The labour standards which the Brazilian workers have won over the years are once again being threatened by the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The unions organised in the CUT (Central Workers' Union Confederation) are organising a nationwide general strike for the beginning of March.

The recent gathering of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre showed clearly how the anti-globalisation movement is becoming more and more dominated by career politicians, and groups and organisations that do not really represent the millions of youth who look to this movement for an alternative to the capitalist system. The capitalist class internationally is using a dual tactic. On the one hand, where they feel it to be necessary (as in Genoa) they use the most repressive and brutal methods to try to crush the movement. On the other hand they try to corrupt the movement and direct it away from radical anti-capitalist ideas.

In a week's time the second round of the Brazilian elections are to be held. In the first round Lula, the candidate of the PT came first by a large margin and looks set to win the second round. In this article Dario Castro analyses the results of the first round and looks at the situation a PT government will be facing, with the mounting debt and the huge pressure it would face both from the bourgeois on the one side and the workers on the other.

To scenes of wild rejoicing on the streets, the people of Brazil celebrated the landslide victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of the Workers’ Party (PT). This was undoubtedly a heavy blow struck by the masses against the corrupt and degenerate oligarchy that has ruled Brazil for decades. It has caused shock waves that will reverberate throughout the whole of Latin America and beyond. Now however a period opens up in which the PT government will come under enormous pressure from two sides, the bourgeoisie and the workers and poor. Alan Woods outlines the tasks facing the Brazilian working class.

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