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Issue #1731      May 18, 2016

Editorial

Coup in Brazil

Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called on Brazilians to defend their country’s democracy and mobilise against the coup that saw her suspended from office. The drive by counter-revolutionary forces to roll back hard won gains by the people of Central and South America, in particular targeting Brazil and Venezuela, is being met by growing resistance on the streets.

The targets for destruction include the trade agreement between the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa).

“I call for the people to remain mobilised, together, in peace … It is a fight we are going to win, it depends on all of us, let’s show the world the millions of people who defend democracy in our country,” said Rousseff in her first statement from the presidential palace since the country’s Senate voted to proceed with impeachment proceedings.

Rousseff, who as a young activist was arrested and tortured for her efforts to organise against the military dictatorship that previously ruled Brazil, said she “never thought I would have to fight against another coup in our country.”

The ousted president walked out of the presidential palace to a crowd of thousands of anti-coup and pro-democracy demonstrators.

“I am ready to resist through all legal means,” Rousseff told the crowd who answered with chants pledging to resist as well.

“Over the course of my life, like all women, I confronted many challenges, now what hurts most is this situation that I’m living now, the pain of injustice,” said Rousseff.

She thanked all those who had been marching to denounce the coup in the lead up to the Senate’s vote on Wednesday, stating, “I am certain that together we are going to remain united, mobilised, and in peace.”

The ousted president dissolved her government after the Senate voted to proceed with an impeachment trial, requiring her to relinquish power for a period of 180 days.

Rousseff condemned the actions of the Congress, which she called a “coup” against her government. She also said she would “fight with every legal instrument at my disposal” to ensure she completes her mandate.

Her vice president, Michel Temer, became the interim president once he received notification from the Senate that the impeachment trial would proceed.

Social movements such as the national coordinator of the Homeless Workers Movement have pledged to remain in a state of permanent mobilisation.

Widespread protests, which are expected to continue and grow, are calling for the arrest of Eduardo Cunha – the former speaker of the lower house of Congress who was the instrument of the anti-democratic push, spearheading the impeachment process against the president – and for the ouster of government of Michel Temer, which assumed power after the coup.

Said Laryssa Sampaio from the Popular Youth Uprising, which is organising protests: “There are two main ideas; first, to denounce the institutional coup … and demand the departure of Temer: he was elected to be vice president, not president. Second, for the arrest of Eduardo Cunha, whose corruption is proven.”

However, although the right thinks their dreams of privatisations, layoffs and devaluation are going to soon come true, there is a factor that they must take into consideration: it is the enormous popular resistance that for months has taken over the streets of Brazil; the workers and peasants that stood up with determination against the austerity policies of the former government and its pro-agribusiness policies.

They block roads, they stay firm at the barricades, they light up when they hear their peers chanting slogans for “land, housing, work!”, they march for kilometres to announce that the people of Brazil has been waiting for years for unfulfilled promises. They are workers that defend their class autonomy, their struggle. That’s the real Brazil, with its Landless and its Homeless, with its metal workers from the ABC union or the combative Mercedes Benz workers, who cried out loud that “there will be no coup”. They are the grassroots from which the resistance will continue to come against the May 12 coup.

Next article – Well done and thank you!

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