Brazil

Some people never die; they live on in the legacy they leave behind. This was the feeling of those who filled the chamber of the City Council of Joinville on March 5 to pay tribute to Comrade Francisco Lessa. Old and new comrades in arms, family and friends, from various cities and states, gathered to remember this great man, a convinced Communist, who died holding an unshakable faith in the future of humanity. His lifelong partner, our comrade Cynthia, and his daughter Petra Lessa, were present and joined the others who stood up to sing the Internationale at the end of the ceremony.

The Central Committee of Esquerda Marxist (the Marxist Left) notes with deep regret the death of our comrade Chico Lessa, which occurred on Saturday morning (28/02). We offer all our sympathy to the family and friends of Comrade Chico.

Today the World Cup opens in Brazil, but with a very different atmosphere to what usually accompanies such an event, as the widespread protest movements and strikes taking place in the country clearly demonstrate. Here we publish an article by comrades of the [Marxist Left] that highlights the enormous social and class contradictions that have surfaced around the tournament.

The World Cup events being held in 12 cities across Brazil are set to begin in several days. Half a million tourists are expected to flood into Brazil. However, instead of the expected celebrations and weeks of national rejoicing in a country long-known for its proud football traditions, there is enormous tension as the events are set to begin on June 12th.

On October 27, the Military Police of São Paulo governor Alckmin killed yet another young man. The killer claims he inadvertently fired the gun. Douglas Martins was killed. He was 17 and lived in the poor neighbourhood of Jaçanã, famous for the Trem das Onze song by Adoniran Barbosa.

The struggles of the working class worldwide are heating up. In Brazil, after the "June Days" [protests against bus fare increases], the Dilma government, without meeting any of the demands raised by the youth and the working class, announced a package of mass privatizations: harbours, oil, roads and airports.

The struggle for the reduction of public transport fares, which began in Sao Paulo, has sparked a change in the political situation in the country. The Marxist Left (Esquerda Marxista) was one of the initiators of this ongoing struggle back in May. Here Serge Goulart provides a balance sheet of that movement – originally published in America Socialista.

The "Red Flag"  Committee of Struggle for a United Front in Defence of Democratic Freedoms and of the Workers', Popular and Student Organizations formed in São Paulo.

In the late afternoon of June 19th, after the huge demonstrations which had been held in regional capitals and many other cities, the mayor of São Paulo announced, along with State Governor Geraldo Alckmin, that the price of bus and metro fares would be reversed back to 3 Reais. In Minas, the government is also looking into reducing fares, which were also reduced in Rio, and Recife, where the fares had been reduced even before the demonstrations took to the streets. Mayors from the interior of the country are announcing reductions, following on from São Paulo and Rio. This is a victory that affects the entire country.

More than 15,000 students and workers took to the streets of Joinville on Thursday (20/6). They chanted slogans and carried placards with messages of change. This kind of mobilization has not been seen since the Collor Out movement in 1992.

The mayor of Sao Paulo, Haddad, has been forced to retreat on the question of bus fare increases along with the regional governor Alckmin and Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paz. In the wake of this move in the largest cities in the country, others will follow suit. Campinas and Niterói have also already announced the revocation of the fare increase. Very few mayors will be able to resist!

Brazil is currently experiencing the largest demonstrations seen in the country for over 20 years. Today it has been estimated that 200,000 Brazilians have been protesting in eleven cities across the country, with the demonstration in Rio de Janeiro attracting 100,000 people

São Paulo: 3.20 reais; Recife: R$3.45; Porto Alegre R$3.05; Goiânia: R$3.00; Curitiba: $2.85; Rio de Janeiro: R$ 2.95. These prices are just a sample of the new bus fares which have increased all over Brazil in the first half of 2013. They have aroused indignation in thousands of public transport users. But in the context of global crisis and popular resistance in many countries, is the anger reflected in the demonstrations only related to public transport?

On Sunday October 7 municipal elections were held in Brazil. While the second round still has not taken place, the Workers Party (PT) would have won this election but reducing its overall vote compared to the 2008 municipal elections. The Esquerda Marxista, Marxist Left of the PT, has participated in the electoral battle fielding candidates in some cities, large and small. Our candidates were workers, trade unionists and youth united by the same battle: to reclaim the PT to its name and its founding principles: to represent the class independence of the proletariat in the struggle against capitalism.