A new socialist party has been founded in Brazil, headed by militants expelled from the Workers' Party (PT). Below is an abridged translation announcing the formation of the party.
The Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (P-SOL) was founded at a conference in Brasília on 5 and 6 June attended by 750 representatives from 22 states. Its initial impulse was given by the parliamentarians Heloísa Helena, Babá, Luciana Genro and João Fontes, the radicals who opposed the leaders of the PT and their government serving national and international capital, the bankers and the landowners, whose measures attack the rights and interests of working people.
Together with the parliamentarians, P-SOL was founded by hundreds of representatives of the social movements, urban and peasant fighters, leaders of strikes and student union mobilisations, militants for human rights and from civil society, from the women's and black movements and from others resisting capitalist barbarism in its various forms. Many of those that headed the national strike in defence of the state pension in 2003 were present at the foundation of the P-SOL.
Our party affirms the necessity of defeating the neo-liberal model, impelling workers to action and constructing a political alternative that breaks with capitalism. Our aim is to govern the country and to reorganise completely the economy and society, laying the foundations for production according to social need.
We are proud that among the first to sign up to the new party were some of the finest intellectuals of the Brazilian left. The sociologist Chico Oliveira, one of the founders of the PT, has joined us. He helps found a new party to uphold the socialist banner. As he said opening the national conference: "The 21st century will be socialist or it will not be". Along with Oliveira was philosopher Paulo Arantes and Ricardo Antunes, the philosophers Carlos Nelson Coutinho and Leandro Konder.
Ex-federal deputy Milton Temer has also joined. As the vice-president of the Brazilian Association of Prensa (ABI), Temer was the candidate of the united left of the PT against the majority leadership of the party on more than one occasion in the recent past.
All these commitments reflect the force of the ideas of the P-SOL, its historical necessity, and its social and intellectual weight.
With the approved statutes we have established the rules of operation of the new party. A democratic party, with ample debate, that encourages criticism and self-criticism, creativity and the collective elaboration. Full rights to form tendencies and an understanding of the necessity of unity in action, brought about through the common understanding of tasks. A militant party, built as a party of working people. For that reason the P-SOL has a future, because the working class resists, it fights and it will win.
The national leadership was elected by a vote at the plenary. Heloísa Helena was recognised as the main voice of the P-SOL, assuming for now the presidency of the party. With her force and reputation, all the militants of the P-SOL know that our party is able to present a national political alternative on the electoral terrain.
The militants of the P-SOL have the central task in the coming months to lead the resistance, against the union reforms, against the university reform, in defence of the agrarian reform, of those without housing, in support of the struggles of all unions and all workers. Our militants will also have to begin to get the 438,000 signatures to guarantee our party is registered.
Finally, the founding conference was witnessed by international delegations from the United States, Argentina, Paraguay, Sweden and England, and greetings were sent from organisations from Switzerland, England, Uruguay, Panama and Peru. The next National Conference of the P-SOL will take place in January 2005 during the World Social Forum in Puerto Alegre.