teleSUR | May 21, 2017
As daylight broke in Brazil on Friday, scores of labor unions and grassroots organizations began what is expected to be one of the biggest general strikes in the country’s history against President Michel Temer’s neoliberal reforms, bringing the country to a standstill.
In Brazil’s biggest city and economic hub, Sao Paulo, only one metro line was operating, 70 major routes were blocked off as was access to the city’s major airport. Before daylight, a number of protesters clashed with police while trying to occupy a vacant building. Further south in Santos, police reportedly used tear gas in an attempt to clear roads leading to the city’s port.
Other cities across Latin America’s largest country are expected to have a similar fate. People are setting up road blockades, burning tires in the streets, and protesting the unelected government and its neoliberal labor reforms and austerity programs, with many holding signs of “Fora Temer!” (Temer Out!).Read More »
More than 1,000 activists from Brazil’s largest social movement occupied the Ministry of Planning in Brasilia Monday morning to demand authorities address the needs of rural and farming communities. The protest kicked off a three-day national action bringing together thousands of demonstrators fighting for the rights of hundreds of thousands of landless families in the South American country.
State security officials, working on behalf of the coup regime in Brazil, unleashed a wave of repression against a 100,000 person strong demonstration Sunday in the city of Sao Paulo opposing the ouster of Dilma Rousseff.
In what was the largest rally since the consolidation of the coup earlier this week, demonstrators called for Michel Temer to step down and for snap elections to be held.
The demonstration was reportedly peaceful until the Military Police attacked the crowd with teargas as people began to disperse and demonstrators headed for metro entrances.
[Part I-VIII has been published in this site earlier]
Role of external intervention in Brazil has complicated the case in the country. Overthrow of a government in Latin America “cannot happen without US approval”, argued Glenn Greenwald in one of his articles on developments in Brazil. “[I]t’s always true that the US government strongly prefers right-leaning governments than left-leaning ones in South America”, he said. He builds up his argument: “Why? It’s obvious: right-leaning governments tend to help the international banks, Wall Street, hedge funds, international capital.” It’s not possible to throw away Greenwald’s arguments by anyone aware of the Empire, its interests and operations. Read More »
[Part I-VII has been published in this site earlier]
The working classes in Brazil are not with a tamed character. The classes have experience of hitting with massive strikes. A brief description below tells their steadfastness.
The year 1979 saw a wide working class mobilization. On May 12, 1978 workers at a truck and bus factory in Sao Bernardo began a sit-down strike. Within a week 77,950 workers in Santo Andre, Sao Bernardo, Sao Caetano and Diadema were on strike. The strike movement spread throughout the country. Within nine weeks 245,935 workers were on strike in nine cities in the state of Sao Paulo. By year’s end, 539,037 workers went on strike throughout the country. More than three million metalworkers, textile workers, urban service workers, bank workers, miners, construction workers, teachers and agricultural workers went on strike in 1979. In the first six months of the Figueiredo government, there were 83 strikes involving over 200,000 workers, and several incidents of violent confrontations with army and police. The international financial community found it impossible to impose the austerity they sought. In the face of working class resistance, the IMF – in the short-term – began to ameliorate its demands, and in the long term, began seeking growth-oriented adjustment programs. (Conrad M. Herold, “Working Class Struggle and the Brazilian Debt Crisis”)Read More »