grouping of the most combative to act together within the union and the union, not isolated from it, ensures the continuity of the work. The ups and downs of the life of any union, the victory or defeat in any vote, do not interrupt its work or frustrate it. The new times make groups of this type nuclei of basic action; the experience of these six months shows it.

32) The absence of grassroots momentum is a feature of reformist working methods. Verticalism and bureaucratism are an expression of this. At their root is the fear of "excesses" and "overflow" from the masses and their active and protagonist participation. This is how the union is kept uninformed, passive, with the feeling that the issues of the union are the property of the leaders. This often leaves the organisations in the air. That's where the yellowness comes in. The trade union must have continuity in its action, the more active and permanent participation of the whole union must be promoted, and opinions and initiatives must be encouraged. This must be one of the basic objectives of the advanced trend within each trade.

33) For a large sector, especially young workers and students, these security measures constitute an enlightening and definitive political experience. The police bullets that killed three comrades have mortally wounded the old and deep-rooted image of the liberal Uruguay. Nobody can honestly believe anymore that we live in a "country of freedom". It is a whole historical cycle that is coming to an end and which many are already evoking, almost unconsciously, as a kind of "lost paradise". That normality that so many want to recover, without recognizing that the only true alternative that the future offers us is crude regression or revolution. Without recognising that, finally, the already indissoluble, very Latin American reality of our backwardness and underdevelopment has emerged to the surface of our political and social coexistence. A large part of the people, somewhat perplexed, refuse to recognise themselves in that image. Many want to avoid confronting this reality. But the ruling classes, who know it well because they have benefited from it, know that they have only one way out to postpone its collapse, to gain time: repression.

This situation results in de facto dictatorship, which is not incompatible with "constitutional legality".

Does it signal the end of the struggle? Does the enemy hold the key to the situation? No. The last few months of security measures show it. The struggle changes in form, in terrain, in methods, it grows or decreases, but it continues. To search at each juncture, at each moment, for the appropriate levels and methods, assimilating the experiences that the process leaves behind, that is the function of the vanguard elements. A function that only an organisation can fulfil.

34) This raises issues that are closely linked to the best form of trade union action, but which necessarily go beyond the realm of trade unionism. The regime does not act only through its trade union apparatus (Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Rural Federation, Bankers' Association, etc.). Nor does it act solely through the political apparatus provided by government posts and party structures. Nor only by spreading propaganda and bourgeois ideology through its press, radio and television. Nor only through its police and military apparatus. The oligarchy, the current regime, acts against the people, with a policy, an ideology, a bosses' action, a military action. All this is part of the continental strategy of imperialism.

When it comes to drawing conclusions from the current situation, it is important to be clear about the impossibility of separating these factors. Those who were the protagonists of the resistance against the oligarchy in these six months, the young workers and students, the old fighters, the groupings and advanced tendencies of the unions, are the ones who have to lead the resistance and the advance in the periods that are coming. It will be them and the vast contingents that will be integrated into this already powerful force in action and ideological struggle.

We think that it is important to define some criteria in this sense:

35) It is essential to develop a political centre in a position to promote, coordinate and lead struggles on a general scale. Most of the existing leaderships are predominantly reformist. They do not adapt to the new situation, and consequently with positions of backwardness they do not lead or promote the struggle.

36) The structuring of this political centre is initiated by the most conscious and concerned sectors. The effort is focused on clarifying and organising these sectors first. They form the skeleton that will backbone a broader movement. They are its little engine. Efforts cannot be wasted. The basic thing, at this stage, is not to mount a vast, amorphous, soft mass movement vulnerable to repression. What is fundamental is to build an organisation of cadres, capable of operating under the conditions of widespread and lasting repression.

37) The organisation needed must be adapted to the activity in times of severe repression. This imposes certain criteria of structure and method that can immediately hinder its effectiveness in public propaganda. This is the inevitable price that must be paid to ensure the durability of work conceived in terms of prolonged struggle as imposed by the reality of our country.

38) The concreteness and development of the political centre is processed in the struggle. Within the struggle, the militants are selected and developed, experience is accumulated, and strategy is refined.

The path towards the concretion of the political centre passes, at this stage, through the formation of tendencies at the union level (groups, lists, etc.) of stable and coordinated functioning.

