Brazil: Alan Woods’ visit to the Flaskô occupied factory

On the last day of his tour of three Latin American countries, prior to his final public talk in the evening  in Sao Paulo [see Brazil: São Paulo Chemical Workers’ meeting with Alan Woods], Alan Woods visited the occupied factory of Flaskô where he was warmly received by the workers and residents of the Workers’ Housing Estate [Vila Operaria].

Flasko_audienceWith great enthusiasm, the workers of Flaskô – a factory that has been occupied by the workers for nearly eight years in the struggle for state control – received Alan Woods, leader of the International Marxist Tendency, in the morning of April 7. They put a halt to part of the production to attend the lecture. There were more than 60 participants, mostly factory workers, and engineering trade unionists, teachers and students from the region of Campinas, in São Paulo.

The panel was made up of the coordinator of the Works Council and an activist of the Marxist Left, Pedro Santinho, Alex Mandl, also of the Works Council and activist of the Marxist Left [Esquerda Marxista], and José Carlos Miranda, leader of the Black Socialist Movement. The whole debate was broadcast live on the Internet by "TV Luta" and can be seen in the video below.

A pleasant surprise was the participation of 12 children, pupils of the "Factory of Culture" – a children's art school promoted by the Flaskô factory for the sons and daughters of the workers at the factory and of the residents of the neighbouring Workers’ Housing Estate, a neighbourhood built on land donated by workers at the factory to build homes for the Movement of Homeless Families.

Before starting his lead off, Alan gave a very warm greeting to the workers of Flaskô:

"Firstly, it is an honor for me to be here in this factory which is so important for the class struggle in Brazil. I know you have led a tough struggle, a very difficult struggle. And I also know that the toughest thing is the sense of isolation. Often we feel alone in the struggle. So my first message to you is: You are not alone comrades! Here I convey to you a message of fraternal solidarity of the European working class, youth and trade unions who have been following with great interest and enthusiasm the workers' struggle at Flaskô which is a wonderful example for the working class around the world. And I want to convey with all my heart, the strongest solidarity of the European and world labour movement with your struggle, the struggle of Flaskô, for your just demands and we commit ourselves to helping as much as we can, in whatever you need in your struggle.”

With the meeting paying great attention, Alan explained the capitalist crisis and the close links this has with the revolutions in the Arab countries. And he added that this crisis has not been resolved, warning that we are facing a turning point in the class struggle around the world. "The revolution has just begun in the Arab countries," he said.

Flasko_speakingHe denounced those who claim that the working class does not play a role in this revolutionary period and those who even claim that it does not exist. Just look at all the events in all countries, including the most powerful capitalist country, the USA. More than ever, workers are playing a vital role.

"Look at what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, demonstrations, general strikes, one after another and the fall of the regimes," noted Alan.

After the lead off there were13 interventions. We highlight that of a professor of journalism at UNICAMP (Campinas University) who, apart from also buying his books, extended an invitation to Alan to give talks at the University: "It is very important to take the ideas of Marxism to the youth."

In his final summing up, Alan invited all those present to "continue the struggle and join the army of those who want to transform society. For this there is only one way: to build a revolutionary organization, as we are trying to do with the International Marxist Tendency and its section in Brazil: the Marxist Left."

"Long live the struggle of the Flaskô workers! Long live the struggle of the workers of the world! To the struggle comrades!" Alan concluded, followed by applause.

After the lecture, Alan was invited to be the first to sign the Declaration of support for the struggle for the Decreeing of the Flaskô Factory as Public Utility by City Hall of Sumaré (where the plant is situated), an important step in the struggle for the nationalization of the plant.

Source: the Esquerda Marxista (Brazil)