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The Brazilian Capitol: confronting the fascists, no truce no amnesty

Monday 9 January 2023, by Israel Dutra

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The actions of 8 January 2023 mimic those of the horde of US neo-fascists two years later, almost like the same script. The invasion of thousands of Bolsonarists into the premises of the National Congress, the Supreme Court (STF) and the Planalto Palace, broadcast live on national TV network, are of the utmost gravity. They crown a coup itinerary, which under the allegation of fraud at the polls, promoted disorder, violence and vandalism.

We had episodes of violence in Brasilia, even in December, when Lula’s inaguration was followed by the arrest of Bolsonarists with explosives, thwarting a plan of alleged attack; the encampments in front of the barracks then followed - in the DF, this was not repressed; and as it announced, the culminating act was the "assault" on the Three Powers, which after three hours, was reversed, resulting in about 300 arrested in flagrante. The mob left a trail of destruction, damaging works of art, destroying rooms and enclosures, a typical action of the Lumpens, as defined by Marx, marginal, unskilled sectors, who can serve as "cannon fodder" for the reactionary elites.

The leniency on the part of the Federal District government was clear, not only by the appointment of the coup-plotter Anderson Torres as head of security, but by the work as a whole. The Ibaneis Rocha government (MDB) had a role of omission in the repression of the "hallucinated" march of the Bolsonarists, which was announced to the four winds, with a hundred buses arriving in Brasilia.

Correctly, by taking control of the situation, Lula took measures such as federal intervention in DF, spoke on national television denouncing the coup plotters, calling them "fanatical fascists", and blaming Bolsonaro, whom he referred to as "genocidal", for the incidents. Lula’s position came at the right time, since Flávio Dino, Minister of Justice, was slow to take measures, even knowing that the actions of the coup plotters were being announced "in the open". Furthermore, the inertia of José Múcio at the head of the Ministry of Defence was clear, who during the week called the gatherings in front of the HQs "legitimate", stating that he had relatives and friends inside the camps - which is inadmissible to combat the extreme right. 

The need for a harder speech, like Lula’s, expresses that there is no way to equate the struggle against the coup plotters with giving ground to them and their supporters, inside and outside the Armed Forces. Mucio adopted a line of conciliation with the Bolsonarist radicals. That line has failed completely. And to the extent that the minister of the Secretariat of Communication, Paulo Pimenta, says that it is likely that there was cooperation between those responsible for the security of the Planalto and the Congress, Múcio’s permanence in the post becomes untenable.

Moreover, the Armed Forces have also weakened in the eyes of the people, showing themselves to be incapable of defending the interests of the country. This only puts us further in need of making policy on the low and middle ranks of the different security forces in the country. Moraes had more courage and was right to remove Governor Ibaneis Rocha for 90 days.

The international community was unanimous in condemning Bolsonarism and the coup plotters. The main countries of the world, including right-wing rulers, publicly communicated their rejection of the coup plotters. The different entities and associations of civil society promptly came out to express their condemnation of what had happened.

The need to go out to the streets was answered with a call for action on Monday 9th January in all the capitals of the country. We need to swell the ranks of these acts, expanding and convincing people to take to the streets, in a popular statement of rejection to the coup attitudes, the defence of the result of the ballot box and the legitimacy of Lula’s government.

This is done by relying on the strength of the streets, with the popular organization, with the need to massify the acts and prepare their organization, with their methods, self-defense and democratic spaces to mobilize and convene the calendar of struggles and actions. The street actions must have a democratic and broad character, as a unity of action with all democratic sectors.

And this opens a new chapter in the struggle against Bolsonarism, in the scope of the mass movement, in which we need to dialogue with those who voted for Bolsonaro.

In addition to the immediate response, we need to go further and take action to undo the coup agents, put them behind bars and begin to nip the evil in the bud, taking advantage of the enormous rejection in all layers of Brazilian society and even in the international community. This means deepening the breaking of the secrecy about involved, the arrest of the financiers and others involved.

Measures must be taken immediately. Arrest the Bolsonarist leaders, revoke the parliamentarians who collaborated, as well as advance investigations into figures like Carla Zambelli and Allan dos Santos, in addition to those responsible locally for the caravans, who have already begun to be identified.

We join deputy Alejandra Ocasio-Cortez’s request to extradite Bolsonaro. This would be the first step towards his arrest, a fundamental task that the PSOL already requested last week. Arresting Bolsonaro is a necessary step, as an axis of agitation. We have also advocated a CPI, in DF and in the Federal Chamber, to broaden the investigations, combined with the definitive impeachment of Ibaneis.

We continue to call for international solidarity and organize protests in the streets, with our parliamentarians, evoking the anti-fascist struggle. Today we will take to the street demonstrations the banner that there will be no pardon for genocidaires and coup plotters. Without amnesty and with the maximum democratic mobilization.

9 January 2023

Translated by International Viewpoint from Revista Movimento.

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