39) A strategy for the prolonged struggle, in our country and now, implies staggering, in parallel or successively, the different types of actions, at the different levels.

40) The main thing is the wear and tear of the enemy's forces and the accumulation of one's own forces. At the organisational level, as at any level where the confrontation takes place, according to the levels it has acquired. Since the struggle must be predictably hard and prolonged, intense action must be taken from now on. And to act lasting longer than the enemy.

This process is not only experienced by our country, of course. It has here, as it had everywhere, its own characteristics. But it is Latin American, and it is universal. Nowhere has it been His Majesty's opposition, parliamentary opposition, reformism, that carried out the resistance and thus created the conditions for social change in the interest of the people and the country.

The opposition that matters, the opposition that makes resistance, the opposition that creates conditions for change, is an extra-parliamentary opposition, a popular opposition, an opposition that has direct action as its method.

In Russia in 1917; in Spain in 1936; then in China, in Algeria, in Cuba, now in Vietnam, by the direct action of the people, of their vanguards, they have confronted the oligarchy and imperialism, the conditions for revolutionary change have been created.

They have never been effective to resist oppression, to stop fascism, to make revolution, methods that are essentially conservative. The "broad fronts" of the electoral type, with a practice that reserves a role for the people as a group, which seeks to constrain them to the indirect action of mere support for the central task, reserved for minorities of professional politicians dedicated to creating the parliamentary opposition to the regime, have never decided the course of history.

The experience of the revolutions of our time, the experience of the guerrilla struggle in the Third World, the experience of the European students and the American black movement all indicate that there is only one solution. And only one method. Adapting itself, no doubt, to the characteristics and the situation of each country.

The path of direct action is also our path. Direct action by the whole people, which thus acquires a real measure of its power, becomes stronger every day, forges its political consciousness and its organisation. Direct action of the vanguard detachments, acting within the people, promoting the processing of social facts, waging ideological battle, dynamising. The great engine of the struggle of all the people, the small engine of its vanguard detachments, inseparable aspects of the same path to create the conditions for freedom and socialism in Uruguay.

argentina / uruguai / paraguai / gênero / comunicado de imprensa Tuesday January 05, 2021 23:16 byFAR – OAC – OAT

Traduzimos nota de 31 de dezembro de 2020, assinada pela Federação Anarquista de Rosário, pela Organização Anarquista de Córdoba e pela Organização Anarquista de Tucumán sobre a aprovação da lei que legaliza o aborto na Argentina.

A onda verde que há anos não para de crescer na Argentina e na América Latina ontem pôde celebrar a aprovação da Lei de Interrupção Voluntária da Gravidez. Trata-se de uma reivindicação muito sentida para todas as mulheres e corpos gestantes de nossa classe, já que somos as mais pobres quem abortamos nas piores condições de clandestinidade, arriscando nossos corpos aos graves problemas de saúde, à prisão e à morte. Esta luta histórica tem luz verde para que a força das de baixo em todo o continente avance nos direitos fundamentais de vida, e não somente para sobreviver como impõe a maquinaria do capitalismo e sua voracidade destrutiva.

Argentina: É lei pela luta das de baixo!

A onda verde que há anos não para de crescer na Argentina e na América Latina ontem pôde celebrar a aprovação da Lei de Interrupção Voluntária da Gravidez. Trata-se de uma reivindicação muito sentida para todas as mulheres e corpos gestantes de nossa classe, já que somos as mais pobres quem abortamos nas piores condições de clandestinidade, arriscando nossos corpos aos graves problemas de saúde, à prisão e à morte. Esta luta histórica tem luz verde para que a força das de baixo em todo o continente avance nos direitos fundamentais de vida, e não somente para sobreviver como impõe a maquinaria do capitalismo e sua voracidade destrutiva.

Nesta madrugada de 30 de dezembro, finalmente o Senado argentino teve que aprovar definitivamente a Lei da Interrupção Voluntária da Gravidez, depois de anos de pressão social exercida pelo movimento feminista, partidos políticos, sindicatos, organizações sociais e estudantis; assim como pelo conjunto de mulheres e corpos gestantes, nas ruas, nos históricos Encontros Nacionais de Mulheres, hoje Plurinacionais de mulheres, lésbicas, trans, travestis e não bináries, como em cada local de trabalho, de estudo, em cada território, fazendo o debate e a luta pela autonomia de nossos corpos e nosso direito de decidir.

