On 8 January, the far right carried out a strong coup action in Brasilia. Financed by business owners and supported by the military present there, they invaded the Planalto Palace, the Congress and the STF (Federal Supreme Court). Bolsonaro’s followers want a military dictatorship, where there is no opposition, the unions are closed down and those who demonstrate for wages or social rights are stopped or directly murdered. That was the case in the Estado Novo (New State) and in the 1964 dictatorship. That is unacceptable. We must respond in the streets, promoting a broad unity of action, to crush the coup actions bolsonaristas and their project to establish a dictatorship. In the streets we must defeat all the military sectors, parliamentarians and businessmen who defend a military coup.
We should call a national plenary of popular struggles and popular meetings
The acts of 9 January were a correct step in response to the actions agitating a coup in Brazil. People held meetings in the main capitals of the country and now the task is to mobilise the entire working class and popular base that is against the bolsonarista actions.
But on 9 January there was a great weakness: Lula government and the Broad Front (FA) did not develop fully the strength of the mobilisation on the streets. Lula, the PT and the FA only rely on institutional actions, when neo-fascism must be defeated with popular mobilisation in the streets. It is key to develop a massive movement. For this reason, we say that Lula, the PT and the Federal Government must call for street demonstrations against the coup actions of Bolsonaro’s supporters.
It is necessary that the fronts grouping the CUT, CTB, MST, MTST, UNE and UBES resume the call for the plenary of the popular organisations with representatives of the unions and movements against the coup actions, for the defense of democratic freedoms and our demands: for wage recomposition, the freezing of food prices and tariffs, more funds for education and health, the demands of App workers, the demands of black people, of sexual dissent and women.
The unions and movements must organise the struggle in every workplace and in the neighbourhoods, through democratic assemblies that unify our mobilisation in a new national day of struggle with marches, assemblies and delays of work shifts. And organise self-defence from the unions and popular organisations.
We must organise ourselves to do like the Gaul and Gaviões da Fiel supporters or the workers of Angra dos Reis, who prevented the highway blockades of the bolsonarists and the coup actions in those places.
It is clear Lula, the FA, the PT and the bosses’ parties are incapable of stopping bolsonarist coup actions. They support the institutional way, the Congress and the STF, and they end in speeches, publishing motions against coup instigators, but very little concrete actions. They did nothing to punish the coup actions during the pandemic and on 7 September. They did nothing against the military police actions and the PRF, the people gathered outside the barracks demanding the military to install a bolsonarist dictatorship. So far, they did almost nothing against Roberto Jeferson and Carla Zambeli.
The coup actions in front of the Federal Police went unpunished. The terrorist attempt was not taken seriously. Bolsonaro himself left the country with impunity. This cannot go on! Lula’s government’s first measures should have been to settle accounts with the bolsonarists and their authoritarian project, with no pardon or amnesty.
On 8 January, it was clear that the governor of Brasilia, Ibaneis/MDB and the ministry of Defence, Jose Mucio /PTB, were complicit in these actions. The brief federal intervention in Brasilia and the exoneration of the state leadership, the removal of Ibaneis and the arrest of Anderson Torres or the blockage of assets of some companies are insufficient measures. They are minimal measures that are not up to the coup actions of 8 January.
It is necessary to investigate and punish all those responsible in the government of Brasilia and in the federal government, and punish them. That is why we say that the statements of Capelli, Financial Controller of Brasilia: “The problem is not the officials, it is not the corporation,” they are wrong. Any attempt to pacify the coup military will only strengthen those who defend the neo-fascist project and a military dictatorship.
The way is to attack PM officers and bolsonarists in the federal government: the defense minister, the GSI and the federal military hierarchy. In addition, the assets of the leaders must be confiscated and the companies financing the coup must be expropriated, starting with Havan.
Against the restriction of the right to free demonstration! Jail the coup plotters now!
It is a serious mistake of the Lula/Alckmin government to strengthen Minister Alexandre de Moraes and the STF. Now they have just decreed the temporary restriction of the right to demonstrate through marches or occupation of public buildings. Under no circumstances do we agree that the STF restricts freedom of demonstration.
