Brazil: The Arrest of Lula da Silva – Yet Another Step in Creeping Coup

For the Organization of Struggle Committees! For Mass Demonstrations against Those Plotting the Coup! But No Confidence for the Pro-Austerity PT-PMDB Government!

Statement of the Corriente Comunista Revolucionária (CCR, Section of the RCIT in Brazil), 9.3.2016




  1. Friday, March 4, 2016, was a day to be remembered in history. Federal police went to the apartment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where they arrested him and took him away to the Congonhas airport, from where he was sent to the State of Paraná to appear before a federal judge, Sergio Moro, and from there, depending on circumstances, he may already be under indefinite imprisonment. The huge military apparatus has provided a political reality show for the pleasure of the putschist press, the political sectors of the fascist right, and the angry middle class; a show deliberately orchestrated by order by Federal Judge Sergio Moro, Brazil’s national version of the notorious American senator Joseph McCarthy.


  1. Lula da Silva was not sent from Congonhas airport to prison in to Paraná just because crowds in various state capitals around the country swarmed into the streets to demonstrate their support for him. In São Bernardo there was an actual confrontation between right-wingers and pro-Lula militants which was broadcast live by the television networks, causing nationwide shock. During the day the demonstrations relentlessly kept coming on. At Congonhas airport, which was supposed to have been Lula’s first stop on his way to prison, there was so many people demonstrating that the federal police tried to explain that “Lula’s not being sent to prison, but he’s only on his way to a routine investigation so that he can clarify some things!”


  1. In order to take Lula away to testify, “forceful coercion” was used. This arbitrary judicial proceeding and clear breaking of the law now used against Lula has previously been used against several politicians and businessmen, mainly linked to the Workers Party (PT). The legal justification of “forceful coercion” as defined by law is the determined taking into custody of someone who refuses to voluntarily give testimony when they are summoned, which was certainly not so in the case of the former president, because Lula was not even accused of this. Rather, his arrest was simply a show of force of the putschist right, supported by the judiciary and the media, in particular the O Globo Group Organization. In this “reality show” the “good guys” are the Federal Police and the “villain” is Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil. But the heinous schemers have shot themselves in the foot, as Lula da Silva’s arrest showed how much broad support he still has from the humblest sectors of population, social movements and trade unions.


  1. Lula had previously criticized the actions of the Federal Public Ministry and the federal judge Sergio Moro, who in reprisal authorized his arrest by the Federal Police. The former president had called early actions of these putchists “fireworks displays” saying “Unfortunately they have preferred to use their predominance, their arrogance, their fireworks. It’s unfortunate that part of the judiciary is working in collusion with the press.” Lula also reiterated that he has not refused to give testimony to the Federal Police, and that an invitation by them for him to appear would be sufficient. Ironically, he said that “starting next week, whoever wants to conduct a brief conversation with Lula, will have to pay for a plane ticket, as travelling by bus will take too much time,” and that he himself is inclined “to make the trip across the country on foot.” The former president also commented that he felt “outraged” and “hurt” by the action of the Federal Police. He added that the entire episode has led the PT to “raise its head” after having “been with its head down for so long” hinting that he may be a presidential candidate in 2018, adding that “Whoever wants to defeat me will have to face me in the streets.”


The Creeping Putch and the Position of the CCR National Section of CCRI (RCIT)


  1. There is no guarantee whatsoever that Lula will actually be a candidate in 2018, nor is there even any guarantee that President Roussef will herself end her term in office in almost another two years time, given the ongoing impeachment proceedings against her. As we have stated in previous documents, the creeping coup that is process in Brazil is being sponsored by American and European imperialism. The struggle of the judiciary and the putschist press is not the fight against corruption and much less against the supposed “communism” of PT governments. According to our document of 20/08/2015: “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.”


  1. In the event that the coup movement is successful, all progressives and leftists (or those who are considered as belonging to the left), all social movements, neighborhood organizations, progressive political parties, strike movements, trade unions, all will in some way suffer at the hands of the advancing semi-fascist repression. However, one thing must be clear: We do not support the Popular Front government of PT / PMDB. We must continue to fight not only the coup movement, but also the harsh attacks on the workers and the poor, the measures taken by President Dilma Rousseff, like the privatization of the pre-salt oil reserves and the new pension reforms.


  1. We reaffirm our declaration from last August that “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.”


  1. We call upon the CUT Trade Union Federation, the Frente Popular de Esquerda (Left Popular Front), the MST, militant chapters of the PT and other mass organizations to hold a national congress of delegates as soon as possible. Such a democratic congress should discuss and adopt an immediate plan of action in the struggle against the coup plotters.


  1. It is imperative that all popular and workers’ organizations break with the Popular Front government so that they organize and struggle independently of it.


  1. Furthermore, it is necessary the workers and popular organizations found a revolutionary workers’ party for Brazil that will be a part of a new World Party of Socialist Revolution.

* No to the coup of impeachment  and no to the calling for new elections!

* Mobilize the masses to go into the streets and fight at one and the same time against the attacks of the Roussef government on the workers and the poor AND against the coup movement!

* Mobilize for a mass antifascist demonstration on March 13!

* For the creation of action committees in the factories, trade unions, neighborhoods, slums and outlying regions in defence of our rights and against any coup movement! For the creation of Struggle Committees! For Mass Mobilizations against the Coup Plotters! But no confidence in the Pro-Austerity PT-PMDB Government!



About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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