This is the workers big fight against the capitalist crisis in Brazil!
Down with the popular front of the PSTU etc. with the PT and the bourgeoisie!
Build Working class councils and militias to defend the class from the state forces!
For the General Strike to unite the proletariat and to fight for a Workers and Peasants Government!
Since the opening of the new world crisis in 2007 Brazil experienced a big hit to its economic growth shared by all the other BRICS except China and Russia which are rising imperialist powers and making the other BRICS semi-colonies. Facing the crisis the workers began to fight against paying for the crisis with loss of their wages and mass sackings. All workers began to see the need for unity, but how would that happen? Fearing that workers would unite from below, the reformist and centrist left parties and left bureaucrats in the unions met the new militancy and the demand for unity with a strategy of containment, the “tactical unity of action” which means unity with the ruling bureaucracy. But they did not expect that a mass movement would rise up against the World Cup, at the very heart of the plan of the imperialists and Workers’ Party (PT) popular front regime to make the Brazilian workers and peasants pay for the global capitalist crisis!
The PSOL (Party of Socialism and Liberation) has long demonstrated their capitulation to the popular front government with their unity with the ruling bureaucracy in the unions and bourgeois parties in the elections. The PSTU (United Socialist Workers Party) unity with the ruling bureaucracy began 6 years ago in the teachers union of Rio Grande do Sul, through the “Tactical Unity of Action” strategy of containment. It was implemented in several union elections across the country. The experiences of this tactic are showing that it serves to strengthen the bureaucracy and promotes the PSTU version of the popular front government.
The PSTU went further with the “Tactical unity of action” with the ruling bureaucracy and extended this tactic for a national front in the unions, the “space of unity of action” (“espaço de unidade de ação”). This national popular front was formed 2 years ago and has won support in several workshops and meetings, including that which raised the demand against the Cup “In the Cup, we will be fighting” (“Na copa, vai te Luta”). The leadership of PSTU argued that this tactic was important to unite the left. Despite the name, this is not unity for a specific action, but rather an organised popular front where the groups shared a common program of reforms tying workers to the CUT and PT.
The Marxist ‘left’ in Brazil, as everywhere, remains very fragmented, but they see no problem in uniting behind the flags of CUT (Federation of Workers Unions). For example, in education, while the government applied its privatisation plan, the PNE (The National Education Plan), teachers were striking in almost every state of the country and taking the fight nationwide was a need perceived by all. But the bureaucracy failed to call for the unification of strikes. The CUT ended up calling a strike for the PNE, so the workers were trapped again in the “tactical unity of action” sponsored by the left of the popular front.
As the class struggle intensified over this period, the more did the treacherous left bureaucracy try to trap it in the popular front behind the CUT and the PT. This tactic begun by the PSTU in the union movement, eventually led to an electoral front with the ruling party, Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) in bourgeois elections in 2012 in the city of Belem. Now the MES-PSOL (Movimento esquerda socialista) has joined the left union federation CSP CONLUTAS to promote the “space for unity of action.”
The World Cup: a plan by imperialism and the national bourgeoisie to make the workers pay for the crisis
The World Cup brought the class struggle to a head. The Cup has deepened the class contradictions in Brazil as the bosses use the Cup to violently resolve the crisis by pouring investments into here-today-gone-tomorrow infrastructure jobs for some while smashing down working class resistance to attacks on their neighbourhoods, their basic rights and their lives.
No organisation could bring itself to fight for the slogan of the masses as the main slogan of the movement in action. The UIT–(PSOL/CST) (Unidade Internacional de losTrabajadores) supports a general strike to stop the cup, “Nao vai ter copa” (We will not have the Cup), but from inside the “space for unity of action” where it is on the extreme left of the popular front. Most of the left bureaucracy raised the slogan “In the cup, we will be fighting” against the masses demand “We will not have the cup”.
This proves that the masses are far ahead of the left bureaucrats who now struggle to contain the uprising. It affirms that fighting “in the cup” means aimless activity that leaves workers with no concrete tasks. It means defeat for workers when the World Cup expresses all that is rotten and destructive about capitalism in crisis. But the fight to stop the cup is already happening and the whole class is demonstrating its support for this demand. Our task is to raise this slogan and to make it politically profound.
Fighting the World Cup is part of the global workers uprising against paying for the bosses’ crisis
Joining in the world uprisings in the new period of crisis, the mass movement appeared against the World Cup in Brazil last June. Before it, there were some signs of the transitional situation: teacher, construction workers strikes all over the country, port, oil workers’ strike, homeless struggle, the Rio de Janeiro firefighters’ uprising, etc. In early 2013, the youth movement against rising fares for public transportation grew into the “Copa das confederacoes” (FIFA confederations cup) which saw a big surge of street demonstrations. The social media was the key to building the demonstrations. The uprising was a surprise to everybody, and nobody was prepared for it. The slogan “Nao vai ter copa” came spontaneously from the mass movement. No organisation gave the slogan to the movement.
