It is with great sadness that we have to report that Comrade Roque Ferreira, member of the Central Committee of Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left) and of the National Coordination of the Black Socialist Movement, died yesterday afternoon (4 September), a victim of COVID-19.
Roque had been hospitalised since 22 August, diagnosed with the new coronavirus. He departed after a life dedicated to the struggle of the working class.
Roque Ferreira was a proud railway worker and a union leader in the sector. He fought the attacks of governments and bosses, particularly in the struggle against the privatisation of RFFSA (the state owned railway company). He was, at the time of his passing, the national coordinator of the Black Socialist Movement (MNS).
As a founder of the MNS (and before it the MNU - Black Unified Movement), Roque had a life dedicated to the fight against racism. He was elected councilor in Bauru (Sao Paulo state) in 2008 by the PT (Workers’ Party), having been re-elected in 2012, carrying out a “worker, popular and socialist mandate”, as he stressed. He was also the president of PSOL (Socialism and Freedom Party) in the city, after having left the PT in 2015, the party of which he was founder, in the face of the consecutive betrayals of the PT leadership and its anti-worker and conciliatory policy with the bourgeoisie. He was also a PSOL pre-candidate for mayor for this year's municipal elections in Bauru.
As a leader of the Marxist Left, he raised the slogan "Fora Bolsonaro" in the first months of the government, when the leadership of practically all the left organisations were against it. He was present in different acts against the Bolsonaro government. The government, together with the group of government officials who are implementing measures of lifting the quarantine, all at the service of bosses and bankers who want to save their profits, is directly responsible for the more than 125,000 people killed by the coronavirus in the country.
Our comrade has been taken by this tragic pandemic, which is yet another fruit of the decaying capitalist system. Roque was a communist, who fought for a new world for those exploited and oppressed by this system. As an internationalist, a member of the International Marxist Tendency, he participated in different international conferences and congresses. He enthusiastically followed the recent International Marxist University organised by the IMT.
All our solidarity goes out to his family and friends. It is up to the activists of the Marxist Left and of the Black Socialist Movement to follow Roque's struggle, against exploitation and oppression, for the world socialist revolution.
Comrade Roque Ferreira, present!
Black Socialist Movement