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many articles-Brazil: Unity in defense of freedom of expression of working-class and youth organisations

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  • Cort Greene
    *Brazil - Esquerda Marxista * Website of the Marxist left of the PT. *Brazil - Movimento Negro Socialista
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2013
      *Brazil - Esquerda Marxista <http://www.marxismo.org.br/>*
      Website of the Marxist left of the PT.

      *Brazil - Movimento Negro Socialista <http://www.mns.org.br/>*
      Website of the Brazilian Black Socialist Movement.


      Brazil: Unity in defense of freedom of expression of working-class and
      youth organisations<http://www.marxist.com/brazil-unity-in-defence-of-freedom-of-expression.htm>
      Written by Esquerda Marxista (Brazil)Sunday, 23 June 2013
      [image: Print]<http://www.marxist.com/brazil-unity-in-defence-of-freedom-of-expression/print.htm>[image:


      The below statement was written by our Brazilian comrades organised around
      the Marxist journal Esquerda Marxista.

      [image: fist] <http://www.marxist.com/images/stories/other/fist.jpg>The
      right wing is attempting to co-opt the huge demonstrations of the last few
      days by introducing a bias towards nationalism, against corruption, against
      PEC 37, etc. There have also been some placards against abortion, for a
      military coup, and for Joaquim Barbosa (President of the Supreme Court who
      condemned the PT leaders without evidence in Criminal Case 470) to become
      the new president of the republic.

      In this sense, another component could already be seen in the demonstration
      on June 18 in Sao Paulo, and in a much intense way on June 20 in several
      cities: the attack on the free expression of leftist organizations.

      The Marxist Left has been participating in the protests against the fare
      increase in Sao Paulo since the beginning, our members were also suppressed
      by riot police in the protests last week, our banners were taken by the
      police on the way to the June 13 protest. Now, some "protesters" also tried
      to take our banners and flags.

      On Tuesday (18/06), as we marched down Avenida Paulista, we received
      serious threats for holding up our banners in the demonstration, what began
      with shouts of "lower that flag" and "parties out", passed into angry
      shouts from some bullies dressed in suits who were encouraging the others,
      they threatened to take our banners and warned us that it was best to lower
      them in order not to create confusion. We distanced ourselves from this
      group and continued with our banners held high.

      On the same day we heard that other militants of left groups were
      threatened, flags were taken from the hand of protesters and even militants
      expelled from the rally in Pra�a da S�

      At the protest on June 20, in the face of previous threats, the left
      organisations marched in blocks seeking to protect themselves from attacks.
      But the other side was very well prepared. Neo-fascist elements armed with
      knives, provocateurs who seemed infiltrated police, pepper gas, all
      encouraging a layer of youth who has been awakened to political life, but
      is still influenced by the maneuvers of the mainstream media and the
      provocateurs, a group that throughout the whole march put pressure on the
      block formed by parties and leftist organizations, trade unions and student
      organizations. After about 2.5 km, with a united stewarding service which
      was poorly organised, the immense pressure expelled all those who had any
      hint of being left wing, as well as ourselves also militants from PSTU,
      PCO, PSOL, PT, UJS, UNE, CUT, Intersindical, Conlutas, etc.., all pushed
      out of Avenida Paulista. A most serious attack on democracy, the right to
      organize and fight.

      This did not happen only in S�o Paulo, militants who carried flags of CUT
      were attacked in Rio de Janeiro. In Belo Horizonte, activists were harassed
      and after an early clash they withdrew. In Florian�polis the demonstration
      was divided.

      We heard slogans not only against the PT, but against the Communists,
      against the Reds. To the website of the PCO (Workers' Cause Party) was also

      In this situation the leadership of the PT has a great responsibility, the
      policy of class collaboration distanced the party from the struggles of the
      people, the masses were left orphaned of a militant leadership,
      implementing in government a policy that benefits the powerful and not the
      people, such as the increase in the fares in S�o Paulo which was carried
      out by mayor Haddad (from the PT). This demoralized the party and the
      militants. On Thursday, the leadership called on the ranks to participate
      in the demonstrations in a "Red Wave", but did nothing to mobilize, and the
      leaders were absent. They played with those that answered the call,
      especially the youth of the PT, who then suffered the assaults.

