Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Brazil: The Agrarian Reality and the Central Role of the Peasant Struggle

The struggle for land and the brutal suppression of the peasant population: the ongoing account of the reality of the agrarian question in Brazil

The huge monopolisation of the land ownership by the ”Latifundio” (the big landowners) in Brazil continues to rise and it is the basis of the history of the ongoing economic and social crisis in the country and, it is at the same time, the basis of current intensification conflicts. Only 2% of landowners (around 23,000) with properties above 1000 hectares hold almost 50% of all land titles in the country (210.5 million hectares)! While 90% of those (4.95 million peasant families), small holders (with properties of up to one hundred hectares) hold only 20% of them (84.1 million hectares)! The medium landowners (with properties of a hundred thousand hectares) that are 8% (440.000) hold the remaining 125.9 million hectares. Besides this there are about 5 million landless peasant families.(*)
This structure of land ownership, that maintains and reproduces the archaic semi-feudal system, is the basis on which imperialism has developed bureaucratic capitalism – that is backward capitalism through which monopoly capital, i.e. imperialism, has imposed in dominated countries. Capitalism, of the bureaucratic type, was developed in Brazil when capitalism had passed to its monopoly stage, i.e. the imperialist phase – in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
It was propelled forwards mainly by British imperialism in alliance with the big landowners (the rural landowning oligarchies) and large local merchants and importers. The nascent bourgeoisie was weak and having stagnated because capital was already in the imperialist phase, could not advance forward the bourgeois revolution in Brazil. It is also true that the nascent proletariat was unable to lead and advance the national-democratic revolution to its end, leaving it in an incomplete state. This was caused by the weaknesses of the Communist Party, which did not understand its role. A role that under the circumstances at the time demanded that a bourgeois revolution could only be carried out under its leadership. A revolutionary leadership that was based on the worker-peasant alliance and a united front with the small and medium bourgeoisie, conducted through revolutionary armed struggle in order that, on the one hand, it must remove the domination of landowners, destroy the old relations of land ownership, give the land to those who work on it and free the productive forces of the field. On the other hand, it must wipe the imperialist domination and confiscate all the bureaucratic capital (state and non-state), centralizing everything in the hands of the new popular state to promote a new self-reliant economy geared to serve the welfare of the people, advancing new democracy and promote a new culture.
Without these tasks being fulfilled, the fundamental and root causes of the contradictions remain intact, semi-feudal relations continue to remain with some evolution in its forms, consequently determine that Brazil would continue to remain a backward country. Under such conditions all that is called development and industrialization has only deepened the denationalization of the economy and its subjugation to mainly American imperialism. Continue reading

Police Repression of Indigenous Protest Against Brazil’s World Cup

05/27/2014

The whole area around the stadium is isolated from nearby roads and traffic was diverted; rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas were released
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BRASILIA – Hundreds of indigenous people and thousands of supporters peacefully marched towards the National Mane Garrincha Stadium in protest of the upcoming World Cup in an effort to block the roads. 

They were met by riot police and Military Cavalry Police of the Federal District on the afternoon of Tuesday the 27th. The demonstration, which had the support of hundreds of Indians left the Pilot Road, but was surrounded by police personnel about 100 meters from the arena to receive seven games of the World Cup 2014.

Police blocked the march and soon were using tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets on people to violently disperse the protest march.indio-flecha-andre-dusek-292

The march was peaceful, the protesters chanted slogans and carrying signs against FIFA’s World Cup until, by being surrounded by police on the horses that blocked lanes of the Monumental Axis. Riot police then responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and sound grenades.

The whole area around the stadium is isolated from nearby roads and traffic was diverted. There were reports of injuries, but no confirmed information at time of publishing.

Continue reading

Brazil: No World Cup?

Members of the Landless Workers Movement protest against the money spent on the World Cup near Arena Corinthians, which will host the tournament’s first match in São Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

[The great journalist Eduardo Galeano once wrote, “There are visible and invisible dictators. The power structure of world football is monarchical. It’s the most secret kingdom in the world.”  It is a cultural and economic “kingdom” that, along with Olympics and other mega-capitalist-profit and xenophobic-promotion projects, hijacks national budgets, leaving millions starving in the streets….and rising in rebellion in hundreds of city streets.  Here, David Zirin, the journalist whose career has focused on the politics of sport, the misuse of sport’s popularity, and the history of athlete’s activism, tells what is building up in Brazil with the approach of the FIFA World Cup. — Frontlines ed.]

‘There Will Be No World Cup’: Brazil on the Brink

Dave Zirin, The Nation blog, on May 15, 2014
For people just tuning in, the idea that people in Brazil would be protesting the 2014 World Cup makes about as much sense as New Yorkers’ rebelling against pizza. And yet here we are, less than one month before the start of the Cup, and demonstrations bear the slogan #NãoVaiTerCopa, or “There will be no Cup.”

