Brazil

Back in April the judicial authorities issued threats to imprison the workers and militants occupying the Cipla and Interfibra factories in Joinville, Brazil. Now at last the campaign we played a big role in promoting has at least achieved a partial victory. Serge Goulart wrote to us explaining the present state of play.

On Thursday, July 14, a group of Young Socialists and representatives of the Editorial Board of Der Funke organised a picket in front of the Brazilian embassy to protest against the threatened repression of the Cipla and Interfibra workers who have occupied their factories to defend their jobs.

In 2002 the workers of Cipla and Interfibra occupied their factories to defend 1,000 jobs. In the last few days the possibility of imprisonment of the coordinator of the Factory Council, Serge Goulart, and the occupation by the police of these factories is increasing. We appeal to all trade unionists and left politicians, to all the progressive organisations internationally, to workers and youth in general, to send resolutions demanding an immediate cessation to the threats against the workers of the occupied factories in Brazil.

Judicial authorities have issued threats to imprison the workers and militants occupying the Cipla and Interfibra factories in the city Joinville (state of Santa Catarina, in the south of Brazil). We publish below the press release that was issued by the Factory Council of Cipla/Interfibra, for the information of all labour organisations, as well as workers and labour activists.

The victory of Lula well over a year ago in Brazil represented a dramatic shift to the left in Brazilian society. However, the Lula government once elected quickly moved to applying the programme of the bosses. This is preparing new contradictions within the Brazilian labour movement.

To scenes of wild rejoicing on the streets, the people of Brazil celebrated the landslide victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of the Workers’ Party (PT). This was undoubtedly a heavy blow struck by the masses against the corrupt and degenerate oligarchy that has ruled Brazil for decades. It has caused shock waves that will reverberate throughout the whole of Latin America and beyond. Now however a period opens up in which the PT government will come under enormous pressure from two sides, the bourgeoisie and the workers and poor. Alan Woods outlines the tasks facing the Brazilian working class.

In a week's time the second round of the Brazilian elections are to be held. In the first round Lula, the candidate of the PT came first by a large margin and looks set to win the second round. In this article Dario Castro analyses the results of the first round and looks at the situation a PT government will be facing, with the mounting debt and the huge pressure it would face both from the bourgeois on the one side and the workers on the other.

The recent gathering of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre showed clearly how the anti-globalisation movement is becoming more and more dominated by career politicians, and groups and organisations that do not really represent the millions of youth who look to this movement for an alternative to the capitalist system. The capitalist class internationally is using a dual tactic. On the one hand, where they feel it to be necessary (as in Genoa) they use the most repressive and brutal methods to try to crush the movement. On the other hand they try to corrupt the movement and direct it away from radical anti-capitalist ideas.

The labour standards which the Brazilian workers have won over the years are once again being threatened by the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The unions organised in the CUT (Central Workers' Union Confederation) are organising a nationwide general strike for the beginning of March.