By Martin Miranda
After an intense campaign to gather the required sponsorships, Movimiento Anticapitalista, the Chilean section of the International Socialist League presented the candidacies of Maura Fajardo Gálvez and Camilo Parada Ortiz in districts 12 and 10 respectively, the most important ones in the Metropolitan region of Santiago. Almost 4000 signatures between virtual sponsorships and those collected “face to face” are just a small sample of the great determination for the emergence of a new political and organizational proposal against the parties of the “30 years”.
A process with a revolution in its origin and the pressure from the regime to control it
One cannot think of the open constituent process in Chile without anchoring its origin in the social uprising of October 2019. Faced with generalized struggles and the real possibility of the fall of the government, the parties of the political regime, from the Right to the Frente Amplio, imposed the “Pact for Peace and a New Constitution.” A maneuver to carry out a constituent process within the framework of the regime, with clear limitations and veto power over the real transformations that the mobilization raised as its program. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic gave the regime some oxygen in terms of the development of mass mobilization, which was “suspended” for several months due to the lockdown measures. Although there are important signs of struggle today, we are far from the level of those months.
However, since then Chile has evidently been living through a new political stage. In the present conjuncture this new stage continues to express a huge break with the traditional parties, with the political caste in general and with the institutions of the regime. President Piñera does not reach 5% approval rating and is among the leaders with the worst image in the region, the parties are in a process of ruptures, divisions and realignments to seek a reconfiguration that allows them to continue at the helm of a run down ship that sails in tumultuous waters.
The massive vote for “Apruebo” (approval) of a new constitution, and the Constitutional Convention, the withdrawals of 10% from the AFP (privatized administrators of pension funds), the fight for the freedom of the prisoners, a much higher constant level of mobilization than in the previous stage, are all examples of this. At the same time, the government uses its last moments in power to advance with its policies of repression and looting, preparing to move forward in the coming days with the TPP11 an agreement at the service of transnational companies. In spite of Piñera´s meager levels of approval, he is sustained in power by the support of the entire regime that has placed all its bets on an as orderly as possible transition and needs time to consolidate its new public faces for that.
This is, briefly, the context in which the Constitutional Convention will take place, without ruling out the possibility that the mobilization will once again gain strength.
Candidates with the program of the revolution, to build a new political alternative
In this context, from a critical stance with regards the process, we set out to accomplish the task of registering our candidacies. Our main objective is the massive agitation of our program, which resonates in broad layers of the population, and building a new left-wing, anti-capitalist, feminist, ecosocialist and deeply internationalist alternative. Running as “independents” responds to the options laid out by the regime itself, but the entire process of collecting sponsorships, our videos and flyers, and all the agitation in the streets placed Movimiento Anticapitalista as the organizational reference. Our comrades Maura and Camilo have expressed this in appearances in the media, forums and other activities. This is the center of our strategy, to be able to move forward in building our organization within the framework of the current process, organizing together with us a part of the vanguard and fighting for a regroupment of the forces of the Left that today are dispersed.
In just over 20 days we managed to gather almost 4,000 sponsorships, most of them notarized, and we deployed a great activity in different communes of the metropolitan region, we set up a campaign command with numerous comrades who took the campaign on their shoulders, with whom we are already preparing to start the new stage that will undoubtedly be very intense.
The support of an internationalist brigade of the ISL was key to add momentum to the activity and to be able to overcome the barriers of the regime itself and also the resurgence of repressive measures, disguised as sanitary measures by the government, due to the rise in COVID cases as all over the world.
We finished this stage strengthened and we have begun to design what is coming next with all the enthusiasm and desire to turn everything around.