It’s been 2 years since the wave of mass demonstrations started on October 18, 2019, and it lasted in the streets much longer than what the media “reported”. Many of us may have participated in some way in those events. And now, after its decline, and on the occasion of the ephemeris, there are a couple of things worth pointing out, always in order to sharpen the criticism and continue the conflict.
(I) Of Revolt(s) and confrontation during the century of the Chilean democracy.
The “revolt”, as many have wanted to call it, meant a generalized breaking point of the “normality” consolidated by the democracies of this territory during the 21st century. These kinds of “critical” moments are not alien to any government, and, for our part, it is absolutely necessary for us to take into account that the conflict with that normality has existed since before, coexisted and continues to exist after the events of October 18. That is why we cannot forget all the expressions of attack and confrontation that have taken place so far during this period, but which definitely have not had the stir and massiveness of the events of October 18 (and probably did not seek that with them either).
If conflict and violence against this normality are nothing new, much less are the consequences of taking this path. Prison is not new in this scenario, and, far from any victimhood, it is a “hazard of the trade”. Although the “prisoners of the revolt” have also enjoyed greater media coverage, and their situation and dynamics are totally different from those of the anarchic-subversive prisoners, prison will never be strange to those who have constantly materialized their desires to destroy the reality that destroys us.
To all those who did not follow the institutional paths in the era of Chilean democracy, and who have been an unquestionable source of inspiration and learning for those of us who have taken the same path, but in “our” way… we do not forget you! The anti-capitalist and autonomous subversion, the resitance of the Peñis, And this does not detract from or call into question the breaking of the October “revolt”, it only shows that some, for a long time now, have been in constant revolt.
There is nothing and no one to wait for.
(II) Death foretold: the institutionalization of the “revolt”.
At this point it is unquestionable that what began with street fervor and vandalism on October 18, had its coup de grâce at the ballot box. The brazenness of some candidates to the new institutionality (the constitutional convention) even led them to use images of street violence as part of their electoral propaganda.
This is nothing new, either. History has given us multiple similar examples in which it is demonstrated that, far from “crushing” and totally repressing disturbances in the imposed order, it is much better to make them work for it, to control them, channeling them in the ways of institutionality, and treating them as “social movements”. Thus, after even idolizing the street struggle, those who have risen as the faces of the new, more democratic government, have distanced themselves from the conflict and the violence unleashed, in order to maintain a correct and neat image of “constituent”. This is not a “turn of the jacket”, but a clear demonstration of their vocation as professional opportunists. Whoever has gone “from the street” to the seat is nothing more than a collaborator of the domination, and does nothing more than perfect it.
If the demonstrations were neutralized by the government, handing over, with ample spectacle, a part of its power to representatives of the majorities, then many of those who took to the streets were seeking nothing more than to optimize the government’s management. The “revolt”, looking at it that way, was not such for everyone. Some simply sought to improve their chains, and even to build new ones, far from seeking to destroy them.
In this regard, we know that the big problem with mass protests is that there is no certainty about who is on your side. It could be a sympathizer, just as it could be an infiltrator, or worse, a citizen willing to turn you in because violence is “not the way”. It is indisputable that the period of greatest intensity of that “explosion” was of great use to perpetrate attacks and materialize our destructive desires in concrete moments, but it is undoubtedly necessary to distance ourselves from the narrative built around it, since it leads us back to the passivity of citizens, and disguises all violence as a sign of popular discontent against a certain mode of management and/or government(s), and not against the very existence of the government, the authority, the society complicit with it, and its guardians.
(III) Some self-criticism, and the only certainty.
“We do not want neither other options nor the consensus with the established, we are with the violence that does not decline or stagnate, with the violence capable of reformulating itself, rupturist and innovative” (Joakin García).
As Joakin’s words point out, we must know that we are capable of reinventing ourselves, self-criticizing and learning from ourselves, our mistakes and successes. And, always, out of the complicity represented by consensus and peaceful coexistence with the established order and “normality”, whatever it may be.
Perhaps the only lesson we can draw from experiences such as the 18O, but which is not new either, is that the conflict against this reality must continue. And that this conflict, as it has existed before and after the massive ruptures with it, and has existed in the hands of all those who have undertaken it as a life option, must endure in our actions if we want to position ourselves, in fact, against all authority, against the material and immaterial cages, the techno-industrial capitalism that destroys the planet, and all that we abhor.
Conflict, confrontation. That is the only proposal, because it is the only certainty we have to make the present our own. It is the only thing we can try to materialize with our own and always diverse capacities, our associations, our actions and our rhythms.
Without haste, but without pause. Without the need to follow the rhythm of “the streets” or “the masses”, even though for many it may be desirable. At least, for me, it is not, especially at this moment, where democratic normality has been reformulated thanks to what began in the streets. We can reaffirm that we do not need the majority, we do not pretend it, nor do we idolize it, just as we do not idolize minorities, rupturist elites, nor vanguards. That game and contradiction majority-minority should be left for institutional politics, for us action should be left before words to define which side we are on.
The conflict has never ceased, let it remain in all the hearts, minds and bodies of all the inquiring hearts, minds and bodies.
Let our revolts cease to be a milestone and / or ephemeris, and become our daily life.
No accomplices, no passives!
Active and aggressive despair against this shitty reality!
A hug for every prisoner at war and for all those who are fighting. A fierce encouragement for those who continue to conspire out there, and a raging tear, which will become a tidal wave, for Kevin and all the fallen.
Source: Publicacion Refractario