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(en) Libertarians Return to the Student Federation of the University of Chile (FECH) by Juan Williams - Frente de Estudiantes Libertarios (ca)

Date Fri, 09 Dec 2011 23:26:44 +0200

This week, the elections of the Student Federation of the University of Chile (FECH) concluded. In the elections, the libertarians have made a historic return to it’s leadership after 88 years of absence, when it was the main force in the mythical federation of the 20s [1]. ---- This year, which has produced more massive and radical student demonstrations than in recent decades, has facilitated the development of the forces of the revolutionary left in the student body. For these reasons, it is no coincidence that within the Student Federation of Chile (CONFECH), the main body driving these demonstrations alongside others, the left has been gaining more strength. Within CONFECH, the libertarian tendency has been building up during recent years as one of the most important trends, increasingly occupying more and more visible positions under the perspective of democratization of the organization, subverting the logic of representative democracy, and promoting radical tendencies arising in the base, so that they take the reins of the movement.

In particular, this December 6th concluded the elections of FECH, the largest student federation inside CONFECH in which the LUCHAR platform [englist: fight] achieved a major victory coming in third with more than 1800 votes out of a total of 14,000 voters, contested by 9 others. LUCHAR is composed of the Libertarian Students Front (FEL) and groups such as the Mapu Auka and left independents from different faculties.

Due to the election system of the federation, Felipe Ramirez, member of the FEL and LUCHAR candidate for the general secretariat shall act on the board of the federation. Winning positions in the federation carries important symbolism for the libertarian world, having spent 88 years without positions of administration. However, this is not the first time FEL members have been involved in a federation, but rather now it is more visible and publicized at the university [2].

The achievements in these elections are a reflection of a steady and significant progress for the revolutionary left in general and libertarians in particular, where the FEL has already more than 8 years of quiet social insertion and sustained work in the base.

Winning a place at the federation’s table also presents enormous challenges. LUCHAR represents a confluence of trends of the revolutionary left within the student body at the University of Chile, whose strategic vision is to promote a student movement that is part of a broader popular movement and with class autonomy. Nevertheless, through Felipe Ramirez, they will join the table as a minority compared to two organizations of the reformist left, Creando Izquierda (English: Creating Left) and the Communist Youth (JJCC), whose strategic perspective is to prioritize democratic reforms to the bourgeois political-institutional system.

But undoubtedly the biggest challenge for the coming year will be to strengthen and provide continuity to the struggles of 2011. The libertarian proposal is to focus on expanding the base of the movement, organizing students of technical sectors and private universities, while strengthening ties to labor organizations- where some sectors have also been showing signs of rebuilding-; thus coming together in the reconstitution of a popular movement that proposes to take the political dispute into their own hands through a program of collective struggles.

Unlike the highpoints of 2006 or 2005, the movement has not been defeated through being paid to sign agreements with the government, and has understood the need to link up with other social sectors in order to win real victories for the people. For all these challenges, they will be promoting the libertarian perspective through participation in the federation and in others, where similar processes are still debated.

There is no doubt that libertarians are still making headway in the struggles of the people, coming together in the struggle with other related sectors, without sectarianism, but clear and firm convictions. With each step there are new challenges. Self-criticism and permanent fraternity will remain a requirement for further progress.

(translated by S. Nappalos [Miami Autonomy & Solidarity] for the anarkismo project)

[1] For more information about the era of late 1910s and 1920's, see:
Bastías, Ignacio. Movimiento anarquista y estudiantes libertarios de los años 20: http://www.cilep.net/ignacio5.pdf
Vitale, Luis. Contribución a una Historia del Anarquismo en América Latina: http://mazinger.sisib.uchile.cl/repositorio/lb/filosofi...t.pdf
[2] Sources:
“Una construcción social de un proyecto educativo”: http://www.elciudadano.cl/2011/11/28/44636/felipe-ramir...0%9D/
“Los estudiantes no necesitamos a la clase política para vencer. Necesitamos a los trabajadores y al pueblo”: http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=140200
Anarquistas vuelven a tener representación en la FECh tras 80 años fuera de la dirección estudiantil: http://www.biobiochile.cl/2011/12/07/anarquistas-vuelve...shtml
FEL Web: http://www.fel-chile.org


Their program: http://luchar.cl/wp-content/uploads/PROGRAMA-LUCHAR.pdf
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