Brazil: All workers and oppressed to the streets on 20 August!
Fight against both the attacks of President Roussef on our rights and against the threat of a fascist coup!
Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária-CCR (Section of RCIT in Brazil) on the mass demonstration on 20 August 2015 against austerity and looming right-wing coup d’état, www.elmundosocialista.blogspot.com.br
During the PT’s electoral program on the evening of 6 August, as had been expected and was even encouraged by conservative media, reactionary sections of the middle class across the country once again made a banging pots protest, simultaneously condemning both President Dilma and the Workers’ Party. (However, this time, the same did not happen again in the peripheral areas of the country and in its cities’ poor neighborhoods.) Part of the reasons for the protest of the middle and lower-middle classes is the harsh economic measures being adopted by Dilma’s government, led by its Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, which have led to wage reductions, rising interest rates, rising unemployment, accelerating inflation (now almost at an annual rate of 10%), and cutbacks in social security and unemployment insurance. So it is understandable that support for the government is undergoing massive attrition throughout the country’s population, even among those who voted for Dilma’s party in the last elections.
Since the end of military rule in 1985, this kind of crisis has been experienced by earlier governments. For example, President Collor was impeached not only because of the rife corruption he was involved in, but because the majority of the working population simply lost their patience with the president who didn’t have a particularly strong party base. Following Color’s impeachment the PMDB gained the presidency in the person of Itamar Franco. This in turn paved the way for the rise to power of the reactionary conservative PSDB with Fernando Henrique Cardozo at its head. Cordozo’s government began implementing extensive privatizations of national resources, like that of Vale do Rio Doce, one of the largest mining companies in the world. In addition, the Cardozo government aggressively attacked the working class, for example when it stationed forces of the Brazilian army at the plants of Petrobas during the 1995 worker’s strike called following layoffs there and the government’s plan to privatize the oil giant. At the time the strike did prevent the privatization of the company, however, corruption scandals continued apace, including suspicions of vote-buying, making possible Cardozo’s re-election to the presidency.
In the present crisis, we do not support the impeachment of Dilma, nor do we call for new elections as the right-wing PSDB has done. Similarly, we do not support the position of the PSTU which states that “it is not in favor of Dilma’s exit at the hands of corrupt Congress,” instead calling the social movement to break with the PT’s policy to seek an alternative government. Yet, despite their alleged position, the PSTU is equivocating when it says “What our Party proposes is that the workers organize and fight to overthrow the Dilma government.” To this call we reply: Where does the PSTU see a massive presence of workers and mass organizations on the streets in favor of overthrowing the government of the Popular Front? Is it sufficient for these Morenoists to simply see any crowd in the streets for them to declare that we are on the verge of Socialist Revolution? On the contrary, what we are witnessing today is an uprising of the middle class in the service of the ruling class, fomenting a conservative, anti-communist movement characterized by deep reactionary racist tendencies (against people who have migrated from the poor areas of the Northeast), xenophobia (against Haitian immigrants, Chileans, and Bolivians). These reactionary sectors of the population, supported by the conservative and golpist media, are even feeling secure and confident enough to commit acts of terror like the bombing of the offices of the “Lula Institute” in São Paulo on July 30 and the Postal Union on 16 March. In parliament there is currently being discussed legislation which would reduce the age at which teenagers can legally be imprisoned and yet another law which would allow outsourcing by contract of the entire working class of the country.
Therefore, it is absurd to maintain, as the PSTU does, that we are currently living through a revolutionary upsurge of the masses. Even worse, in its delirium, at the very same time it expresses such delusional positions, the PSTU is aligning itself with the most reactionary sectors to have returned to the political scene since the end of military dictatorship. If the Dilma government should indeed fall, who exactly do they think will take power? Does the PSTU really believe that we are in a revolutionary process and that, supposedly, the party itself will be in the front line of the revolutionary struggle (also absurd!), or is the PSTU’s current surge in adrenalin-induced boasting nothing more than pure opportunism with which it hopes to gain the sympathy of radicalized petty-bourgeois middle-class sectors “against corruption.”
What we are currently witnessing in no way resembles a revolutionary process. Regardless of the arrest of construction tycoons (Odebrecht, Camargo Correa, and Andrade Gutierrez) the primary targets of the ongoing uprising are the leftist militants and former ministers of the PT. The recent arrest of former PT minister José Dirceu is intended not only to further demoralize Dilma Roussef, but to cripple any future candidacy of Lula for president in 2018. The reactionary right-wing sectors see in PT a “communism” which never even came close to being the case. But what is really at stake for those directing the reactionary mobs on the streets is not the fight against corruption or even the supposed communism of the PT governments. If such pretensions were in fact the case, people like Congressman Paulo Maluf would already be behind bars. Governor Geraldo Alckmin and the PSDB in the State of São Paulo are insufficient in themselves to explain the misappropriation of millions of dollars allocated to the expansion of the subway lines. Much more than corruption, what is at stake for the forces of reaction in Brazil who are doing their utmost to topple the government of Dilma Rousset is their desire to placate the pressure being exerted by imperialism and Brazil’s own national bourgeoisie: to bring about full privatization of the pre-salt; to privatize the Bank of Brazil and the state bank “Caixa Economica Federal”; to fully implement the outsourcing of work by contract; to severely limit or even entirely eliminate vacation rights for workers, their Christmas bonus, their maternity leave, etc. Such wide-sweeping, brutal attacks against the workers of Brazil is much more than the PT governments could ever possibly accomplish without entirely losing their social support base among the working masses. It is precisely these last arch-reactionary goals which are what lays behind the current coup movement.
If the coup-d’etat does in fact take place and Dilma Roussef’s is ousted, all workers’ groups and leftist movements (even those who are merely considered leftist), all social movements, neighborhood organizations, progressive political parties, strike movements, trade unions – all will feel on their own flesh the advance of semi-fascist repression.
However, we must state our position very clearly: We do not support the Popular Front government of PT/PMDB. Not only must we fight against the coup movement, but also against the harsh measures taken by President Dilma Roussef against the workers of this country: the intense pursuit of surplus value; rising interest rates; wage reductions in the civil service (pensioned public workers are now on strike); the very fact that one of the “Chicago Boys,” Joaquim Levy as Ministry of Finance; Katia Abreu’s, representative of major landowners, tenure as the Minister of Agriculture; the encroachment on the right of workers to pensions and unemployment insurance. The Workers’ Party must break with the Popular Front and get back to working class and the poor. The federal Trade Unions, especially the CUT, should become independent of the government and demand the end of these attacks against the workers of Brazil.
Above all, it is urgent that the working class and oppressed organize without delay to meet head-on any threat of coup. The coup, if it occurs, will not be rescinded by parliamentary agreements or legal maneuvers. It is only the working people, the youth of the cities, suburbs and hinterlands across the country that undertake this fight. We need to organize ourselves in the workplaces, in the neighborhoods, in the favelas and form popular committees which will struggle against the looming coup.
– No to impeachment! No to the call for new elections!
– All working people and oppressed to the streets on August 20 to protest against the governmental attacks of Dilma Roussef and at the same time against the threat of a fascist coup!
– For the creation of committees of struggle in the factories, the neighborhoods, the favelas, in the peripheries, and in the trade unions in urgent defense of our rights and against any coup movement!
View pictures of the demonstration and the CCR contingent at www.elmundosocialista.blogspot.com/2015/09/presenca-da-ccr-secao-no-