After the national demonstration on June 20th came a call for a General strike on July 1st. The union bureaucracy quickly united to say that this general strike was called by the “right” and “fascists” and only they could call a general strike. The central unions, CSP Conlutas (controlled by the PSTU) and Intersindical (controlled by PSOL) “united in action” with CUT (controlled by the government/PT), and other unions linked to the employers and the bourgeois (FS, UGT, Nova central, etc), boycotted the general strike, calling for a “National day of struggle” on July 11th. The general strike on July 1st didn’t happen. But on the 11th, the masses left the bureaucracy alone to stage its fake manifestations and made a general strike. Rio Grande do Sul was completely stopped. Many cities in the country stopped. After the June uprising the movement just grew. Homeless, youth, poor people from “favelas”, proletariat, teachers, and bus drivers began strikes. The strikes of Rio de Janeiro teachers and street-sweepers, and Porto Alegre bus drivers proved to Brazilian workers that the main gains have been won against the policies of the union bureaucracy.
In the month before the World Cup we are experiencing a wave of strikes and the “Nao vai ter copa” movement is growing
For the popular movement, which is taking the lead in most protests, the slogan “there will be no cup” reflects the needs of the people who are losing their homes and being suppressed because of the Cup. For the labour movement there is rising indignation and anger as the R$billions spent on the World Cup go into the pockets of the rich while toilers conditions of life and work only worsen. The growing mass movement will not be limited to the Cup but will also create a lot of popular protest in the upcoming elections. For example, radicalised youth like the self-proclaimed FIP (Independent Popular Front) that emerged in the Rio de Janeiro demonstrations last June (2013), raised the slogan, “there will be no cup or election!”
The left bureaucracy is forced to join the “there will be no Cup” movement, proposing instead of the masses agitation, slogans that have no tasks for the class and divert the fight away from the Cup. “Cup for who?”, “if we have no rights there will be no Cup”, “in the world cup we will fight”, etc. Such is the pressure from below that the left bureaucracy, in its “space for united action,” will be forced to call a general strike, but they have already shown that they will try to contain it.
The bureaucracy is already preparing to do so. The CSP Conlutas (PSTU) in “space for unity in action” with the “left” of the CUT (CUT Pode Mais) has had a national meeting to discuss the World Cup. As we have said, they oppose the masses’ slogan “nao vai ter copa” and call for “Na copa, vai ter luta” (In the world cup, will be fight) to fight against the “injustices” of the World Cup. They want a clean Cup without attacks on workers and with no corruption! They argue that the masses slogan is too crude. But the slogan came from the masses’ movement and expresses clearly their needs. No organisation or program could raise this slogan because it knows it cannot control such a movement inside the popular front. Now it wants to weaken and contain it in a struggle to legislate for reform of the ‘injustices’ in the next elections!
Prepare for a General Strike!
We must raise the masses’ slogan and politicise it. The general strike is the way to unite the workers with the popular movement and the youth. It should be linked to repudiating the national debt and the debt for the Cup. It should be united with the strikes in industry, auto, education, construction, etc. A general strike against the Cup can be the means to unite all the isolated struggles. The general strike is the way to unite the working class on the road to socialist revolution. It makes possible raising transitional demands which will allow workers to unite and organise to expropriate i.e. take back capitalist property, expropriated from generations of exploited workers and peasants.
Within the currents strikes, the general strike is already being debated. The IWU-FI (UIT Unidad internacional de los trabajadores) is the first organization that has called for a general strike. Even the organizations linked with the government have been obligated to adhere to the “nao vai ter copa” movement, like the MST, despite the government having created the “Vai ter copa” movement! Only centrist organizations like PCO (Partido da Causa Oparária) which acts as a left cover for the PT have not adhered to the “nao vai ter copa” movement. Unfortunately, those who call for the current strikes to be united and fight for a general strike do not base this unity on stopping the Cup “nao vai ter copa” but on the reformists’ slogan “in the cup, we will fight,” so they continue to operate in the left bureaucratic “space for unity of action” and do not break from the popular front.
This is why isolating the strikes from the movement to stop the Cup serves only the unity of the popular front! For example, the campaign of the CCR (Revolutionary Communist Current) in the teachers union in Sao Paulo calls for all the teachers to unite for a general strike, but ignores the fight against the cup that can extend this unity to the whole working class and make a general strike possible. Already the ranks of all those who are on strike, and there are many, shout “we will not have the cup” and threaten the government. Similarly, the FLTI (International Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction), calling for unity of all struggles, focuses on the auto industry, and ignores the mass movement against the Cup as the key to uniting the whole working class behind a general strike.
The movement against the Cup is what unites workers to the popular movement and the youth, against the highest expression of the alliance of the popular front government with big business and imperialism – that is the World Cup! The purpose of the “bureaucratic left” is to divert the masses into aimless “fights” that go nowhere except into the upcoming elections, where they will install their popular front in the unions as a popular front with the government and PT. Revolutionaries have a duty to expose the left wings of the popular front and replace their treacherous leaders with a Party and Program capable of leading the way to socialist revolution!
Stop the World Cup!Break from the Popular Front!
Repudiate the national debt! Repudiate the Cup Debt!
For a living wage, free education, health, housing and social security!
Down with the popular front of the PSTU with the CUT and PT government!
Unite all the workers and peasants in struggle in a national conference to prepare for a general strike!
Build working class councils and self-defence militias!
For a mass Revolutionary Party and Revolutionary Program!
For a New World Party of Socialist Revolution!
Expropriate all imperialist and national capitalist property!
Institute workers control of the means of production. For a national plan of production for need not profit!
For a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government and a Socialist United States of the
By Brazilian LCC sympathizer