1. Brazil has joined the chain of spontaneous popular uprisings against the brutal anti-democratic and anti-social policy of the capitalist ruling classes around the world. On 17th June alone, 250.000 people marched on the streets against price rises for public transport, corruption and police brutality. This shows once more that the deepening of the social and political contradictions in the revolutionary period of historic crisis of capitalism which opened in 2008 lead globally again and again to revolutionary explosions. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and El Mundo Socialista (EMS) welcome and fully support these protests.
2. As so often in revolutionary events, a movement starts with what seems to be small incident. After the municipal government of São Paulo – led by the reformist “Workers Party” (PT) – increased the fares for public buses and subways by 6% or R$0.20 (about $0.10), the Movimento Passe Livre (MPL) organized protests. As it is so common in crisis-ridden capitalism, the ruling class and their reformist lackeys soon reacted with gross police brutality. In São Paulo in the night of 13th June, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets indiscriminately at peaceful demonstrators, journalists and passersby. Many demonstrators were injured, along with at least eight journalists, one of whom was blinded in one eye after being struck by a rubber bullet. Like in Turkey, this police brutality provoked a storm of mass protests across the whole country. On 18th June, mass demonstrations took not only place in the metropolises like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Porto Alegre or Brasilia but also in 30 smaller cities.
3. While the price rise and the police brutality were the trigger for the social explosion, the popular uprising reveals the deep-seating revulsion amongst the people against the corrupt elite in business and government. The PT-led popular front governments of the former Brazilian president Lula and his successor Dilma Rouseff – which are in power since 2003 without interruption – governs the country in the service of the multinational corporations and the domestic elite. The country still has one of world-wide highest income inequalities. According to the United Nations about 27% of its urban populations are living in favelas (slums). Rio de Janeiro alone has more than 1,000 favelas! At the same time, the PT-led government spends billions of Dollars for the football World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
4. The policy of the Lula/Rouseff governments in the past 11 years shows once more that the reformist PT-bureaucracy is a lackey of the capitalist class. While it speaks in favor of social justice and hosted repeatedly the World Social Forum, while it controls the leaderships of most trade unions, it serves in reality the ruling class and acts as its agent in the ranks of the workers movement. It is high time, that the urban and rural workers and their organizations break with the reformist bureaucratic leaders and form a new party of the working class which – - in opposite to the PT today – is independent of the bourgeoisie and which is based on a revolutionary program.
5. The popular uprising represents the biggest class struggle in Brazil since more than twenty years and therefore opens a new political phase with tremendous opportunities. However the movement is currently characterized by a number of political and organizational weaknesses which are not dissimilar to the Occupy movement in the USA or the Indignados in Spain:
* a dominance by university students and middle class elements and at the same time a lack of involvement of the organized working class and the lower strata of the popular masses;
* a lack of organization and a strong influence of petty-bourgeois libertarian ideologies against parties as such which of course is pretty understandable given the experience of the people with the corrupt parties of the bourgeois establishments like the PSDB, the PT etc.
* the struggle, until now, has not spread to strikes in the enterprises but remains limited to the streets.
6. In order to overcome these weaknesses, revolutionaries call for regular mass assemblies of the workers and oppressed in the enterprises, poplar neighborhoods and favelas as well as in the educational institutions. These assemblies should lead to the formation of action committees. These committees should elect delegates in order to build a national coordination to lead the struggle effectively.
7. Such action committees shall orientate to win over the trade union and other mass organizations of the workers and oppressed to join the struggle. No doubt, for this they need to fight against the bureaucratic leaderships of these mass organizations who have close relations with the PT-led popular front government. Such a campaign should be directed to prepare and organize a general strike against the anti-democratic and anti-social policy of the government.
8. To defend themselves against the brutal police force, the activists need to build self-defense committees. Such committees shall take the necessary measures to protect the movement against the thugs in uniform. In addition to this we welcome efforts of socialists and trade union activists to form blocs in order to defend themselves against attacks during the demonstrations by agent provocateurs as well as hard-core libertarian anti-party thugs.
9. Naturally such mobilizations – as important as they are – can at best temporary mitigate the attacks of the ruling capitalist class. But as long as the capitalists own and control the economy and the state apparatus, as long as the society is subordinated to the rule of profit, as long misery and crisis will be a permanent feature of the masses lives. The only lasting solution is the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the building of socialist society. The RCIT and EMS call workers and oppressed to organize for such a perspective and to fight for a Workers Government supported by the poor peasants and the urban poor and based on popular councils and militias.
10. The RCIT and EMS point out that the popular uprising in Brazil is not only caused by the system of global imperialism but is also part of the international wave of uprisings which started in the Arab world two years ago and which have spread to South Africa, Southern Europe, Turkey and now Latin America. The movement needs therefore an international orientation as well as an international program to fight against capitalism.
11. The popular Uprising in Brazil - as all the other revolutionary upheavals in the last years – has been marked by a dramatic crisis of leadership. The working class does not possess a revolutionary party which can show the way and organize the struggle in order to avoid the defeats by the ruling class. This was underlined once more in the recent teachers struggle in São Paulo which was sold out by the pro-PT trade union bureaucracy with the help of the centrist Morenoite PSTU and PSOL. It is urgent that revolutionaries in Brazil join forces on the basis of a revolutionary Action Program to form a first nucleus for a Bolshevik party. Such a nucleus should be based not only on a national but also an international program as well as organization. The RCIT and EMS are willing to support all serious efforts which represent serious steps in such a direction.
* Forward in building a new revolutionary workers party in Brazil as part of the new Revolutionary Workers International!