Danny, a member from Liverpool, writes on his experience of getting involved with Red Fightback.
After more than a year of demonstrations against inequality and poverty in Chile, police have responded to protests in the capital of Santiago with immense violence. The brutality has not stopped at tear gas and water-hoses, and footage has emerged of an officer throwing a 16 year old boy off a bridge.
This is only the latest mobilisation of state violence against the Chilean masses, which echoes and continues the fascist terror inflicted upon Chile by Pinochet's DINA/CNI secret police. The Chilean bourgeoisie is making it clear once again that they're willing to use all means necessary to defend their dictatorship.
Between 1973 and 1990, official figures state more than 40,000 Chileans were tortured or murdered, and over 200,000 displaced, under Pinochet. Among the victims were predominantly communists, socialists, trade-unionists, left-wing activists, even centre-left supporters of former President Allende, many killed by being thrown from helicopters.
Though the true number of victims is unlikely to be uncovered, the scale of the violence was immense. Many questions will be left unanswered, and many names lost to history, but one thing is certain: there is an unbroken thread between Pinochet's death squads and the Carabineros, Chile's police forces.
We must not forget the role of the imperialist bourgeoisie, specifically those of the US and UK, in that bloodbath. The 1973 coup against elected socialist President Salvador Allende was supported and backed by both the US and UK regimes. Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister at the time, refused to back down in her support for Pinochet.
Pinochet, under the auspices of the Chicago Boys, a group of right-wing free market economists led by Milton Friedman, subjected the country to neoliberal shock therapy, creating mass immiseration, suffering, and poverty, paving the way for the brutal capitalism affecting Chile today.
With only a month until a national referendum on whether to replace the Pinochet-era constitution, this recent escalation of state repression shows both the character of the Chilean and imperialist bourgeoisies, and the strength of the Chilean masses to break those chains.
In the face of this latest terror, we send our love and solidarity to the working and oppressed peoples of Chile. We wish them victory in their fight, and support them in their struggle for peace, reconciliation and in their move towards socialism. The Chilean workers will overcome! Venceremos!