No truce with fascism: 2 October will be our answer!

There is an impasse in the national political situation. Bolsonaro is not strong enough to carry out a victorious coup at this moment, but he is not weak enough to be immediately toppled. This scenario gives rise to a precarious and unstable equilibrium, as Jair Bolsonaro’s letter of apology written by former president Michel Temer clearly demonstrates.

After the show of force in the streets on 7 September and his explicit ‘golpista’ (coup) threats, the militia president made a tactical retreat two days later. On 7 September, he demonstrated that his capacity to massively mobilize his supporters around the banners of ‘golpismo’. On 9 September, he was forced to retreat in the face of pressure from the big bourgeoisie and the danger of impeachment. He took two steps forward, only to take one step back, and all the while maintaining the same ‘golpista’ strategy.

The agreement expressed in the “Temer letter” has two key aspects. On the one hand, it reveals that the bourgeoisie, for the most part, is operating on the basis of “neither impeachment nor coup”. That is, it wants to keep the government in place until the elections, while at the same time trying to contain the militiaman’s coup plans. Big capital calculates that the impeachment process would be very costly for its business and its liberal reforms because it would paralyze the country in a political and institutional confrontation of enormous intensity and unpredictable consequences.

On the other hand, the letter of apology prepared by Temer is an indication that Bolsonaro is unable to advance his ‘golpista’ strategy at this time. US imperialism (the Biden administration) does not support a coup in Brazil, and nor is there majority support in the national ruling class for this objective. Besides this, the government is going through its moment of greatest popular weakness, which is tending to intensify with the rise in inflation. Considering these factors, there is no evidence that the military high command is in favor of a fascist adventure, despite the military’s political support for the government.

The interim solution reached ‘upstairs’ reflects the impasse in the political situation. However, the momentary agreement gives Bolsonaro time to recover some of his lost popularity and prepare the steps for a new coup attempt. There can be no doubt: for fascism, elections are only tactical, the strategic thing is to build the conditions for an authoritarian rupture. To give Bolsonaro time, to quietly wait for the elections, is to play with fire – an unforgivable mistake.

The primary task: build the 2 October rallies for impeachment!

The left and center-left opposition is correct: the fight for the impeachment of Bolsonaro is urgent and unavoidable. The challenge of transforming the social majority into a majority in the streets, and defeating this government and its ‘golpismo’ as soon as possible still remains. In this sense, the Fora Bolsonaro Campaign has scheduled a new major national day of demonstrations for 2 October. Nine political parties – the Party of Socialism and Freedom (PSOL), Workers’ Party (PT), Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), Democratic Labor Party (PDT), Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), Green Party (PV), Sustainability Network (REDE), Solidarity (Solidariedade) and Citizenship (Cidadania) – all committed themselves on 15 September to building these 2 October demonstrations, and have indicated that further demonstrations for impeachment will be held on November 15. The aim is to involve all sectors that are in favor of Bolsonaro’s impeachment in the building of these demonstrations, including the right-wing opposition.

The resounding failure of the 12 September rallies organized by the right-wing Free Brazil Movement (MBL) and Take to the Streets (Vem Pra Rua), which were attended by João Doria (Brazilian Social Democracy Party, PSDB), Ciro Gomes (PDT), Luiz Mandetta (Democrats, DEM) and João Amoedo (New Party, NOVO) demonstrates the very limited capacity of these sectors for social mobilization. But this should not lead to a sectarian position among the left towards these forces. Preserving its space and its banners, the left should call for all those in favor of Bolsonaro’s impeachment to take to the streets on 2 October, even the right-wing opposition.

The more representative and broad the platform is on 2 October and 15 November, the stronger the pressure will be on Bolsonaro. In this regard, it is important for Lula, Boulos, Ciro, Doria, FHC, Dino, Requião, and others to all be on the same platform. The involvement of artists in this movement is also very important. We need all sectors that are willing to take part to join this common struggle.

The construction of the 2 October demonstrations should be the top priority of the left, of all social movements, and everyone who realizes the danger posed by Bolsonaro. We cannot lose a single day. Lula, who until now has kept his distance from the street demonstrations, must commit to calling for these demonstrations. This is fundamental.

The call for mobilization must be taken into the workplaces, the outlying neighborhoods, and the youth. The construction of these demonstrations from the ground up is essential. However, the key to their success is linking them to the most heartfelt demands of working people, such as the scarcity caused by inflation, the lack of jobs, the loss of rights, low wages, insufficient vaccines, neoliberal reforms, privatization, and the other issues that plague working people. The link between the concrete lives of the masses and the ‘golpista’ threats must be made. This is because, above all else, Bolsonaro wants to carry out a coup to impose more attacks on the living standards of the poor and working people.

The organization of these demonstrations should consider the importance of concentrating them in the state capitals. The possibility of organizing bus conveys from all the cities in the interior to the capitals must be investigated, to concentrate our forces in the big urban centers, just as Bolsonaro did on 7 September. The unions, parliamentarians, and social movements must provide their resources for building these demonstrations.

Let’s come out fighting. Bolsonaro Out. Impeachment now!

This article is an English translation of “Nenhuma trégua ao fascismo: dia 02 de outubro será a nossa resposta!Esquerda Online (EOL), 15/09/2021.
Translation: Bobby Sparks