|Written by PSTU-Brazil|
|Monday, 24 June 2013 23:14|
It is time to organize the working class, against the right wing parties and the Government
A wave of radicalized protests sweeps the country at the moment. After the demonstrations against the increase of public transportation fares that defeated the hikes in several cities- including 14 capital cities among them São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro- the demonstrations did not go away and instead grew exponentially, and now reach more than 100 towns.
As a whole, more than 1 million people took to the streets on this historic Thursday. One of the largest demonstrations took place in Rio de Janeiro, where at least 300,000 took to the streets and clashed with the police. Around 200 protesters took refuge in the National Law School of UFRJ, where they remained surrounded by the police, without being able to leave until the closing of this text. The police forces also surrounded the Sindsprev (Union of the National Social Security Servers) where other protesters sought refuge from the crackdown. A strong police repression, which included even the BOPE (Battalion of Special Operations), left many protesters severely injured.
In Brasilia, at least 100,000 people participated in the protests. Protesters surrounded the Congress and set fire to the Foreign Ministry building. In São Paulo, more than 100,000 took to the streets, took Avenida Paulista and closed Avenida 23 de Maio. In Porto Alegre, more than 50,000 took to the streets and faced strong repression from the Military Brigade Tarso Genro’s Governor (PT), which reached the nonsense of launching tear gas from helicopters. In Belo Horizonte, about 50,000 people were also on the streets. Although there had been no repression there in Belo Horizonte, many infiltrated policemen and paramilitary groups provoked the organized movements.
Virtually all the capital cities witnessed mass protests against the government. In Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, an 18-year-old protester died after being struck by a car. It was the first death since the protests began.
From North to South, Brazil has been experiencing a genuine popular uprising. Rage against the increase of the public transportation fares was the spark that blew up the discontent accumulated over the years due to the precarious situation of Public Health and Public Education, while billions are spent in the preparation of the World Cup. Demonstrations are also against the police repression that came down towards the protests that were fighting for the public transportation fares reduction and towards the protests carried out against the World Cup. The repudiation of the corruption is also expressed in banners and signs such as “Out with Renan Calheiros”, or “Out with Sarney”.
The outrage against traditional politicians, government institutions, and especially against the PT’s betrayal is expressed in these mass demonstrations. However, this feeling which is very progressive in itself, slips into a real campaign against all political parties, turning also against the socialist left, such as the PSOL and PSTU, that were placed in the mass grave of the other ruling parties. This feeling, fueled by an important sector of the press, causes that minority groups from the rightist, Nazi, Fascist and skinheads feel free to spread their ideologies in the streets.
On June 20th there were isolated clashes provoked by the far-right groups, trying to catch a ride in the protests and surfing on the anti-party wave in order to attack the leftist organizations. In Rio de Janeiro, a group attacked the column formed by the social movements and left parties, who were marching along Avenida Rio Branco. Near Praça XI, one group of provocateurs who belongs to the Nazi-fascists broke through the security cordon formed by activists and savagely attacked the militants with tear gas, stones and flagpoles of stolen flags. There were confrontations and several people were injured, including at least 13 militants of PSTU. Black people, homosexuals and human rights activists were also victims of fascist militants.
Also in São Paulo there was confrontation. Left parties and trade unions, such as PSTU, PCO, LER-QI, CSP-Conlutas, Intersindical, among others, organized a column of activists to participate in the demonstrations on Avenida Paulista. The group left the Art Museum of São Paulo (MASP), went around and followed the Avenue toward Praça Oswaldo Cruz. In somemoments there was boos to the leftist parties, but there were also several demonstrations in support of the motto: “without censorship / dictatorship is over”. At a given moment, when the fascists were the majority, a group attacked the leftist activists with bombs, pepper spray and stones. There was resistance and confrontations, despite the numerical advantage of the fascist group, until the leftist column withdrew from the demonstration.
Both in Rio and in São Paulo, it was the visible the presence of “P2” (infiltrated policemen) in the leftist column. Spotted and photographed by the reporters of PSTU on Avenida Paulista, one of infiltrated policemen replied: “For every picture you take from us, we take 10 of you”.
It still causes estrangement the utilization by the rightist groups of weapons traditionally used by the police such as tear gas, pepper spray and shock weapons.
Organizing the workers to tackle the rightists and the governments
“The demonstrations of today indicate that the struggle will continue, we had a first victory with the public transportation fares reduction, but we want it to be the first of many victories, we have many other demands that point into another economic model different from the model implemented by PT and PSDB in our country”,said the PSTU leader, Zé Maria, at the plenary session held at the end of the demonstration in São Paulo.”We are very proud of the struggle that we are waging here today because it is not a group of fascists, who does not know that dictatorship is over, who is to say that our party has no right to exist”, he said, in relation to the conflict with the right.
“We are going to bring together trade unions and set a day of struggle and stoppages because we have to call the metalworkers, the construction workers the teachers, the bank employees, to be here with their flags and claims to fight against the fascists, but also against the governments of PT and PSDB, in order to get the claims of our class”,he added.