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Chilean Miners. Great They Are Out. What Now?

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Thursday October 14, 2010 14:32author by john throne - labors militant voiceauthor email loughfinn at aol dot com Report this post to the editors

Chilean miners should now lead militant campaign to organize the unorganized in chile and internationally.

The mine owners were so greedy for profits they would not put in the proper safety safeguards and this is why the miners were trapped in the first place. The right wing in Chile are trying to exploit the popularity of the miners. see the right wing president at the rescue site. but it was the right wing who supported their hero the dictator Pinochet who slaughtered tens of thousands of union and left activists. if this had not happened the miners union might have been strong enough to enforce safe conditions in the mine and not been trapped in the first place.

Compare and contrast. Unlike others, in some of it's newscasts, Al Jazeera explores some of the issues mentioned in the article, whereas MSM tend to dwell on emotive aspects. Moral: Choose your news sources carefully and cross reference

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Chilean miners. Its great. They are coming out. But do not forget what put them in there.
It is impossible not to be moved by the courage of the Chilean miners and how working people from many different countries have made their rescue possible. There are still some miners to come up but things look like they are going well. I was very moved last night by the sober strength of the first man out and his meeting with his companion and son. You could see the quiet dignity that working class people develop when they work and struggle together under threat. When he hugged his young son and partner it nearly broke my heart. My unconditional support and solidarity goes out to the Chilean miners and we must hope for the successful rescue of all of them and the two very courageous rescue workers who have voluntarily risked their lives in going down into the mine to help.

But we should remember that the media that is presenting the coverage of the rescue to us is not unbiased. It is a capitalist media. So it has its capitalist emphasis and objectives. It very determinedly wants to focus our attention in a certain direction and keep us from thinking about other issues. It whips up our emotions and wants us to concentrate only on the bravery of the miners, their emotional meeting with their families and how they will cope after being underground for so long. All these are important and I do not in any way dismiss them. However, and it is a very big however, the capitalist media most determinedly leaves out some other very very central issues. For example it does not deal with what trapped these miners down underground in the first place. Surely this is vital to any coverage of what is happening.

When the miners were initially lost there was great anger in Chile against the mine owners who, as all mine owners do, put their own greed for profits above the safety of the miners. We have seen the many mining catastrophes arising out of this profit addiction here in the US recently. The catastrophe in the Gulf is another example of profits above workers lives and the environment. The cause of the miners being trapped in the Chilean mine in the first place was the profit addiction of the mining capitalists, their putting their profits ahead of the safety of the miners. But this is not mentioned in the CNN and other capitalist propaganda outlets with their near non stop coverage of the rescue. Censorship is alive and well. Profits and capitalism are the guilty parties here but this must not be mentioned.

We who organize this blog are regularly talking about the propaganda of the capitalist mass media and how they try to indoctrinate people and how they censor the media and knowledge. Here is a powerful example. Any coverage which saw the welfare of miners as a priority would as part of its coverage of these events explain how the greed for profits was central to this situation with the trapped miners. It would explain that capitalism is at the centre of this problem. We must learn how to watch the capitalist media and read its papers and magazines.

On a few details. The right wing government in Chile are milking this for all it is worth. The President and ministers are hanging around the rescue site to be on hand to hug and make speeches. Sometimes a lot can be understood from a person's demeanour. If you are watching the coverage compare the dignified sober intelligent expressions of the miners and their loved ones with the phony grin on the face of the President. He is there for votes. Then the Chilean flag is everywhere. I cannot look at it without thinking of the Pinochet dictatorship and the slaughter of the left and worker activists. If this slaughter had not happened maybe the miners would have been strong enough to force better safety conditions in the mines and these miners would never have had to go through this ordeal. And am I wrong or is that the logo of the company which made the capsule painted on the outside of the capsule to make sure all the world will see. Capitalism as well as everything else is shameless.

It is the rescued miners who are an example for all of us. Hopefully when they get up they will use their fame and what they have endured to organize all miners and workers for a safer workplace and a better life. But the capitalists are thinking about this too. They have moved to try and head this off. They have brought their dirty P.R. people who have already been discussing with the miners underground what they should say when they talk to the media and in general when they get up. The miners and workers movement in Chile should have pre-empted this. The union and labour leaders should have already set up a tour of Chile with the rescued miners to strengthen the existing unions and to organize all workers into unions.

The suffering of the trapped miners, the courage they have shown, these should be mobilized to transform the lives of the entire Chilean working class if the union and labour leaders handle things correctly. And not only the Chilean. These workers are being watched world wide. An appeal to the international working class would have a huge affect. Unfortunately by letting the right wing President dominate things this opportunity can be missed. The union and labour leaders in Chile should get off their backside and give leadership and take action.

John Throne.

author by Pepepublication date Thu Oct 14, 2010 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As the author rightly says, first of all it is great that they did not die trapped at the end of that hell pit. But there shouldn't have gone down in the first place. This mine has been closed down by security concerns and it was opened only because of greed and the corruption of the inspectors that allow the bosses to by pass existing regulations. They shouldn't have been trapped in the first place: this proves the precarious conditions of subcontract workers and those working for private firms in the most profitable industry of Chilean economy.

When the news broke out that the tragedy had happened fingers were pointing at the authorites for letting this foretold tragedy. Then, when it was confirmed they were alive, the media and the government quickly shifted the focus from taking responsibility to talk about the Providence and about how great Chile is as a country, and how we will get them out all of us together.

And now that there's a lot of offers made to the miners of books, and films, that will surely give them lots of money, no one is talking about the wages that the boss did not pay them after about 70 days trapped down there.

We can't allow neither the State nor the bosses to get away with this attempted murder against workers. We are all quite happy now, euphoria is unavoidable, but will not last forever. And when euphoria settles down, we will ask numerous quiestions and raise numerous issues again!

author by V for vendettapublication date Thu Oct 14, 2010 23:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The President's approval rating has soared up to 65% after grinning a lot and hugging the miners. Nobody is really asking much about how these conditions could arise under his watch though. President made a vague promise about looking into conditions. The miners were coached on what they should and should not say to the media.

Politicians are scum.

author by Himalayian Halpublication date Fri Oct 15, 2010 06:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Talk of an international campaign to remove dangers in coal mining brings to mind the unacceptable level of disasters in recent years in chinese coal mines. Don't forget the situation there when calling for global awareness campaigns.

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