Brazil

This statement was produced by the Marxist Left, Brazilian section of the International Marxist Tendency, after the mass demonstrations against cuts to education and the pension counter-reform in Brazil last week. It analyses the meaning of that outburst of anger, the splits within the government and the way forward for the movement.

The massive, marvellous and militant demonstrations on 15 May all over Brazil struck a blow against the already unstable Bolsonaro government. Protests took place in over 200 cities across the country and more than 1.5 million young people and workers took to the streets.

15 May saw a tsunami of demonstrators come out against education cuts and counter-reforms to pensions in Brazil. More than 1.5 million hit the streets of over 200 cities across the country during the national education strike against the latest measures of the Bolsonaro government, which include a 30 percent cut to university budgets. Despite its bravado, the government is weak and divided. The slogan “Fora Bolsonaro” (Bolsonaro Out) resonated widely. Certainly, Brazil is not in the throes of fascism. Far from it. It is now time to prepare a general strike to bring this government down.

The Rio de Janeiro Homicide Police and the Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime have arrested retired military police sergeant Ronnie Lessa, and expelled military police officer Elcio Vieira de Queiroz for involvement in the murder of PSOL councillor Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, in March 2018.

The last six months have seen a qualitative turning point in the political situation in Brazil, with the election of Jair Bolsonaro as the 38th President of the country in October 2018. This is a fundamental shift in the bourgeois-democratic regime established by the 1988 Constitution after the fall of the military dictatorship, together with the social pact that it was based on.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

Comrades and supporters from around the world are continuing to put pressure on the Pakistani state to release the Marxist student activist, Rawal Asad, who is still being held on the scandalous charge of sedition and has been denied bail. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in Pakistan, where comrades, students and workers are demanding that Rawal be immediately released.

A Marxist student comrade of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Rawal Asad, remains in jail on the charge of sedition, having had his bail hearing rejected. In addition to continued protest in Pakistan against this injustice, messages and photographs have been pouring in all week from all over the world demanding our comrade's release.

The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

The following is a statement by Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left): the Brazilian section of the IMT, after the victory of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the Brazilian elections. The comrades explain the tasks ahead for the Brazilian left, who must immediately begin building a resistance against the reactionary and repressive policies of a Bolsonaro government.

Jorge Martin, editor of América Socialista and writer for In Defence of Marxism, discusses the results of Sunday's presidential elections in Brazil, where the far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, won with 55 percent of the vote. The blame for this lies at the feet of the Workers' Party (PT), who have been thoroughly discredited through years of carrying out austerity and attacks on the working class whilst in government.

Bolsonaro won the second round of the Brazilian presidential election with 55 percent of the vote, defeating Haddad – the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate – who received 45 percent. Any hopes of a last-minute rally were dashed. This result is a setback for the working class and the poor. We need to understand what it means, what led to this situation and what strategy the workers’ movement should follow, faced with this reactionary government.

Once the first round of the presidential elections was finished, Haddad and the PT (workers’ party) took off the red shirts they had used to revive melancholic PT supporters. Now they wear respectable suits with white shirts; they have changed their campaign symbols for the colours of the Brazilian flag (green, yellow and blue); removed Lula from campaign photographs; and hidden any hint of red.

Bolsonaro won in the first round of the Brazilian general elections and could possibly be the next president of the republic. He received support from about 33 percent of the 147 million voters. Haddad (the PT candidate) received support from about 21 percent of voters. Of the total voters, 27.32 percent (more than 40m) decided not to vote for any candidate. This is an expression of the feeling that runs through the streets.

The Brazilian general elections begin on 7 October. Far-right presidential candidate, Jair Messias Bolsonaro of the PSL, is leading in the polls, which has provoked a huge reaction from the left in Brazil, with some (including the PT) calling him a fascist, or fearing he will attempt to restore the military dictatorship. Lucy Dias of Marxist Left explains what Bolsonaro stands for, and how to fight him.

The bourgeois press is doing everything possible to bury the anti-Bolsonaro protests on September 29 and the readiness to fight they displayed. It makes comparisons with the pro-Bolsonaro mobilisations of the next day – which were dozens of times smaller – and omits facts like the spontaneous manifestations on public transport before and after the demonstrations.

The tremendous protests on 29 September all across Brazil were yet another demonstration of the building fightback against the far-right presidential candidate, Bolsonaro. These manifestations were initially called and organised by the Facebook group "United Women Against Bolsonaro", but word spread through the internet and the turn-out was greatly expanded.

The year has barely started and we’ve already seen large popular demonstrations all over Iran. Demonstrations, that had started with economic demands, developed into a revolt against the reactionary Islamic regime. In Tunisia, the youth have taken to the streets demanding employment and an end to IMF-imposed austerity policies. These two cases bring to mind, once again, the political instability that is spreading throughout the world and revolutionary explosions that may be detonated by little sparks.

A série de atos com a presença de Alan Woods na América Latina chegou ao seu fim com um ato vitorioso no Rio de Janeiro. Na noite de segunda-feira (9/10), durante uma semana de feriadão, reuniram-se mais de 100 pessoas no Salão Nobre do Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Sociais da UFRJ, no Centro do Rio de Janeiro, para comemorar o centenário da Revolução Russa e estudar e debater sua atualidade com o lançamento do livro “Stálin”, de Leon Trotsky.