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(en) Brazil, Coletivo Quebrando Muros - The Other Campaign: politics beyond elections! (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 06 Oct 2014 10:56:22 +0300

Another year of elections! Easels are armed on the streets, placards and banners ready, holy cards and stickers scattered ... the faces and numbers of candidates are back. It's time the old story of renewal in politics, to hear about "what was done" and on the grandiose promises of change for the future. In elections, people usually position themselves in two different ways: either believe in proposals for a representative, trust him your vote and even campaign, or away from anything related to politics, by failing to manifest consider it a corrupt and inefficient activity. ---- Elections are a time of political unrest and we need them to look beyond appearances. The attitude of rejection and hatred of political favors to powerful, because if you fail to position themselves on the issues of public life, one full of interests will stand in its place, making decisions on their behalf. On the other hand, confirm the vote in the ballot box does not guarantee that the representative will defend the interests of their constituents. And why is that, anyway? Because politics and power are exercised not only by figures who are elected by the vote.

The popular vote is not nearly the main source of power in a representative democracy. The elections are already "decided" before the people vote. Such a statement may seem strange, but if we see who the big supporters of candidates who can realize even sends this type of policy: they are large companies, owners of large estates and the powerful who finance their election campaigns and parties!

Historically, the occupation of political offices seeks only to obtain new privileges for old privileged few large companies, large landowners, media, banks, political bosses, organized groups of powerful people and plenty of money to sponsor the professional politicians to represent their interests! Winning an election is expensive, making it a large business desk. Thus the elected representatives over the mandates, have priority commitment to those who play them in elections and not the workers who put their vote and end up believing in their proposals.

Some parties and candidates seeking to represent the people through social movements, which are segments of people organized around their needs, whether transportation, land, housing, education, health, decent jobs or others. It is the case of the PT, which arose from the union of several social movements. Over the years, in order to win elections and occupy the State, the party sided with thick skin people of power and made many negotiations, giving much care for the rich than for the poor.

The popular movements after the PT came to power was bureaucratised, now serve the interests of representatives instead of doing class struggle. Unions, neighborhood associations and many MST elected representatives, especially Dilma and Lula, but wages, agrarian and urban reform and public services did not happen as the people wanted. The rich have gotten richer in the 12 years of PT, but social policies were palliative and structural reforms demanded that the movements were not performed. Or if you're on the side of the people, the working class and oppressed, or is on the side of businessmen and landowners, bourgeois class.

If there was some improvement because there was much fighting and not the individual will of this or that politician. And the possible improvements do not cease to be accompanied by many attacks as the sale of natural resources, privatization, deterioration of public services, use of public money to fund big business and a series of measures that please the same as always. The people only resist these attacks when they have democracy in hands. True democracy is not on the ballot, but the constant struggle of popular movements for their rights. This is direct democracy, where there is the need for sovereign representatives or leaders, that their offices will choose the destiny of the people. The direct political action is the weapon of the population to transform reality imposed.

One of the great experiences of popular power comes from the Zapatista communities in Mexico. Since 2006, the Zapatistas develop "The Other Campaign", an alternative to representative elections. From a line clearly leftist, anti-capitalist, "The Other Campaign" is based on consultation and direct dialogue with the people, decentralization of political practice and in encouraging autonomous forms of organization and cooperation. Professional politicians and small group leaders are seen as unnecessary: it is low - ie the organized people - coming claims, proposals and actions. A horizontal and self-managed way of doing politics. This practice is not only cemented the Zapatista communities, where the legacy is visible in the creation of autonomous spaces (such as schools and hospitals) managed by the population itself, without intermediaries. It spread to the farthest corners of the world, which was consolidated as a critical alternative to the farce of elections and representative democracy.

Candidates to be "progressive" or the old colonels, elections were, throughout history, ineffective to solve the people's problems and realize true and profound changes in the society. Rather, they tend to keep the system as it is. That in times of promises, and false saints and empty speeches, we can take the example of the Zapatistas and teammates think of an Other Campaign, in another way of thinking and doing politics: a way to organize, fight and create the People's Power below and to the left!

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