With Boulos, MTST and PSOL – no fear of change in Brazil
This editorial was published in the 6 of February
The right-wing huge demonstrations of 2015 and 2016 had a brutal impact on the Brazilian national context. It is impossible to forget those thousands on the streets, raging against anything related to the left or social policies, in a process that culminated with the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.
The pro-impeachment demonstrations with their green and yellow tones marked the turn of the situation open from June of 2013. The coup, with no tanks in the streets delivered, in a year and few months, important setbacks to the Brazilian working class. A law limiting even more the public spending budget has been approved, directly impacting areas such as health, education and social investments. A labour reform attacked rights achieved over the last century, increasing the precarization of the working conditions. Privatisation of strategic assets, as the pre-salt oil reserves. The agony of unemployment is the symbol of today’s Brazil, an increasingly unequal country.
In the face of the political crisis, reactionary characters appear as an alternative for the middle class and, unfortunately, part of the working class and youth: Bolsonaro, Sergio Moro, Doria and MBL, and now Luciano Huck, are some expressions of retrogression. Of course, one of our most important tasks is to defeat those players.
Unfortunately, Lula and the PT do not go beyond the narrow limits of the establishment. Even worse, they are still trying to reach out their hands to the “market”. In the second phase of the coup, before the conviction without any evidence of Lula (even with him leading the polls), they say: “Calm down! Let’s win at the ballots.” The bourgeoisie broke up with PT, but definitely PT hadn’t broken up with the bourgeoisie.
It is very clear that the “fat cats” are not joking. It is also clear that, with PT, it is not possible to resist properly, until the end. For that reason, on the day of Lula’s illegitimate conviction, the FPSM (People’s Front with No Fear, in a free translation) took the most radical stance against the coup.
Within the framework of such offensive, we tirelessly defend the unity of all left and working-class forces to face the coup. There is, however, another urgent necessity: the building of a political alternative that begins the process of overcoming PT, without refusing to dialogue with those who still hold hopes in Lula and his party. A political alternative that does not repeat the mistake of governing with businessmen and bankers. An anti-capitalist alternative, supported by the struggles and resistance of Brazilian people.
Important struggles took place to face the Coup. During those struggles, we could see this political alternative springing up. The working class has made a historic general strike which, despite the subsequent vacillation of their leaderships, showing strength and being able to delay the neoliberal pensions reform.
It was facing the coup that PSOL became the party with the biggest growth in the recent years, even facing the discredit of politics and the huge attack from the mainstream media against the left. It was facing the coup that we could see the growth of a social housing move that has become an example of resistance, the MTST. It was from the heart of that struggle that has been built a political platform with the suggestive name of “Vamos! (Let’s Go!) Without the fear to change Brazil! “. Vamos! is not a finished program for the Brazilian revolution, but presents an important anti-capitalist answer for the crisis.
That is the reason why we defend an alliance of MTST with PSOL also for the 2018 presidential elections. This political alliance must be the unification of what is most advanced in the social struggle with the most dynamic pole of the political reorganization on the left. All organizations and parties of the socialist left should join this process on a political front.
Guilherme Boulos, leader of MTST, is in the best position to express a radical alternative to those who, with their own hands, seek to secure their achievements with social struggle. An alternative able to dialogue and reach the people of the poorest peripherical areas of the country, with the oppressed, with several layers of the people and the working-class.
We are convinced that the PSOL and MTST supporters, along with the thousands of activists who will take this campaign to the streets, will have the courage and firmness to defend an anti-capitalist program. Certainly, we will go to the point, in defence of a radical alternative for the social and political crisis. We will defend the immediate repeal of the Temer reforms, the urgency of urban and agrarian reform, debt auditing, taxation of big fortunes, and the nationalization of privatized companies. This unity points to overcoming the mistaken idea that we can only govern in alliance with the bourgeois parties, the businessmen and landowners.
Boulos is not “politics as usual”, because he is the leader of a movement that has resorted to the mobilization of thousands to conquer its positions. The MTST occupies lands destined to the real estate speculation in big cities. He is often criminalized for his actions, such as locking up motorways, and occupying lands and empty building, besides street acts.
There is more “socialism” in the actions of thousands struggling for housing than in ultra-radical statements unable to move the workers. Mass mobilizations are an example of which nothing replaces the social struggle of millions to challenge the establishment. Ideas have transformative power only when they inspire a willingness to struggle to change the world.
Given the need to face the right-wing and the historical incapacity of PT to fulfil that role, the socialist left needs to speak beyond its current limits. Without giving up the program, we must build the landscape for it to be heard. We must try to move the wheel, make history spins in a progressive direction. The candidacy of Guilherme Boulos points to a significant reorganization in the left. It can improve the presence of PSOL with broader audiences, with the most exploited and oppressed sectors of our class. It can expand PSOL beyond its own walls.
We respect the deciding structures of MTST and PSOL, and will wait for their definitions. Now, however, we affirm that, with great effort, energy and, despite the difficulties that we face in the current situation, with great joy, we will chant: “People without Fear, with Guilherme Boulos President.” We want to build this new political alternative, which does not allow reconciling the interests of the homeless with those of Odebrecht, the landless with Katia Abreu (landowner representative), the oppressed with Eduardo Cunha (corrupt conservative politician), the workers with the bankers. We will go on, “Vamos!”, with no fear!