Americas

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.

We publish here a statement by an IMT comrade in Pittsburgh on the barbaric killing of 11 Jews as they prayed in the Tree of Life synagogue. The frequency of anti-semitic attacks has increased in the recent period, as have racist attacks in general. In times of capitalist crisis, the ruling class foments division and hatred and Trump has contributed to creating an environment favourable to such events. So long as capitalism survives it will continue to produce such barbarism. The answer is to remove the cause and overthrow capitalism once and for all.

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.

We publish here a joint solidarity statement from the comrades of Bloque Popular Juvenil (El Salvador), Izquierda Marxista (Honduras) and La Izquierda Socialista (Mexico) to the thousands-strong migrant caravan travelling from Central America to the United States. The migrants have been met with prejudice, attacks by the media and state repression – their plight expresses the suffering of a whole region, plagued by the policies of American imperialism and oligarchical rule.

This autumn, the forces of Marxism have spread across Canadian campuses as never before. In the face of economic crisis, youth are questioning capitalism and are searching for answers that only revolutionary Marxism can provide. Since the start of September, Socialist Fightback Students (SFS) has collected well over a thousand emails, sold hundreds of papers, and started dozens of revolutionary reading groups across Canada, thus enrolling a new wave of youth in the fight against capitalism.

On 2 October, Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, to complete some paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancé. He was greeted at the door by a smiling Saudi official. He never came out again. Turkish officials insist they have evidence from inside the Saudi consulate that confirms that Khashoggi was tortured and killed there, his body dismembered and secretly disposed of.

 On 30 August, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced he would be forcing universities to adopt an Orwellian “free speech” policy. Under these new rules, student clubs may be dissolved and individual students may face expulsion for simply protesting far-right speakers on campus.

On 7 October, thousands of people gathered in downtown Montréal to march against racism and the newly elected CAQ government. The demonstration brought out a large number of immigrant families, grandparents and children included, all of whom were shocked by the election of the anti-immigrant government. La Riposte socialiste organised the socialist contingent of over 60 activists on the march.

The US midterms are upon us and the 2020 elections just around the corner. Seen by many as a referendum on Trump and a preview of the next presidential elections, 2018 will also be a referendum on the political system as a whole. While it’s possible there will be an anti-Trump bump, tens of millions will simply sit it out, instinctively understanding that whether the Democrats or Republicans control Congress, no fundamental change will be forthcoming.

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.

Two weeks ago, Trump announced tariffs on another $200bn worth of imports from China. The announcement was met with protests from the Chinese, as well as big business in the US. China responded with tariffs on another $60bn of imports from the US. This trade war reveals the frictions that have been developing for some time between the imperialist powers, and threatens to plunge the world into a new recession.

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 Quebec election this past Monday marked the end of an era. Support for the establishment parties, the PQ and the Liberals, collapsed to its lowest point on record. The main benefactor is the right-wing CAQ, which swept a dozens ridings and will now form a majority government. But the vote was also polarised to the left, with Quebec solidaire more than doubling their vote share and going from three seats to 10. This unprecedented situation opens up a new period of class struggle against the CAQ government.

2 October marks 50 years since the 1968 massacre in Tlatelolco, Mexico, when the army was used to mow down student protesters on the eve of the Olympics. We publish this detailed article by Ubaldo Oropeza, editor of La Izquierda Socialista, about the movement, its origins, development and aftermath, as well as the main lessons that can be drawn from it.

On 25 September, a general strike paralysed the Argentinian economy. In a demonstration of the enormous power of the working class, public transport came to a standstill, schools and universities were shut, public institutions and banks closed and private industry ceased to function. Meanwhile, president Macri was in the US making further concessions to the IMF in a desperate attempt to get a larger bailout.

New waves of student protest have been erupting in the universities and colleges of Mexico City. Students in all the major universities in the capital have come out en masse in solidarity after 14 students at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) were injured by porros(semi-fascist shock groups) earlier this month.