The bolsonarists are not using the right to demonstrate, they are organizing coup actions and should be arrested. To stop the bolsonarists we must mobilise massively in the streets and, if necessary, occupy buildings. To defend refineries from bolsonarist attacks, oil workers have the right, if they choose, to occupy refineries and keep them running.
Lula was wrong to ally himself with bolsonarist sectors in the government!
The alliance with the far right in government is a serious mistake. With this alliance the government handed over the Ministry of Defense to Jose Mucio of the PTB of Roberto Jefferson and Father Kelmon, and the Ministry of Tourism to Daniela de Waguinho of União Brasil, a party linked to the militias. And he agreed with Arthur Lira to close the budget in secret, who was an accomplice of Bolsonaro and prevented the opening of the impeachment against Bolsonaro himself. The pact with bolsonarism is nothing more than a consequence of the policy of class conciliation of Lula and the PT with the vice president Alckmin (representative of the entrepreneurs), of alliances with employers, and representatives of US and European imperialism. With these employers’ alliances, with pacts with Arthur Lira and those of the “centre”, it is impossible to be at the service of the working class and the popular sectors.
At the same time, the line of going through institutional channels in front of the coup plotters is wrong, which will only mean being held hostage by the National Congress, by Bolsonaro governors like Tarcisio and the STF, which is the axis of action of the broad front, of President Lula and the PT. The FA, for example, did not launch the act of 09/01 with full force and now does not continue this struggle. They propose a new institutional action to disavow democracy in the National Congress, along with a bunch of bolsonarists who control parliament and state governments. But what we need are new militant and mass street demonstrations, in a broad unity of action, to defeat the coup once and for all.
We fight for a class left and a working class government, without bosses!
Therefore, we believe that it is essential to maintain our class independence, we do not integrate or support the Lula government, and we demand a working and popular agenda. We fight to build a class-struggle and revolutionary left that fights for a working-class and popular way out, including the fight for a working-class government, without bosses, and for a socialist Brazil.
The CST (Socialist Workers’ Current – PSOL Tendency) neither composes nor supports the Lula government, but defends it against the coup actions of the bolsonarists and the far right. That is why we are an active part of the popular and democratic workers’ mobilisation against any project of military dictatorship. And in this sense, we demand the reinforcement of street actions and their continuity.
We call to occupy the streets and demand the government of Lula/Alckmin a national mobilization and the punishment of all the putschists.
We demand Lula, the PT, the federal government, together with the CUT, CTB and other movements call a national demo on the streets to repudiate the coup attempts of the bolsonarists and for the following demands:
– Immediate arrest of all those involved in coup actions and previous acts. In addition to stopping the financiers, we demand that all their assets be confiscated. Bolsonaro, his family, his former ministers and their leaders in Congress must be arrested and his assets confiscated immediately.
– Immediate opening of all secrets to businessmen bolsonarists (bank, tax, telephone and electronic of all the leaders of Bolsonaro (politicians, artists, businessmen, youtubers and military). Punish all those who promote a bolsonarista military dictatorship. Expropriation of the companies that finance the bolsonarista movements and where there was employer coercion in the last elections.
– Jose Mucio/PTB out of the Ministry of Defense! Remove all bolsonarist party ministers and remove all bolsonarist councilors from the federal government now! Removal of the entire GSI leadership, Army, Navy and Air Force!
– Justice for Marielle, Genivaldo, Dom Phillips, Bruno Pereira and all those who have suffered the consequences of police and armed violence in the countryside and in the city! End of the PM, the PRF, the bolsonarista militias and the gunmen of agribusiness!
– That attacks such as labour and retirement reforms and spending limits, and privatisations such as that of Eletrobras, are abandoned.
– Dismissal and immediate investigation of all the military and followers of Bolsonaro who have occupied high positions in the government and all the rectors of higher education institutions.
– Wage rise, freezing of food prices and tariffs, more funds for education and health, the agendas demanded by the workers’ movements of the App.
Secretariat of the Workers Socialist Current (CST), the Brazilian section of the International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU–FI), 12 January 2023