The Brazilian People Have “Awakened”

By Veronica O´Kelly – Alternativa Socialista

On Sunday, May 31, there were different calls for mobilizations in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Minas and Porto Alegre. However, though the leading groups behind those calls were the main soccer clubs (Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos and São Paulo), there were also calls from anti-fascist groups. In addition, thousands of people attended the mobilization spontaneously due to the calls’ repercussion on social media.

It is impossible not to relate this situation to the images we saw yesterday of the American people at the forefront of a true rebellion that shows the world the cruelty of a repressive and racist government. American imperialism and capitalism prove that they have nothing more to offer than poverty, discrimination, disease and death. Bolsonaro, the Latin American version of Trump, follows the steps of his role model. However, it is the strength of mobilizations that stopped him. If the mobilizations continue, his days are numbered, no matter which kind of fascist ideals he tries to revive.

The streets were flooded with people willing to fight for democracy and against Bolsonaro and his government. “When I saw Corinthian democracy moving I realized that it was real and I thought that it was worth the risk. There has to be a confrontation,” says a young person interviewed by Folha. That phrase summarizes the turning of the page from the fear to the transmission of covid-19. It is no longer possible to withstand this austerity government and Bolsonaro, who speaks of a coup and restricting democracy.

The situation is unbearable and Brazil is about to explode. Economy statistics imply that the country is in recession, its national currency is depreciated and utilities are increasing along with inflation, unemployment and poverty rates. The pandemic deepens the crisis and drives the government to unload its consequences on the shoulders of the working class, young people and the poor. Today we won a round of that fight against Bolsonaro, Mourão and the entire government and their austerity plan.

What About Labor Federations and Leaderships?

It is outrageous how the main labor federations with “Lulist” leaderships do nothing. The only union participation that was seen in different cities today was that of the CSP-Conlutas, which correspondingly called for and participated in the action plan. Once again we are witnessing the abandonment of the most important union leaderships. As a result, the task of mobilizing is now in hands of other organizations. This is mainly due to the PT and Lula’s orientation of class conciliation and confidence in institutions, which places all its bets on the 2022 elections to recover control of the federal government.

Acknowledging that the soccer club fan organizations that called the mobilization have anti-fascist traditions and saluting the call that other anti-fascist groups made today, we must nonetheless demand that the labor federations to do what they should: fight for the interests and rights of the working class that are being threatened now more than ever.

Bolsonaro’s 300

Bolsonaro and his government have been trying to consolidate their shrinking social base and hard core. They have always disregarded the social distancing indications and, since the beginning of the pandemic, have organized convoys and concentrations that mobilized to different places. With the advance of their governmental crisis and consequential weakening, these actions have been turning more radical and with a more fascist nature. Last night, on Saturday, a group called “Bolsonaro’s 300” carried out a performance in front of the STF wearing masks and torches, making a reference to the Ku Kux Klan. It is also frequent for Bolsonaro’s advocates who participate in those activities to attack people only because they are wearing red shirts or even journalists of the media that is not aligned with the government. However, no matter how hard they try, their calls for action are weak and significantly marginal. Today´s massive mobilization was a strong demonstration of that fact.

This Is Only the Beginning

Actions for the following weekend are already being organized throughout the country. Unfortunately, for now, these actions will be carried out without the presence of the main labor federations such as the CUT. “We are the ones that need to recover that space. The streets are also ours. We are coming back next week,” shouted a participant of the mobilization in Brasilia referring to the Planalto esplanade. This summarizes what has been said and what is felt today in our country. We have had enough of this unacceptable group of people that play with our lives without doing something about it. It is time to reclaim the streets and fight. The lockdown is unfeasible if it implies poverty and hunger. We must come out, respecting all safety measures, but we must do so, in order to fight this government until it falls. Now is the time, out with Bolsonaro and Mourão!