      This serious situation demands that all parties and all left organizations,
      trade unions, student organizations, social movements, all those who defend
      the democratic right of freedom of organization and expression of the left,
      all in one voice repudiate such repression and ORGANIZE the joint defense
      against these fascist attacks which only benefit the bourgeoisie. It is
      urgent that we meet to discuss joint actions to respond to this situation.
      We must act in defense of the freedom expression of working-class and youth

      The division benefits our enemies. Unity!

      An injury to one is an injury to all!

      Friday, June 21, 2013

      Brazil: Statement on the attacks against left wing organisations on the
      June 20 demonstrations<http://www.marxist.com/statement-brazil-june-20-attacks-on-left-wing.htm>
      Written by Movement for Free Pass (Brazil)Sunday, 23 June 2013
      [image: Print]<http://www.marxist.com/statement-brazil-june-20-attacks-on-left-wing/print.htm>[image:


      Due to its interesting contect we publish here an English translation of
      the statement of the Sao Paulo "Movement for Free Pass" regarding the
      attacks on left wing organisation at the demonstrations on June 20.

      On the Protest on Thursday (June 20) - Public Statement

      Statement n. 11: on the protest this Thursday

      The Free Pass Movement (MPL) took to the streets against the fare increase.
      Today's demonstration is part of this struggle: beyond the celebration of
      the peoples' victory of the abrogation of the fare rise, we reaffirm that
      fighting is not a crime and demonstrate support for protests in other
      cities. However, in today's protests we witnessed pitiful and isolated
      episodes of violence against the participation of different groups.

      The MPL struggle for a truly public transportation system that serves the
      needs of the population and not to the profit of the businesses. Thus, we
      stand alongside all those fighting for a world for those at the bottom and
      not for the profit of the few that are at the top. This is what in history
      left wing organizations have defended, and the MPL is part of this history
      and the product of it.

      The MPL is a nonpartisan social movement, but it is not anti party. We
      condemn the acts of violence directed at these organizations during the
      demonstration today, just as we condemn police violence. Since the first
      protests, these organizations took part in the mobilization. Opportunism is
      trying to exclude them from the fight that we built together.

      All strength to those who struggle for a life without turnstiles.

      MPL Sao Paulo


      Brazil: Report and balance sheet of the first big rally in
      Written by Johannes Halter (Member of the National Committee of the
      Brazilian Marxist Youth)Sunday, 23 June 2013
      [image: Print]<http://www.marxist.com/brazil-report-and-balance-sheet-of-first-big-rally-in-joinville/print.htm>[image:


      More than 15,000 students and workers took to the streets of Joinville on
      Thursday (20/6). They chanted slogans and carried placards with messages of
      change. This kind of mobilization has not been seen since the Collor Out
      movement in 1992.
      The largest demo since the Fora Collor (Collor Out) movement

      Amongst those present were several trade unions, political parties, student
      organizations, neighborhood associations, social organizations. However,
      there were also other organisations which never participated in a movement
      and have always opposed street demonstrations. It was a historic day for
      the city's social movements. However, it also revealed the weaknesses of
      the demonstration and the contradictions among the protesters. In order to
      understand the situation and move forwards we need to draw a balance-sheet.
      Balance sheet of a movement that can go forward

      Young people and workers who participated in the demonstration on Thursday
      had an experience that most Joinville inhabitants had never had before.
      They were participating in a social movement and participating for the
      first time in a spontaneous movement of the population. Many had never
      concerned themselves with or reflected carefully about political issues.
      Others had always supported movements, but had never come out onto the
      streets to struggle. It is all new to most of them.

