Brazil: Stop the coup in the streets! Defeat Bolsonaro and build a socialist alternative

By Liberdade, Socialismo e Revolução (ISA in Brazil)

Brazil sinks into a historic crisis.

Bolsonaro’s brazen attitude and Paulo Guedes’ ravings about the economic situation cannot hide the harsh reality. We have 33 million Brazilians going hungry, in addition to another 90 million in a situation of food insecurity.

In our country, eight out of ten families are in debt. 22% of Brazilians have more than half of their income committed to debt and 30% of families have accumulated overdue bills.

Despite the reigning crisis and misery (or even because of them), bank profits grew 49% in 2021, reaching 132 billion reais.

This is Bolsonaro’s Brazil, the darkest face of capitalism in crisis in the periphery of the system. The Brazil of brutal inequality, of violence against the poorest, black men and women, indigenous, women, LGBT+. The Brazil of the super-exploitation of working people.

The recent measures adopted by the government, extending “Brazil Aid” amongst other actions, are completely insufficient and are only valid until December. After that we will have an even worse scenario if nothing is done. Its only objective is to try to minimize the rejection of Bolsonaro on the eve of the elections.

While playing the dirty game of the secret budget in Congress and relying on the methods of the old corrupt politics to gain electoral support, Bolsonaro combines this with an openly coup-plotting and disruptive strategy.

With one foot well-positioned on the dirty carpets of corruption in Congress, Bolsonaro keeps the other finely planted on street agitation with a coup and reactionary character.

Bolsonaro and the far right are preparing for a show of force in the streets on September 7. He has the backing of segments of the armed forces, the police forces and armed civilian groups, as well as the active support of the most reactionary sectors of the petty bourgeoisie and a section of big capital.

Even without counting on the explicit support of most of the ruling class and imperialism for a coup d’état today, Bolsonaro intends to create the political conditions for his far-right movement to remain alive and active in the coming period.

He is accumulating forces for more decisive and even more serious actions in the future.

Take a firm stand against coup plotting!

The working class and the oppressed cannot underestimate the risks of a coup offensive by Bolsonarismo. It is necessary to respond loudly!

No social force is greater than the one of the working class in action with its methods of struggle: strikes, mass demonstrations, rank and file organisation and mobilisation.

But until now, the response given by a majority of sectors in the leadership of the social movements and the left has been to bet mainly on the institutions of bourgeois democracy, on the Supreme Federal Court and the Superior Electoral Court.

Rather than raising awareness, organising and mobilising workers from the rank and file, what we have seen is a concern centred on convincing the bourgeoisie that Bolsonaro is not the best alternative for them.

This is done through an electoral coalition around Lula that includes, in a prominent position, well-known representatives of the bourgeoisie and neoliberalism in Brazil, such as Geraldo Alckmin. It is also done by announcing programmatic concessions to big capital, like those made by Lula, Alckmin and Mercadante in a meeting with businessmen at FIESP.

Even signing charters in defence of democracy, as we are seeing now, would anyone still put their hand in the fire for the bankers, businessmen, politicians and STF judges who a short time ago promoted and consolidated the institutional coup of 2016 and the imprisonment of Lula?

Without failing to take advantage of the divisions at the top, the left, the working class and the oppressed can only rely on their own organised and conscious strength.

A mass response in the streets against Bolsonaro, the coup and hunger, with a tendency to radicalise, could contain the structural and historical anti-democratic tendencies of the Brazilian ruling class and win the guarantee of de facto democratic freedoms.

The way to stop the coup and defeat Bolsonaro is not by adopting more moderation and programmatic downgrading — it is exactly the opposite.

Mobilise in the streets and defend a working class programme

It is necessary to mobilise the working class with an alternative programme to the crisis that makes the super-rich pay and meets the legitimate demands of working people.

It is necessary to defend jobs, wages, public services, price control of the basic food basket, agrarian reform, the right to land for indigenous peoples and quilombolas, the fight against climate change by confronting the interests of agribusiness, mining companies, logging companies and big business! Also the right to abortion and the end of all discrimination on women and LGBT+ people, the end of police violence and structural racism on black people.

It is necessary to defend without hesitation the repeal of all counter-reforms, privatizations and neoliberal policies implemented in the last period. It is necessary to put an end to the spending cap, the labour and social security counter-reforms and to restructure the companies that have been privatised and put them under workers’ control.

There will be no definitive way out of the crisis without an audit and the dismantling of the current public debt system which serves the interests of the mega speculators together with public control of the financial system and key sectors of the economy. This anti-capitalist and socialist perspective must be on the horizon of the struggle of the workers and the poor masses.

August 11 is the first step — for an action plan of struggle!

August 11 must be a first step in the resumption of the struggles in the streets against Bolsonaro and the coup in preparation by Bolsonarismo. A unitary action plan of trade union centrals and social and youth movements must be built from now on.

It must include rank and file assemblies, the formation of struggle committees, the construction of regional and national actions, the unity of the ongoing struggles, the preparation of strikes, and include the organisation of the security of the actions of struggle and of the organisations of our class.

This plan of struggles must guarantee the conditions for the electoral result to be respected, but at the same time it must go beyond the elections themselves. It should be a plan of action to stop the coup and manage to create a relation of forces capable of winning our demands in the struggle — this will be necessary even under a government of class conciliation of Lula and Alckmin.

The Freedom, Socialism and Revolution (LSR) current, which is active in PSOL and part of International Socialist Alternative (ISA), fights to defeat Bolsonaro at the ballot box and in the streets, always defending the class independence of workers, their methods of struggle and a socialist programme.

Join revolutionary socialists in the struggle against Bolsonaro, the extreme right and capitalism. Fight with us!

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