Chilean regime kills, people don’t give up

This 23 October 2019 video says about itself:

Chile: Protests continue despite military curfew

Evening protests continued into the night despite a military-enforced curfew in Santiago on Tuesday.

A traditional ‘cacerolazo’ – a popular form of protest involving pot-banging – was held in the heart of the Chilean capital.

As night fell, clashes erupted between police, the military and protesters. Thousands defied the nighttime curfew, imposed as part of a state of emergency, while the army was deployed to try and quell the protests.

The unrest was sparked by a rise in metro prices, but has since evolved into wide-ranging grievances over austerity and inequality.

Fifteen people have died and more than 5,000 arrested.

A sign held by a young woman demonstrator in this video sys, translated: The [Chilean right-wing] government robs. The police kills. The [corporate] press lies.

By Andrea Lobo:

The military crackdown in Chile: Pinochet returns

23 October 2019

Forty-six years since the CIA-backed fascist coup of Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean oligarchy is returning to dictatorial forms of rule to suppress the growing protests of hundreds of thousands of workers and youth.

The protests are motivated by intense anger over decades of social counterrevolution, including privatized pensions and utilities, poverty wages and draconian labor regulations. In response, the Sebastián Piñera administration has swiftly invoked the 1980 Constitution established under Pinochet and wielded a police-state apparatus that has remained essentially unscathed and under the control of fascistic officials.

On Saturday, Piñera imposed a state of emergency, suspended democratic rights, deployed the military and enforced nighttime curfews across Santiago and other major cities.

Tanks and military detachments with assault rifles have charged demonstrators at the major plazas and bridges, accompanied by the Carabinero police, water cannons and helicopters. Videos on social media have shown soldiers, even in plainclothes, shooting live rounds in daylight and at night, taking pictures of protesters, and snatching them from their neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, the Moneda Presidential Palace in Chile confirmed that 15 civilians have died. It claims to have arrested over 2,600 protesters since Friday, when demonstrations triggered by a fare hike at the Santiago Metro spread across the country, incorporating broader demands against social inequality.

At least 88 people have suffered gunshot wounds, according to the National Human Rights Institute, while the military has shot dead at least two demonstrators—in La Serena on Sunday and in Curicó on Monday. Referring to the second case, the sub-secretary of Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla, warned Tuesday, “A person whose death cannot be reported is the one last night on Route 5 South. When the Public Ministry forbids informing something, it’s a prohibition.”

The Chilean working class has made clear that it will fiercely oppose a return to dictatorship. After calling for a general strike to end the military deployment and state of emergency, dockworkers closed the main ports, and copper miners in the Escondida mine, the largest in the country, struck Monday.

Developments in Chile are part of an upsurge of working-class militancy internationally. In Latin America, mass strikes and demonstrations against austerity have taken place in Ecuador and Honduras. There is an ongoing wave of strikes among autoworkers, miners and teachers in the center of global capitalism, the United States, a wildcat strike of thousands of railway workers in France, and an overwhelming strike authorization vote of 110,000 postal workers in the UK. …

The revival of Pinochet-style repression in Chile is part of an international process. The police-state repression in Catalonia, the military crackdown in Ecuador, and the growth of fascism in Germany, Brazil and the United States explode the claims of the capitalist ideologues that the dissolution of the Soviet Union nearly three decades ago marked “the end of history”. In response to the growth of social opposition and the class struggle, the ruling elites are resurrecting all the political filth and reaction of the 20th century.

The basic factor behind the turn of the ruling class to authoritarianism is the extreme growth of social inequality, which is incompatible with democratic forms of rule. In Chile, inequality has returned to the levels of 1882, when the mining and banking fortune of the oligarchic Edwards family equaled seven percent of Chile’s GDP.

Today, the fortune of the Luksic family, of $17.4 billion, equals roughly six percent of GDP. A handful of oligarchs, with the closest connections to US and European imperialism, control every level of government. This includes the billionaire president, Sebastián Piñera. …

In what should be taken as a warning by the working class, Bloomberg columnist John Authers, wrote Tuesday, “If it can happen in Santiago, it could happen anywhere. That is an uncomfortable message that the rest of the world should take from the sudden breakdown of civil order in Chile.”

As the IMF warns of a “synchronized slowdown” of the global economy and geopolitical conflicts escalate, the ruling class everywhere is demonstrating that it will brutally oppose any impingement upon its wealth.

Events in Chile demonstrate that the working class must take the lead in the defense of democratic rights and opposition to inequality.

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