      A thorough understanding of this situation, which is being repeated across
      Brazil, would mean the movement would be able to take stock of itself, and
      identify its own weaknesses and contradictions. Thus, it would be possible
      to move forward in an organised and systematic manner around the demands
      that have been raised by those who are angered by the whole situation. The
      victories already achieved with respect to the reduction of the price of
      tickets shows that the masses can win and achieve even more. The question
      is: how?
      What is required is organization

      The first point that needs to be highlighted about the Joinville
      demonstration is the lack of organization. The organised social movements
      are trying to explain what is happening and mobilise the population in the
      streets. However, there is also a campaign of the right wing and the
      mainstream media, with the aim that the demonstrations do not guide the
      struggle to take clear actions so as to adopt slogans that relate to the
      working class and the youth.

      This Thursday showed that sound systems that are powerful enough to ensure
      that all those in the squares and streets can hear, are absolutely
      necessary. After all, how can we make sure the demonstration carries out
      decisive action decided by all if those present cannot even hear what is
      being discussed? Otherwise, the movement ends up by splitting up, as we saw
      this Thursday, because there are no clear references to guide the march.
      Different legitimate groups of the workers and youth attempted to organise
      different parts of the demonstration, but were unable to carry out a
      coordinated effort.
      Unity of left wing organisations and movements

      Another question that all the protesters need to think about is the need
      for the unity of all the organisations that struggle for the working class.
      It is legitimate for the movements to attempt to organise protests, but it
      is important to advance in the discussion and coordination with the other
      organisations of the working class.The attitude of not seeking a broader
      unity around the slogans did not contribute to making the demonstration
      stronger and better organised.

      What we saw on Thursday was a massive protest, but it could have been an
      even more important step forward if the left had acted in a united fashion.
      Thus it would be possible to call for the unity of struggles and come out
      with clear decisions about goals, and with a clear strategy to achieve
      them. Meetings of the organizations that defend the workers and youth
      should be convened with the aim of unifying all entities who were elected
      by their bases to organize them and call them to fight.

      A third question that needs to be dealt with is what steps need to be taken
      to guarantee democracy within the protest movement - which caused much
      controversy within the social networks and the beginning of some scuffles
      on the demonstration itself. This question can be divided in two main
      points. The first one is on the organization of the protest itself. The
      only solution is to adopt democratic methods of conducting and organising
      the demonstration, involving the unity of all the organisations of the

      The second aspect is related to freedom of expression. Solidarity
      demonstrations broke out all over the country after protesters in S�o Paulo
      were attacked and imprisoned for the simple fact of expressing themselves
      politically in opposition to the increase in fares. Paradoxically, several
      people who attended the protest in Joinville expressed hatred and disgust
      towards those who are organized in parties, trade unions and student

      The right to freedom of expression was being attacked by some of those
      participating in the demonstrations that had been called precisely to
      protect that right. This approach must be combated and removed. Freedom of
      speech means not only not being arrested for thinking and doing what you
      want, but also the right to be respected in the form in which you express
      these ideas (with banners, placards, T-shirts and slogans) . There was only
      one moment in the recent history of Brazil where this right was not
      respected: during the Military Dictatorship!
      Contradiction: fascists and right-wingers present at the protests

      The number of people on the streets of Joinville impressed everyone. But we
      need to look at some aspects more carefully. Not only were there students
      and workers on the protest. The slogans raised were not only in defence of
      free public transport for all, solidarity with the arrested protesters or
      for good quality public services. There were also some who were for the
      "Impeachment of Dilma", "Petralhas Out", [a play on words based on the
      cartoon characters the Metralhas Brothers, who are thieves, and on the PT],
      "Less taxes", "Down with the parties", "For a military coup now". Those who
      defend such slogans are often termed as "right-wingers", representing a
      conservative political position, advocating improvements for those who are
      at the top of the social pyramid. These are the people who drive luxury
      cars, are close friends of the commanders and generals, as well as having
      the best available healthcare and education that money can buy.