Já desde o fim do século XIX nesta região, nossas companheiras anarquistas vêm se posicionando, organizadas desde baixo com suas irmãs da classe trabalhadora, construindo uma história de resistência contra o patriarcado e o capitalismo. Desde Virginia Bolten com La Voz de la Mujer, María Collazo, Juana Rouco Buela, Luisa Lallana, Julia García entre tantas outras companheiras, passando pelas que enfrentaram cara a cara a repressão nos anos 1960 e 1970, Elsa Martínez, María Esther Tello, Hilda Forti, Pirucha Ramos entre outras. Todas elas são parte da grande história das lutas feministas neste país, que hoje logra arrancar da classe política o aborto legal, e através da imensa organização e mobilização que vem impulsionando a Campanha pelo Aborto Legal Seguro e Gratuito conformada no ano de 2003, logrando aglutinar a ação das organizações sindicais, estudantis e territoriais.

Sem dúvidas o governo de Alberto Fernández, e uma grande parte do peronismo, tentará tirar um saldo político deste feito, é algo de desde já se vislumbra com discursos que apresentam essa lei como uma dádiva fruto da “vontade política” dos funcionários de turno que administram o Estado patriarcal. É mais cínico ainda a tentativa por parte do progressismo de conciliação constante com os setores mais reacionários, conservadores e machistas, como as igrejas católica e evangélica, tendo tratado de um projeto que inclui a objeção de consciência e com a tentativa de negociar condições para o aborto legal. Embora seja uma imensa alegria saber que a partir de agora será obrigação que o sistema de saúde contemple a decisão das pessoas gestantes no momento de interromper ou continuar com a gravidez, não devemos baixar a guarda. Ainda há uma longa caminhada de luta adianta para a implementação real do Aborto Legal Seguro e Gratuito em todos os rincões, ainda resta lutar contra a objeção de consciência, mas armadilhas legais que podem se apresentar e os obstáculos que estes setores reacionários antidireitos queiram interpor. E claro, um longo caminho para acabar com todo tipo de violência patriarcal.

É assim que entendemos este necessário passo como parte de um processo de luta que não se esgota nem se esgotará no futuro próximo. Ver os resultados de nossa organização constante, ao longo das décadas, reafirma o caminho da ação coletiva, sustentada, solidária e classista. Sabemos que nada verdadeiramente transformador virá do Estado e de suas estruturas, mais este necessário passo adiante permite visualizar no horizonte a concretização de novas reivindicações. Como anarquistas organizadas politicamente entendemos que o único rumo possível neste período é a organização e luta por reivindicações cada vez mais significativas para as e os oprimidos até poder mudar pela raiz este sistema capitalista e patriarcal.

Assim, o aborto legal é uma vitória fruto das mobilizações históricas, das assembleias nos bairros, das professoras organizadas que aplicam a ESI (Educação Sexual Integral, estabelecida por lei) nas escolas, dando espaço para que as aulas sejam veículos de informação, emancipação e descoberta; da organização sindical e estudantil, dos mais de 30 Encontros hoje Plurinacionais de mulheres, lésbicas, trans, travestis e não bináries.

É uma conquista para as de baixo graças à luta popular e à militância comprometida e constante em meio a tanta resistência aos duríssimos golpes dos governos e do capital. Merecemos celebrar toda essa enorme luta contra a clandestinidade, para nos fortalecermos e nos consolidarmos para as batalhas que temos pela frente. Reivindicamos este caminho de construção de poder popular, com a força de nossas antecessoras e de nossa história de luta. Com a potência que temos as de baixo, as marginalizadas, as exploradas, as oprimidas para construir nosso próprio destino e terminar com a opressão patriarcal, colonial e capitalista. Pelo socialismo e pela liberdade.

É LEI PELA LUTA DAS DE BAIXO!
SEGUIR ORGANIZADAS, NAS RUAS, LUTANDO CONTRA TODA OPRESSÃO PATRIARCAL E CAPITALISTA!
ARRIBA LAS QUE LUCHAN!

