On Friday, Brazilian workers and unions led the first general strike in Brazil for over two decades, protesting austerity measures, and in particular harsh cuts in pensions, which are being implemented by the corrupt Temer government.
There have been fresh revelations about the corruption coursing through the veins of Brazilian politics. An investigation into what has become known as ‘Operation Car Wash’ (Lava Jato) - a money laundering and bribery scheme with links to state-owned oil company Petrobras and a number of politicians - has been ongoing since 2014. As recently as last week, this investigation has produced a fresh wave of allegations against even more members of Congress from all political parties. The money-grubbing filth with which the Brazilian state is spattered is clear for all to see.
“Freedom is the goal, and struggle is the method”, says Lucy Dias, a university student and revolutionary activist from the organisation Liberdade e Luta (Freedom and Struggle), “but there can’t be real freedom under capitalism”. We’re sitting, along with 1500 other young socialists and political activists, in a vast warehouse in the old port district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Defiant slogans decorate the walls and the building is awash with militant singing and lively drum beats. This is an international camp for young people who want to fight for their future, organised by Juntos!, a broad youth organisation. Here, there’s no doubt that spirit of freedom and struggle is universal.