      The slogan "Parties out" belongs to this kind of people. We have to see
      which parties are participating in the protests. It is precisely the
      parties of the working class! It is those parties that were created as a
      result of 21 years of struggle, torture and death of thousands demanding
      political freedom, organization and expression under the dictatorship.
      These are precisely the parties that overthrew the military dictatorship,
      but we mustn�t forget that those who supported that dictatorship are still
      present in society. That is the right wing. It is the right wing which was
      present in the demonstrations promoting a nationalist agenda, as if they
      were defending Brazil. The truth is that they are defending their interests
      as a ruling class.

      The young student or worker, who has never been involved in politics
      before, may welcome those who wrap themselves in the flag of Brazil and
      sing the national anthem because they do this too. However, although both
      do the same thing they do it with very different aims in mind. Those others
      are part of the ruling class. They want to exploit the protest movement to
      promote their own political candidates into certain positions, to impose
      their agendas from positions of power and increase their own wealth,
      regardless of the situation facing the people. They go as far as to argue
      that there should be no parties and they act with violence against "the
      left" - those who represent the historical interests of the working class.
      This approach has a name: it is called fascism.

      Working class protesters need to reflect on this and prevent the right wing
      from usurping the movement for their own interests and attacking the
      organizational capacity of the exploited. During the demonstrations
      everyone needs to be aware of the importance of guaranteeing freedom of
      expression and prevent that right from being attacked, as well as not
      falling into the trap of the provocation of the mass media. The
      demonstrations were called precisely in solidarity with those to whom this
      right had been denied.

      The demonstration also revealed the confusion that exists about the slogans
      of the movement. The points that have unified demonstrations throughout
      Brazil are the fight against repression and the reduction of fares. In
      Joinville this year the local government is going to present a fake tender
      to deliver public transport again into the hands of private companies
      Gidion and Transtusa. We need to stop this service from being used for
      profit. So here the struggle for transport means the fight for a public
      transport company, the only way to ensure zero fares and a public service,
      free and available to all.

      The slogan of "down with repression" means demanding the immediate release
      of all the arrested protesters, and the withdrawal of charges of
      "conspiracy" against them. Free public services for all is a right, and to
      struggle for them cannot be seen as a crime.

      Transport is a symbol of something greater: it is necessary to move forward

      What is driving all the indignation of the masses is the current model of
      society that favours banks and businesses, destroys public services and
      lowers the standard of living of the population. The issue of fare
      increases is just a symbol of the plight of the poor.

      It is this situation that is being questioned in the explosion of protest
      movements around the world. What is happening right now in Turkey is a
      similar example, and it began with the government cutting down trees in
      Gezi Park in Istanbul.

      The youth and workers are on the streets of Brazil and the world to
      transform society. For this to happen we will need to overcome the
      contradictions within our society. In this sense, the struggle for
      socialism once again acquires strength as a way of build the kind of world
      we want.


      Formado em S�o Paulo um Comit� de Luta pela Frente �nica
      [image: Vers�o para impress�o] <http://marxismo.org.br/?q=print/593>[image:
      Vers�o PDF] <http://marxismo.org.br/?q=printpdf/593>
      domingo, Junho 23, 2013 - 13:00
      Esquerda Marxista

      *Formado em S�o Paulo um Comit� de Luta pela Frente �nica em Defesa das
      Liberdades Democr�ticas e das Organiza��es Oper�rias, Populares e
      Estudantis! *Na quinta-feira, 20/06, ap�s serem agredidos e expulsos da
      manifesta��o da Avenida Paulista, por uma frente �nica formada por agentes
      policiais, imprensa burguesa e organiza��es de extrema direita e de
      orienta��o fascista, militantes da Esquerda Marxista chamaram todos os de
      vermelho que puderam encontrar ap�s a dispers�o para uma reuni�o de balan�o
      na Livraria Marxista naquela mesma hora. Algumas dezenas ali se reuniram e
      decidiram convocar uma reuni�o mais ampla para o s�bado, dois dias depois.

