Brazil

Brazil in the pandemic

Join us for our weekly online meeting, Sunday 26 July, from 6.30pm where Luiza Xavier will discuss the political background to current events in Brazil. Brazil is now one of the epicentres of the coronavirus pandemic with 1000 per day dying for the third day in a row on 20 June, and more than 50,659 killed by the virus as of 22 June. The far-right Bolsonaro government's irrational response to the pandemic has triggered political turmoil. Brazil is susceptible to the pandemic because of its weak social support system, overcrowded prison population, and the urban poor living in overcrowded...

Brazil in the pandemic

Brazil is now one of the epicentres of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The number of confirmed cases is over 200,000, and deaths over 15,000, making it the fourth largest outbreak in the world. The still almost-exponentially-increasing number of cases has, however, not been enough to convince Jair Bolsonaro to establish any sort of federal social distancing policy. The president was instead interviewed at a floating barbecue party (!) as the number of deaths reached 10,000. Local governments have tried to institute their own policies, but lack of federal funding, extreme poverty and years of...

Marxists and “left governments”

“We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition… Our tasks... we realise not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a “defence” cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit...

Amazon fires threaten the Earth

Fires are sweeping the Amazon rainforest. They are facilitated by global warming to date and also fuel future climatic catastrophe. They have been driven by deforestation and sparked further deforestation. Brazil’s president Bolsonaro and politicians internationally have responded with empty words and little action. August saw a spike in fires across the world’s largest rainforest. In 2019 so far Brazil’s space agency has recorded over 40,000. There are fires in the Amazon all year round, and August is generally the beginning of “fire season”, but this year’s rate of fires is nonetheless...

General strike in Brazil

On Friday 14 June, schools, public transport, banks, universities and factories in Brazil stopped in Brazil for the first general strike under the right-wing Bolsonaro administration which took office in January. The strike was called collectively by various trade union “centrals”, political parties (such as the PT, PSOL and the PCdoB), and numerous student unions. Its main demand is a stop to the pensions reform, which is set to go through the Chamber of Deputies in the week starting 17 June. Pensions have been used as a scapegoat, since the Temer government, to justify the lack of investment...

Edge of Democracy

Petra Costa was a child when Workers’ Party (PT) leader Lula da Silva became President of Brazil in 2003. Her parents had been detained and worked underground for the PT and the overthrow of the military dictatorship of 1965-1985. This documentary is a personal quest to make sense of her deep disappointment at the overthrow of the PT government of 2003-2018 by supporters of that military dictatorship. She has assembled footage of her family, of protests, of interviews with PT supporters, with the two PT Presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and, of parliamentary proceedings. Opponents...

Capital and the Amazon

A report by Amazon Watch released on 25 April 2019 indicts the role of global commodity traders and financiers in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon – the world’s largest rainforest – provides 20% of our oxygen, houses 10% of the planet’s biodiversity and 20% of its flowing freshwater. It stabilises global climate through driving weather patterns, and is home to many indigenous peoples. Preventing its deforestation is crucial in curtailing global warming and other world-wide climate catastrophes. A huge amount of carbon is stored in soil, and is released in the process of...

Bolsonaro’s economist takes aim at workers

Brazil’s newly-elected far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has famously admitted that he does not understand economics, but he doesn’t think that understanding is a necessary qualification for being president. He was “running a political campaign and not studying for university entrance exams”. He stated that all economic policy would come from his adviser Paulo Guedes, a free-market economist and co-founder of Brazil’s free-market think-tank, the “Millenium Institute” in Brazil. Guedes is now Minister for the Economy in the Bolsonaro administration. Guedes’ ultra-free-market economic views...

Working as a CSA in SĂŁo Paolo

JB, a worker-militant working on the railway in SĂŁo Paolo, Brazil, recently visited London, and spoke to a number of radical workers' organisations including Tubeworker and the Angry Workers of the World. He is involved with the InvisĂ­veis collective.

He wrote a document describing his...

Bolsonaro sets out plans

Many Brazilians — especially those who are (or care for the rights of) women, black people, LGBT folk, workers, or leftists — feared the coming of New Year’s Day 2019, as far-right evangelical fundamentalist Jair Bolsonaro took power as president. In his first speech as president, behind lines of armed police to intimidate the press, Bolsonaro promised to fight socialism, “gender ideology”, and the colour red. His inauguration was boycotted by the Workers’ Party (PT) and the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) in protest, but neither those parties nor any other group organised major protest...

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