Thursday, May 3, 2018

Brazil: Unions and Left Parties Rally For Lula and Against Government Attacks

We share this for the interest of our readers. The protests and what appears to be bringing left parties and trade unions together is the economic and social policies of the present right wing government in Brazil. Lula, as many will remember, rose to prominence as a trade union leader. in the early 1980's he led a series of strikes in steel and was also a co-founder of the leftist Workers Party of Brazil and was almost elected president in 1989. He eventually won the presidency in 2003 and served two terms. His political leanings were as a reformer and he made concession to global capital in the interests of uniting opposites. The right wing government of Brazil has him in jail and could stay there for 12 years.

He was also invited in to the government of his former chief of staff Dilma Rousseff who succeeded him in 2011. Rousseff was deposed by a coup in 2016. The present right wing government is waging an assault on trade union and political rights aiming to curb the power of the working class much as we are seeing throughout the world so it is this contributors guess, not being an expert in Brazilian affairs, that these protests are as much a response to the attacks on the class as they are a defense of Lula although Lula is still a very popular figure in Brazil. Workers organizations uniting around these issues is a positive development. Richard Mellor

1 comment:

Ezequiel said...

Hi, i absolutely disagree. Three facts should be revised. First, Lula was a reformer, to a point, and for a while, that is, until the growing cicle of Latin American economy expired with the low prices of commodities. Reformers are always the product of the rising moment of the economic cicle, not a force that determines on their own the economy via state policies. That is, the effects of such policies must be understood only after we take into account the cicle. This becomes clearer by seeing the policies of the last years, a direct attack against the working class, which bred numerous protests under Dilma Rousseff government and the minister of finance appointed by Lula himself. So, its an idealisation to say that Lula represents reform, lets be careful. Plus, the current government of Brazil is formed by personnel of Lula and Dilmas government. Class independence is not just any position, its a useful starting point for analysis and deep understanding.
Second, how exactly was there a coup? How was legality broken? Third, do you really think that Lula became a millonaire through not being corrupt? And is his involvement in the Lava Jato and general corruption in Brazil a difficult thing to believe, as part or facilitator? Is his involvement in the current scandal of the apartment as immaterial as most progressive (not driven by class independence) media assume?
Lets be careful!