The result of the first electoral round in the current elections shows once again the enormous dissatisfaction with the governments and politicians who are responsible for unemployment, misery, violence and corruption that plague Brazil.
By PSTU (Brazil)*
The second round is due to take place on 28 October when there will be a run off for the Presidency between Jair Bolsonaro of the PSL (Social Liberal Party), who lead in the first round, and Fernando Haddad from the PT (Workers Party). Either candidate, if elected, will continue the attack on our rights and living conditions to favour the bankers and ‘entrepreneurs’ who finance and support them.
The PSTU will oppose the future government, whether it is formed by Bolsonaro or Haddad, and their allies. Neither of them will rule for our class, for those from below. Both will rule for the bankers. The working class must be prepared to fight in defence of pensions, the Christmas bonus, jobs, land rights, and the rights of the oppressed from day one.
We will vote against Bolsonaro without any political support for Haddad
Bolsonaro stands for torture and military dictatorship, which existed in Brazil from the 1964 military coup d’état and lasted 21 years. It ended direct elections for the Presidency, the right to strike and demonstrate, freedom of speech, trade union and political freedom. To defend the interests of big business and the banks the dictatorship imprisoned, tortured and even murdered those who opposed it. Bolsonaro and his Vice Presidential running mate stand for this “in case it is necessary”.
The PSL candidate says, “he will end all activism”. Do you know what he means by this? Indigenous people will not be able to demand their land. Black people will not be able to fight racism and discrimination. Women will be forbidden to fight for their rights and for equality. Workers will lose their unions and will not be able to strike. His government will carry out harsh repression. The land owners’ gunmen, murderers like those who killed Marielle Franco (who was a leader of the Black movement and councillor in Rio de Janeiro and assassinated in March this year), and the military police will be free to kill. However, he does not say he has been a parliamentary representative for 30 years and is as corrupt as all the other politicians in Congress.
We know that many industrial workers and other workers voted for Bolsonaro, but not because they agree with this barbarism. They voted for him because they are outraged with the unemployment, generalised corruption and withdrawal of rights that have occurred under PT governments. Many workers who voted for the PT before today feel betrayed, and they are right. Not just due to the corruption scandals. Let us remember that Dilma (a previous PT President) promised in the 2014 elections not to withdraw any rights “even if pigs fly”. After being elected, she named a banker as the Treasury Minister and confiscated the PIS (Contribution to the Social Integration Plan) and the unemployment benefit of the industrial working class. Workers have voted for Bolsonaro to punish the PT and not in support for this programme, if indeed they know exactly what he stands for.
We feel this same indignation. And we know that if Haddad reaches office he will attack our rights, as the Dilma administration did. He will follow the same script as the previous PT administrations, allied to bankers, big business and the political mob that inhabits the National Congress.
However, to vote for Bolsonaro is to shoot the working class in the foot.
Bolsonaro will go beyond the repression of other governments including the PT administrations against the struggle for workers’ rights. He will attack our pensions and will further deepen labour reform i.e. attack workers’ rights. And he will continue privatising public companies.
Furthermore, he threatens to place the military on the streets and impose a dictatorship to stop workers from fighting back with strikes and demonstrations. It makes no sense to give him the Presidency to attack us. Therefore, no industrial worker or any other worker should vote for Bolsonaro, and without giving any trust or political support to the PT we should vote for Haddad in the second round.
We need to be prepared to fight from now
We trust the capability of working class struggle and the poor people of our country. We carried out an enormous general strike in 2017 that stopped (previous President) Temer’s pensions reform. If we had continued with that fight, we could have also stopped the labour reform and even overthrown Temer. Sadly, the leadership of parties like PT and the leaderships of the great union federations disorganised and setback the struggle. This must change.
We need to prepare to fight in defence of our rights, despite who is elected in the second round. We need to be ready to face and defeat Bolsonaro and his authoritarianism on the streets. When our class is united and organised, it is stronger than the ruling class, their government and their armed bodies of men. We can defeat them.
A calling to the federations, unions and movements: Let us prepare the General Strike
As politicians, both Bolsonaro and Haddad have collaborated with the “market” to carry out reform and attacked our pensions in order to continue paying the so-called public debt, which is actually a mechanism to divert public resources for bankers. The united mobilisation of the working class and social movements is the only thing that can defeat Bolsonaro’s authoritarianism and the attacks on our rights and organisations. We, who create all of society’s wealth can shut down the country.
It is necessary to build a united front to defend our pensions, to stop them from withdrawing our rights, and to demand jobs and defeat Bolsonaro’s authoritarianism on the streets. Let us now prepare the conditions for a new General Strike.
Against racism, male chauvinism, LGBTphobia, xenophobia and exploitation!
We will not accept genocide and mass incarceration of the poor and black youth of the peripheries. We cannot tolerate feminicide and the high degree of violence against women. Nor can we accept working women earning less than men, without day care for their children. We cannot tolerate the insults against North East Brazilians and LGBTs from Bolsonaro and his campaign managers.
DICTATORSHIP NEVER AGAIN
Brazil needs a workers’ and people’s rebellion and a socialist project
We are going to organise the rank and file of our class to carry out a rebellion in this country and build a workers’ and people’s government. A government of those from below to rule through popular councils with workers’ democracy.
*PSTU – Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado – United Socialist Workers’ Party, the Brazilian section of the International Workers’ League, of which the ISL in Britain is a sympathising group.