Massive demonstrations against the rise of the transport fare
In São Paulo on the 6th of June, the rise in the price of the bus ticket from 3 to 3.2 reals (that is from 1.05 to 1.12 euro) launched a spontaneous rally of hundreds of people. It was brutally put down and dispersed by the military police, with dozens of persons injured as a result. This was the beginning of a mass movement against misery and against the general corruption created by capitalism. As soon as the 16th of June, both in solidarity and for the same reasons, hundreds of thousands of young people and workers rallied in the streets of the main cities against the rise of the bus ticket fare. On the 17th of June, the other cities that were concerned by the rise of the public transport fare attended powerful gatherings. Still, despite governors’ and mayors’ retreat, who cancelled the rise of the ticket fare as soon as the 19th of June, including in the cities that are ruled by the Workers’ Party, the movement violently collided against the police when it gathered in front of buildings of the bourgeois state (city halls, Parliament, ministries…). The military police arrested hundreds of people. Several people were killed. Despite the repression, the movement became massive with more than a million demonstrators on Thursday 20th of June. An association, Movimiento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement, MPL), originated the demonstrations in São Paulo. The MPL, related with the World Social Forum, was born in 2003 for demanding free public transports. It is organized on the mode of the Indignants, who reject the parties and the unions and who refuse to distinguish social classes. Yet the current groundswell, if it puts indistinctly on the center stage the students, the waged workers, the unemployed, the independent workers impoverished by capital, has no political perspective, for now. The fascists took advantage in attacking the labor activists who were carrying their banners in the demonstrations. The fascists and the traditional bourgeois parties also took advantage in giving a nationalist hint to the demonstrations and in defending reactionary catchwords against abortion or for death penalty. This gave advantage to the military police (and to its agitators dressed in civilian clothes) which beats up the demonstrators and shoots them with teargas and rubber bullets. With its pacifist-democratic program, the MPL is unable to achieve the demands of the exploited in Brazil and to protect the demonstrators.
Ten years of capitalist power by the PT and its bourgeois allies
Such an outburst of the mobilization, which is the first one in that scale for more than 20 years, emerged on clear spontaneous bases like the struggle against the rise in the fare of public transports and against colossal investments for the 2014 World Cup. Yet in a couple of days, the demands against the corruption of the members of Parliament, against the deterioration of public services (health, education…) and against the inflation not corresponding to the rise in wages attracted important masses. Despite the promises made for years by Lula the “President of the poors”, who was elected at the first round in 2002 under the banner of the Workers’ Party, social inequalities are still among the strongest in the world (Gini index is 0.57). No land reform handed the land over to the poor peasants; wages did not raise much (the minimum wage is 675 reals, i.e. 240 euros) while in 2001 the National Assembly voted a 62% rise for the deputies’ salaries; Amazonia and its Indians are still given over to plundering and destruction. In giving up his seat to his PT’s hear apparent, Dilma Rousseff, who was elected in 2012, Lula left a corrupt state, where the PT got mixed in the most villainous bribes. In forming an alliance with bourgeois parties like the PMDB, Rousseff led the same policy in the service of the “emerging” Brazilian bourgeoisie, who displays a luxurious lifestyle and some imperialist pretensions on the continental scale. In defending its bourgeoisie, Rousseff plays the same role as Kirchner, Mujica, Correa, Morales and Maduro, defenders of capitalism in Latin America. As well as the SACP and the COSATU, which form, with the bourgeois ANC, a government who shot the workers in strike in August 2012 in South Africa, the PT never stopped serving the exploiters’ interests and concluding alliances with their parties. The leadership of the main union of the country, the CUT (Unified Workers’ Central) is directly related to the PT and has always accepted to collaborate with the Lula and Rousseff governments’ plans; they kept this way the working class in class collaboration. Then it just signed a letter to the president Rousseff in order to start negotiations. The Popular Front policy of the PT and of the CUT organized the defeats of strikes and of workers’ and peasants’ struggles, for the greater benefit of the big bosses of the 7th world economic power.
Workers’ united front for the liberation of all arrested demonstrators and for the defense of young and salaried demonstrators! Parties and unions must call for the unlimited general strike until satisfaction!
On the pretext of being “apolitical”, the former leadership of the movement favors the ban on workers’ organizations and rejects any defensive self-organization, as security personnel against police attacks. In pretending that they reject all political parties, the “Indignants”, who organize the demonstrations, allow the unions’ leaderships and the parties that claim to defend the workers (PT, PCB, PCdo B, PSOL, PSTU) to evade their responsibilities. Yet it is necessary that the workers’ organizations stop supporting those in power. For that reason it is urgent that the fighting workers and young people request the united front of workers’ parties and unions in order to defend the demands and that these organizations call for the general strike. In the face of powerful and ceaseless demonstrations, the unions leaderships now propose, for July 11th, the perspective of a 24-hour strike, in order to try to take back the control of the movement, to lock it up in the “days of action” tactics in order to rescue the bourgeois government: “this is not a general strike” (Pereira da Silva, Força Sindical, Le Monde, 26th June). Still the risk exists for the bourgeoisie, and for all those who want to protect it, that hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, millions of waged workers impose a mass strike in all sectors, in all the states of the country, in order to defeat the government, its capitalist policy and his police. Only the working class and young people, with the methods of the proletarian revolution, can defeat the government, allow the fulfillment of the demands and open the perspective of a workers’ and peasants’ government. The organization of general assembles in all districts, in universities and in working places is the current task for establishing all the demands and the militias for the self-defense of all rallies against the power, in order to lead the general strike. Such assemblies will have to elect delegates and to get centralized in a national leadership. These assemblies and their delegates cannot ignore the unions and reject the parties that claim to defend the working class. On the contrary, the movement must organize itself to have them at its own service or to unmask them as traitors in demanding them to break with the Rousseff bourgeois government, in relaying the workers’ and young people’s demands. For these reasons, the general strike of all waged workers is on the agenda. The unlimited strike, with centralization through its delegates in a national leadership, can contribute to defeat the government which is responsible for capitalist repression and exploitation.
For a workers’ and peasants’ government! For the construction of a revolutionary party!
The MPL and all the reformist and centrist organizations spread the illusion that the demands, including free transports, can be fulfilled on a long-term basis in capitalism. For the MPL it would be enough to argue endlessly and to put pressure. For the reformist parties, it would be enough to vote for them and then to trust their elected representatives, within bourgeois parliamentarism. The failure of the “Indignants’” leadership in Spain, in Greece and in the United States, the failure of the workers’ bourgeois parties and of the union bureaucracies in Europe should warn the workers and young people who fight in Brazil. There is no alternative in the rotten capitalism. The ruling class, its state, its army and its justice will never make way peacefully, in good faith. It is necessary to take the power from it. The fight allowed the cancellation of the ticket rise. The first thing to do for ensuring free transports is to expropriate the capitalists in that branch and to establish the workers’ control in these firms. The establishment of district councils, factory councils, faculty councils… may open the way to the general expropriation of the big capitalists, whether they are foreign or national. In order to face inflation and to get the increase in wages, the exploited must fight for the sliding wage scale. But only a workers’ and peasants’ power, on the basis of the councils and of the armament of the people, can fully fulfill the demands and open the way to the socialist federation of South America and of the entire continent. It is the reason why it is an urgent necessity to join together vanguard activists in a revolutionary communist party and in a workers’ international on the basis of the program of the permanent revolution.
International bureau of the Permanent Revolution Collectiv