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Sergio Reyes

Chile, being a member of the Socialist Party in the government is a shame

I spent three weeks in Chile starting May 22. These were three weeks charged with activities, actions, events, and emotions. Chile is a country where class struggle and social conflict is sharp at this moment. I had been working with my former companions, ex political prisoners in hunger strike since April 13. I arrived in Chile in the midst of that movement, which has been silenced by the media and the government.

The hunger strike is still in progress and the oldest strike is today 63 days old (June 17, 2015). My friends and comrades on hunger strike are weak and fading away physically and the government could care less. The government decided to negotiate and set a working group with a small section of the strikers, while the rest continued, because they didn't agree with the conditions set by the government.

Just last Friday, the hunger strikers of Concepcion decided to take more radical actions and travelled to Santiago and seized and tried to establish their hunger strike in the Socialist Party headquarters in Santiago. The Socialist Party is the president's party and currently Salvador Allende's daughter is the head of this party. In an action that repulsed the majority of the left, the bureaucrats in charge, decided to call on the police to evict the hunger strikers, elderly people over 60 years of age who had not eaten in more than 40 days. These socialists have become a cast of efficient administrators of the capitalist state. Salvador Allende would be ashamed of them all, including his own daughter.

I am sad and tired. I also feel useless as there is nothing I can do to revert this situation. The former political prisoners are demanding an improvement in their "reparation" pensions and requesting that the state fulfil the international agreements it had signed regarding this matter. The picture I will share with you, of my friends in the cage of the police precinct where they were detained should tell you more than I can say.

I will retake my struggles here, we need to organize the Sacco and Vanzetti march and rally for August 23, solidarity work with Venezuela and other countries must move forward, cultural and musical work must continue, anti-racist struggles have to go on, I need to conclude the work around the memory of my friend Sergio Mancilla Caro, and I will continue to do as much as I can to support my comrades in Chile who are being beaten hard by a government composed of many of whom in the past were our comrades and were also political prisoners.

(Photos: in the cage hunger strikers. In the other picture, the man in the grey suit on the left is Pablo Velozo, Secretary General of the Socialist Party, who promised the strikers they would not be evicted yet ordered the anti-riot police to forcefully remove our friends in less than 24 hours - notice the difference in gestures and the disdain of these bureaucrats in reference to the elderly hunger strikers, former political prisoners under Pinochet. Finally, the police getting ready to enter the building of the Socialist party to remove our brothers and sisters. The picture of a smiley President Bachelet, who has not even acknowledge the existence of hunger strikes says "Socialist Party... we are with you".)