In the southern cone of Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, etc) students have fought many battles. Some were won, some were lost, others are still going on. At present this is summer holidays here, so occupations of schools and universities have for a while faded away but this does not mean students have returned to the comfort of their homes. You will still find them giving support to workers’ struggles for better wages, for decent jobs, and many other demands. In spite of the fact that this year the struggles have been more numerous and tougher than on other occasions, young people in general have been known to stand up in defense of what is right. So much so, that a popular singer, murdered by Pinochet, used to sing,
“Me gustan los estudiantes porque siempre sacan pecho
Si les dicen que es trigo, sabiéndose que es afrecho…”
(in a not very poetical translation, this would sound something like: “I like students for they will stand up and fight if you tell this is wheat but we know that it is bran.”)
That is why we followed with great attention whatever there was in the media about your demands and some of us were surprised to find how similar your demands were to ours. Yet it was Martin’s letter that gave us some real insight into what is going on in Great Britain. And it was a practical demonstration of something somebody said, “if the oppressors globalise their capital, let us globalise our struggles.”
That is why we, a very specific collective of elderly rebels, are now preparing a kind of festival for a new anniversary of a military coup that murdered 30 000 young lives hoping that by killing protesters they could ensure the fulfilment of the neoliberal plans that pushed us all into still growing poverty. This will be the 10th festival under the motto of “Memory and Truth. Impunity never again. Indifference never again!”. And we thought it would be a good idea to show that something that was regarded as a kind of disease of underdeveloped countries, is also patrimony of the underprivileged sectors all over the world, even in the so-called First World. Your experience, so brilliantly described by Martin, can be of great help. So let us keep in touch. We can learn a lot from you and perhaps you can also share a few things we have learned during all those years in such a stormy continent.
People of my generation are in the habit of dragging on and on interminably, so I hope you will forgive us for taking up so much of your time.
We wish you all the best, for we are aware that if you win it will be good for us as well. So we say
NO to the cuts in education or public health!
NO to making fewer people work more hours for the same miserable salary and so ensure high profits for tycoons!
NO to repression of those who fight for their rights!
LET THE BIG CAPITAL PAY FOR THE CRISIS THAT THEY HAVE CAUSED!
Elizabeth (a member of the FOS – section of the IWL in Argentina and a very experienced militant and journalist)