Organização Anarquista de Córdoba
Federação Anarquista de Rosário
Organização Anarquista de Tucumán

Tradução: Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira

argentina/uruguay/paraguay / género / portada Tuesday January 05, 2021 23:06 byFAR – OAC – OAT
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La marea verde que hace años no para de crecer en Argentina y en América Latina ayer pudo celebrar la aprobación de la Ley de Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo. Se trata de una reivindicación muy sentida para todas las mujeres y cuerpos gestantes de nuestra clase, ya que somos las más pobres quienes abortamos en las peores condiciones de clandestinidad, arriesgando nuestros cuerpos a los graves problemas de salud, a la cárcel y a la muerte. Esta lucha histórica tiene luz verde para que la fuerza de las de abajo en todo el continente avance en los derechos fundamentales para vivir, y no solo para sobrevivir como lo impone la maquinaria del capitalismo y su voracidad destructiva.

Éste 30 de diciembre a la madrugada finalmente el Senado argentino tuvo que dar la aprobación definitiva a la ley de la Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo luego de años de presión social ejercida por el movimiento feminista, partidos políticos, sindicatos, organizaciones sociales y estudiantiles; Así como por el conjunto de mujeres y cuerpos gestantes, en las calles, en los históricos Encuentros Nacionales de Mujeres, hoy Plurinacionales de mujeres, lesbianas, trans, travestis y no binaries, como en cada espacio de trabajo, en cada lugar de estudio, en cada territorio, dando el debate y la pelea por la autonomía de nuestros cuerpos y nuestro derecho a decidir.

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argentina/uruguay/paraguay / crime prison and punishment / opinión / análisis Thursday December 24, 2020 12:15 byFederación Anarquista Uruguaya

Luego de un arduo proceso de debate, el conjunto de organizaciones sociales nucleadas en la Intersocial han resuelto realizar una campaña de recolección de firmas para llevar a referéndum y poder derogar parcialmente a la Ley de Urgente Consideración que consta de 476 artículos pero solo se estarían intentando derogar 135.

El proceso de debate que termina laudando la llamada «mesa chica» de la Intersocial, ante la falta de consenso de la totalidad de agrupamientos que la integran, estuvo atravesado de inicio a fin por los intereses partidarios del FA en aras de disputar las próximas elecciones nacionales.

Desde que se comenzó a hablar de la campaña de recolección de firmas, la discusión acerca de derogar total o parcialmente la ley estuvo arriba de la mesa. Los sectores reformistas dentro del campo popular, especialmente en el seno del PITCNT optaron por una derogación parcial. Con el argumento de sumar a la militancia frenteamplista a la campaña defienden la derogación parcial, ya que el FA votó más de 200 artículos que componen la ley. Por lo tanto, para estos sectores es más relevante «cuidar» al FA y sus posibilidades electorales en 2024 que enfrentar todo el edificio de la LUC, que es un verdadero adefesio. Esta ley es el proyecto de gobierno de la «coalición multicolor» y ha recibido un importante apoyo de la «oposición».

Pero lo peor de todo este proceso ha sido que varias organizaciones sociales de porte e historia como FUCVAM y la FEUU habían definido ir por la derogación total de la ley. Es más, FUCVAM en un comunicado público sostenía que era inadmisible que la decisión que tenía que tomar la Intersocial estuviera supeditada al FA. ¡Y vaya si hubo operativa del FA y sus sectores políticos para que las organizaciones sociales más grandes que integran la «mesa chica» cambiaran de posición y resolvieran ir por la derogación parcial! Eso lo resuelve la tan mentada «mesa chica» ante la falta de consenso en la Intersocial y por fuera de ella, invitando a otras organizaciones sociales a sumarse por la derogación de 135 artículos. En definitiva, el único consenso que se buscó fue con el FA.

Previamente, en la interna del PITCNT se votó en tres ocasiones, es decir en tres Mesas Representativas Nacionales Ampliadas, la campaña por la derogación total o parcial de la LUC. En las tres votaciones la correlación de fuerzas fue favorable al reformismo y a quienes tienen como práctica política colocar al movimiento sindical como furgón de cola del FA. Es que no quieren romper «el bloque social y político de los cambios», pero se estuvo tensando bastante la Intersocial; ello no fue problema. Ha sido público incluso, que algunos sindicatos y plenarios del interior votaron en contra de los decidido por diferentes organismos propios, sumando votos hacia la derogación parcial.

