Brazil: Fare increase defeated! What next?

The mayor of Sao Paulo, Haddad, has been forced to retreat on the question of bus fare increases along with the regional governor Alckmin and Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paz. In the wake of this move in the largest cities in the country, others will follow suit. Campinas and Niterói have also already announced the revocation of the fare increase. Very few mayors will be able to resist!

And the movement? The leaders say it continues. Yes, but to where? What should be demanded? What do we want? Less circuses and more education?[A reference to the World Cup. The Roman Emperors used to try to appease their people with “Bread and Circuses” to avoid addressing serious political issues.] We agree

The Marxist Left acknowledges that the movement has taken to the streets and is powerful. But its power depends on how organised it becomes, on how much the demonstrators become aware of their own power and organise themselves. One protester wrote: "they [the ruling class] do not represent us." This is 100% correct. But in order for us to represent ourselves we need to get organised. Democratic mass plenary meetings, with the participation of all social movements and organisations, trade unions, Student Councils, student unions, and political parties and movements must be organized in all cities so that the protesters themselves can decide upon the direction of the movement.

The big trade unions need to get involved in the struggle and lend their resources to the protesters, starting with vehicle mounted sound systems powerful enough so they can be heard by everyone in the squares and demonstrations. Mass assemblies should be organised with all the protesters, where the proposals of the plenary meetings can be put to the vote. For this to happen these sound systems are needed.

As well as this, democracy is required. Democracy means the right to disagree. If you do not like political parties, you’re free to do so. But anyone who is organised in a party or trade union has as much right to protest and participate as anyone who is not organised. And he has the right to bring his flag, his banner and his placard. Preventing him from doing so runs counter to democracy. We should also take special note that it is vital to prevent confusion or aggression within our own ranks due to individual differences. It is also vital to prevent infiltrators and opportunists from destroying shops and public buildings during the protests. This is our task as demonstrators, the police will not help us.

We, the Marxist Left, present what we believe should be the banners of the movement for the next period. And we submit them for discussion in plenary meetings and mass assemblies that we should all take responsibility for organising:

  • Down with repression! Freedom for the prisoners, drop all charges against protesters!
  • Nationalisation of transportation, towards free public transport!
  • End payment of foreign and internal debt!
  • More funds for health and education!
  • The R$26 billion for the World Cup should be allocated to health and education!
  • Consistent struggle towards socialism!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

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