      A reuni�o foi chamada pelo facebook para debater a nova situa��o pol�tica
      que se abriu no Brasil e convidava "todos os companheiros que defendem as
      liberdades democr�ticas e a luta contra a explora��o capitalista�. Mesmo
      sendo no mesmo hor�rio do jogo �Brasil x It�lia� pela Copa das
      Confedera��es, no s�bado, 22/06, �s 15h, mais de 100 pessoas compareceram
      na Livraria Marxista, centro de S�o Paulo.

      Estiveram presentes militantes do PT, do PSOL, da Esquerda Marxista,
      militantes de orienta��o anarquista, independentes e pessoas que nunca
      militaram politicamente antes. Vieram de v�rias cidades: S�o Paulo, S�o
      Bernardo, Campinas, Osasco, Sumar�, Caieiras, Franco da Rocha, Ferraz de
      Vasconcelos, Foz do Igua�u, etc.

      Estavam presentes dirigentes do Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Vidreiros do
      Estado de SP, do Sindicato dos Jornalistas de SP, do Conselho Oper�rio da
      F�brica Ocupada Flask�, e militantes de diversas categorias de
      trabalhadores, estudantes universit�rios e secundaristas.

      Foi realizado um rico debate democr�tico at� 20h do s�bado sobre a nova
      situa��o pol�tica que se abriu, as t�ticas da burguesia e a amea�a contra
      as liberdades democr�ticas e as organiza��es da classe trabalhadora. Ao
      final, todos os presentes decidiram por unanimidade conformar um Comit� de
      Luta pela Frente �nica em Defesa das Liberdades Democr�ticas e das
      Organiza��es Oper�rias, Populares e Estudantis.

      Um dos objetivos do Comit� aprovados por unanimidade dos presentes, al�m
      de, como o pr�prio nome do comit� diz, batalhar pela frente �nica de todos
      os que defendem as organiza��es da classe trabalhadora e o direito
      democr�tico de livre manifesta��o, � de apresentar a todas as organiza��es
      da classe trabalhadora, partidos de esquerda, centrais sindicais,
      sindicatos, entidades estudantis, movimentos sociais, organiza��es
      populares, a proposta de realizar um grande ato p�blico unit�rio em defesa
      das liberdades democr�ticas e das organiza��es oper�rias, populares,

      Para tal, foi eleita uma coordena��o com 19 membros para este comit�. A
      comiss�o tem o mandato para organizar as tarefas executivas, como
      comunica��o, divulga��o, etc. Esta comiss�o j� criou um blog e uma p�gina
      no facebook chamados �Bandeira Vermelha�. Todos os presentes se
      comprometeram em levar a proposta do comit� rec�m-formado � reuni�o de
      todos os partidos, centrais, movimentos, etc. chamada para a pr�xima ter�a
      (25/06) em S�o Paulo.

      Outra proposta que foi aprovada como indicativa � a de forma��o de Comit�s
      de Auto-Defesa por local de trabalho, escola, etc. J� h� o indicativo de
      conformar um comit� de auto-defesa dos trabalhadores vidreiros, um outro na
      F�brica Ocupada Flask� e um no centro de S�o Paulo na Livraria Marxista.

      A pr�xima reuni�o do Bandeira Vermelha � Comit� de Luta pela Frente �nica
      em Defesa das Liberdades Democr�ticas e das Organiza��es Oper�rias,
      Populares e Estudantis, ser� no dia 29 de junho, s�bado, �s 15h em local a
      definir. Todos os militantes, organiza��es e entidades que est�o de acordo
      com esta bandeira est�o convidados a participar da reuni�o no pr�ximo
      s�bado e se somar ao comit�.

      *Viva a luta dos trabalhadores!*

      *Fascistas, n�o passar�o!*

      *S�o Paulo, 22 de Junho de 2013*

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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