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(en) Brazil, União Popular Anarquista - Interview of UNIPA with the anarchist journal Meydan Turkey (pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:26:15 +0300


The popular struggle in Brazil had international repercussions from the revolt of June 2013 and the protests against the World Cup. The UNIPA placed side from the beginning of the demonstrations and defended a class and autonomous way to the masses. As this process continues we had the honor to grant an interview to the anarchist newspaper Meydan Turkey. The interview was published in late July with the title "People's Union Anaquista talks about the World Cup", and can be accessed by link: http://meydangazetesi.org/gundem/2014/07/ahbduyakupasi/ . We welcome the comrades and the people of Turkey also faced heavy fighting against the state and the bourgeoisie. Good reading to all / as! ---- Meydan: Could you tell us about the current situation in Brazil, please? ---- UNIPA: Since 2013, Brazil has seen a collapse in the socioeconomic and political conditions of bourgeois hegemony. Three important factors have contributed to this context: 1) the global macroeconomic crisis, which destroyed many tools of the state to secure the support of the masses; 2) the formation of a new class fraction, as a consequence of exploitation and neoliberal reforms; 3) new forms of resistance, strategy and organization of workers, such as factory committees and other informal organizations. Thus, we can talk about a new cycle of class struggle, characterized by many specific situations, such as strikes, violent demonstrations and clashes on the streets. After the largest mass demonstration in the history of Brazil, in June 2013, we have seen major strikes in public services (eg, public schools in Rio de Janeiro), transportation system (such as bus drivers of the Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro and other states), security system of banks (contract workers), and street cleaning services (Rio de Janeiro). This last strike was very important for the organization of the Brazilian working class due to resistance to state repression and the answer to the union bureaucracy. The strike by workers of urban sanitation happened during the carnival, which caused a disruption in garbage collection, forcing the state to meet the demands of the workers.

Meydan : What was the situation of the period prior to the World Cup urban gentrification process? What degree of state repression against the demonstrators?

UNIPA : We have seen many types of social conflict in Brazil. In the major capitals (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre), slum dwellers are particularly brutalized by violence and gentrification of the State. Thousands of people were displaced and had their homes demolished. Many people were also killed by the police (which now also acts in these slums through pacifying police units, the UPPs) in a genuine policy of extermination. Thus, gentrification was conducted in order to meet a particular urban project, subordinated to economic interests (FIFA, international tourism, etc), regardless of the Brazilian people, who will benefit from these processes.

So far, this conflict has been administered by the state in two ways: political persecution and paramilitary murder. Therefore, thousands were arrested and beaten by police. Heard on twelve activists who were mysteriously murdered last year, and paramilitary forces acting in order to intimidate through kidnappings, rapes and assaults. Protesters have suffered persecution in their jobs (staff reduction, termination processes), schools and universities. We could say that in Brazil we are living under a police state right now.

Meydan : Who are the people who adhere to the protests? Because the mainstream media has informed us that the protests are basically made by students, but we know that the protesters are people who have to face policies of the State and capitalism, living in areas included in these projects of gentrification. Currently, it is obvious that the projects of gentrification will continue after the event, as happens anywhere. But what do you expect these manifestations, believe that social opposition will maintain its power in the streets?

UNIPA : This point is very important. To tell the truth, in 2013 and 2014, new segments of the working class exercised leadership in street demonstrations. We speak of outsourced workers, unemployed, poor, overexploited youth, informal workers, students and other groups. In Rio de Janeiro, for example, the largest street demonstration took place on June 20, 2013, involving about two million people. So, the bourgeois and the state tried to convince society that the protesters were not "employees" because people in the streets are not perfectly ecaixavam the social democratic pattern of industrial workers. We understand that this was a discursive strategy to preserve the monopoly of legitimate representation in the hands of the PT and the union bureaucracy. These workers have faced in recent years different types of exploitation and gentrification projects were the latest blow.

Thus, the complex environment in Brazil does not allow us to make predictions, but we have some hypotheses about the future of the demonstrations in the coming years. From our perspective, we believe that we have entered a new cycle of class struggle in Brazil and the reformist and bourgeois hegemony is weakened. This does not mean that a new mass movement and a revolutionary new organization will emerge inexorably, nor does it mean that imperialism or capital will decline. On the other hand, we can say that subjective and objective conditions were created to forge new non-bureaucratic, popular and workers' organizations, revolutionary syndicalist type. Probably, the protests will develop qualitative and quantitative aspects in the coming years.

Meydan : What role anarchists have played in these protests? What is the vision of UNIPA with respect to understand the situation? What UNIPA think about the situation (not only the event but also the clashes, etc.)? We know that international solidarity is important in these periods, you believe there are sufficient acts of solidarity happening around the world?

UNIPA : Anarchism has a strong tradition in Brazil. We can speak of two types of roles played by anarchists: 1) diffuse individuals claiming anarchism and 2) anarchist organizations. But many protesters identified themselves as anarchists during demonstrations. But this identification was more a negative way of expressing their feelings against the political parties and the trade union bureaucracy, than a positive claim the anarchist revolutionary ideology. The fundamental way to accomplish this was through the Black Bloc tactics and destructive actions (attacks on banks, police stations, etc.). Although these actions are important, are not enough to make a revolution. It is essential to spread the form of organization of revolutionary syndicalism to different levels, especially for new forms of struggle of the residents of slums and peripheries and the mass strikes against overexploitation. With regard to anarchist organizations, many of them acted marginally in the events mentioned. Many anarchist organizations act only to propagate general ideas and collaborate (consciously or not) with the reformist bureaucracy. On the other hand, the revolutionary anarchist organizations played a central role in many of these street demonstrations and strikes throughout Brazil, creating formal and informal organizations, leading strike committees, organizing riots and black bloc tactics to confront state violence. Therefore, the role of anarchism was not homogeneous, but reflected the contradictions of anarchism, and the current state of development in Brazil. Consequently, we believe that revolutionary anarchism was potentiated by the events of recent years and will continue to develop and strengthen.

The UNIPA believes that violent protests will continue and that is the task of anarchists organizing self-defense of the oppressed workers against police and the State. But we believe it is imperative to organize self-defense as part of the revolutionary syndicalist mass organization. You must create grassroots organizations to oppose the union and reformist bureaucracies. We believe that the role of revolutionary anarchism is to organize the revolutionary violence of the masses, as well as the economic and political struggles, otherwise this new cycle of class struggle will not be able to build a new socialist alternative. For this reason the revolutionaries around the world anarchists should advance the development of internationalism. Despite international solidarity is crucial, is not enough. Thus, we must build an organization of international bodies to coordinate solidarity and struggles around the world, more precisely, an organization of the type of AIT (International Workers Association), to combat imperialism, nationalism, social democracy and the Communism. The UNIPA is calling revolutionary anarchists around the world to build this organization.
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