De hecho, luego FUCVAM y FEUU cambian su posición, también lo hace la Intersocial Feminista y todas estas organizaciones supeditan la campaña a que el FA se integre. Hasta ahora el FA no ha dicho mucho sobre el tema, solo ha señalado que no va a poner un peso para llevarla adelante.

Todo este debate que ha llevado meses, y por el cual se ha ido perdiendo tiempo para la recolección de firmas, ha sido para sumar al FA, cosa que no debe ser prioridad ni preocupación del movimiento popular que debe tomar sus propias decisiones y acciones, sin tutelas ni cálculos politiqueros y sin incidencia de intereses electorales sobre el campo popular. Campo popular y FA no son lo mismo y el FA no es el representante político del campo popular. A no entreverar las barajas. Está en juego la independencia de clase, ni más ni menos. El movimiento popular ha supeditado una decisión de vital relevancia a los intereses del FA y para no denunciar que han votado casi la mitad de la ley, y por lo tanto, participaron de su elaboración, siendo la LUC un proyecto de la derecha, como ya señalamos. El movimiento popular paga un costo muy alto luego de 15 años de gobiernos progresistas y de haber sujetado su política a ellos. La incidencia de ese proceso en el movimiento popular es notoria y negativa. Resta fuerzas propias a las organizaciones sociales y las ata a los mecanismos del sistema capitalista.

La LUC es nefasta por donde se la mire. El mecanismo de «urgente consideración» habilita una escasa discusión en tiempos acotados, pero además, se incluyeron en ella varios aspectos que no son urgentes. El proyecto original presentado por el Partido Nacional fue un proyecto en bruto, pero que con una estrategia muy inteligente, ya que permitió que se le hicieran todas las modificaciones y agregados posibles, es decir que tenían un margen grande para moverse y negociar y «meter a todo el mundo para adentro». Y así lo hicieron, y el FA entró en esa dinámica de maquillar a Frankestein. Solamente no modificaron el capítulo 1, es decir lo que pomposamente llaman «seguridad ciudadana», es decir la represión. Allí no hubo negociación. Esa «pata» del proyecto se mantuvo intacta.

En este sentido, globalmente el contenido de la LUC es nefasto porque expresa el avance del ajuste y la represión a escala de toda la sociedad y hay que enfrentarlo decididamente. Además del aumento represivo y la habilitación para el desarrollo de una política general en ese sentido, brindando estatuto jurídico a la arbitrariedad policial, encontramos la regla fiscal y las modificaciones a toda el tema de la vivienda en beneficio de los grandes capitales especuladores, las modificaciones a la ya nefasta Ley de Educación del FA que la empeoran más aún, etc.

*Por eso la posición de los anarquistas de FAU ha sido ir contra toda la LUC y esa propuesta es la que hemos impulsado en nuestros lugares de inserción como militantes y la que hemos colocado arriba de la mesa en cada debate. Hemos participado en innumerables ocasiones de plebiscitos, referéndums y campañas de recolección de firmas impulsados por organizaciones sociales por temas sentidos, caso Derechos Humanos, en defensa del agua, de Antel, Ancap, etc. Pero tampoco endiosamos el mecanismo referéndum, entendemos que lo fundamental es que el pueblo esté en la calle luchando, esa es la garantía de los cambios y avances que el pueblo logre. En ese sentido, vamos a estar acompañando los procesos que el pueblo uruguayo desarrolle en la lucha contra esta ley en sus diferentes modalidades, entendiendo que lo central es fortalecer a las organizaciones populares, caminando hacia la construcción de Poder Popular con independencia de clase y colocando especial interés en la participación de la gente y el protagonismo popular.

Por último, denunciamos enfáticamente el cercenamiento de las libertades públicas votada recientemente, donde se comienza a transitar un camino lamentablemente ya conocido para nuestro pueblo, donde los derechos sociales son atacados en beneficio del orden y de quienes dominan. Son tiempos de lucha.*

¡CONTRA LA LUC Y EL AVANCE REPRESIVO, RESISTENCIA!
¡ARRIBA LOS QUE LUCHAN!

FEDERACIÓN ANARQUISTA URUGUAYA

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100 Years Since the Kronstadt Uprising: To Remember Means to Fight!

100 Years Since the Kronstadt Uprising: To Remember Means to Fight!

Argentina / Uruguay / Paraguay

Thu 04 Mar, 02:28

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