Protests, strikes and direct actions have been flaring up across the country as the 2014 FIFA World Cup approaches. Most notably, as many as 10,000 people in São Paolo under the banner of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, or MTST, has occupied a major lot next to Arena Corinthians, site of the World Cup’s opening match. They call their occupation “The People’s Cup” and point out that the nearly half a billion dollars that went into building the “FIFA quality stadium” next door could have been used to combat poverty or improve healthcare. The slogan “we want FIFA quality hospitals and schools” still rings out as it did a year ago, when during the Confederation’s Cup, Brazil saw its largest protests in a generation. Now there is an even sharper desperation as the cup approaches. Maria das Dores Cirqueira, 44, a coordinator for the MTST, told the Los Angeles Times, “When the government told us we would host the World Cup, we hoped there would be improvements for us. But they aren’t putting on a Cup for the people, they’re putting on a Cup for the gringos.” Continue reading

Massive Indigenous Rights Movement Launches Across Brazil

Making History: Brazil's National Indigenous Mobilization

Massive Indigenous Rights Movement Launches Across Brazil

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Written by Amazon Watch
Thursday, 03 October 2013 07:06
Protests Sweep Brazil Demanding End to Attack on Indigenous Rights. Source: Amazon WatchBrasilia, Brazil – Hundreds of indigenous peoples representing Brazil’s native communities converged on government buildings in the nation’s capital yesterday to decry unprecedented and growing attacks on their constitutional rights and territories. The historic mobilization coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding of Brazil’s constitution with its groundbreaking affirmation of indigenous rights and aims to preserve these rights in the face of powerful economic interests behind a spate of pending laws seeking access to resources on native territories.

 

Brazil’s Articulation of Indigenous People’s (APIB) called the mobilizations – staged simultaneously in various cities across the country such as São Paulo, Belém, Rio Branco – to protest the attack against territorial rights of native peoples. Emanating from the Brazilian government and backed by a powerful congressional bloc representing agribusiness known as the bancada ruralista as well as large mining and energy interests, a series of new proposed laws seek to undermine Article 231 of the Brazilian Constitution, which assures the indigenous right to an exclusive and permanent usufruct to resources on their ancestral territories. Continue reading

BRAZIL: Combative protests during the visit of the Pope

[Three videos from Brazil, documenting the massive protests at the corruption and mis-use of State resources for the Pope’s visit.  The videos are narrated in Portuguese, and the videos give visual testimony to the ongoing problems of credibility and legitimacy of the Brazilian state, in the face of massive protests of bus fares, World Cup extravagance and Pope extravagance.  Sports and religion seem to have greatly declined in their ability to confuse, distract, and pacify the anger of the masses.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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Scenes of confrontation between PMs and demonstrators during the visit of Pope John Paul II San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro

Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people took to the streets of Sula River to protest against the exorbitant spending on the Pope’s visit to Brazil for World Catholic Youth Day. As on other occasions, demonstrators demanded the impeachment of the governor, Sergio Cabral, and the end of the annihilation of the poor in the slums — and the whereabouts of the worker/resident of the Rocinha slum, Amarildo de Souza Lima, who disappeared after being arrested by PMs of CPE. A barrier formed by 350 police officers of the Shock Battalion was jamming the access to Guanabara Palace, where there was a meeting between the Pope and the political managers of Dilma and Cabral e Paes, declared enemies of the masses. The demonstrators were not intimidated and, with courage and determination, faced the huge repressive apparatus of the old State.

Cenas do confronto entre PMs e manifestantes durante visita do papa Francisco ao Rio de Janeiro

Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia — Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas tomaram as ruas da zona Sula do Rio para protestar contra os gastos exorbitantes com a visita do papa ao Brasil para a Jornada Mundial da Juventude Católica. Como em outras ocasiões, manifestantes exigiram o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral, o fim do extermínio de pobres nas favelas e o paradeiro do operário e morador da favela da Rocinha, Amarildo Souza Lima, que desapareceu depois de ser detido por PMs da UPP. Um cordão de isolamento formado por 350 policiais do Batalhão de Choque bloqueava o acesso ao Palácio Guanabara, onde acontecia uma reunião entre o papa e os gerentes de turno Dilma, Cabral e Paes, declarados inimigos das massas. Os manifestantes não se intimidaram e, com coragem e determinação, enfrentaram o incrementado aparato repressor do velho Estado.

RJ: exclusive Footage of the courageous resistance of the masses to the violence of the PM in Leblon
July 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Last Wednesday night, thousands of people have protested in the street where the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral Filho, lives. The demonstrators denounced the corruption of Cabral, the theft and waste of public money, the displacement of poor neighborhoods for construction of mega-sports-events, the criminalization and elimination of the youth in the slums, and the attack on indigenous peoples. The demonstrators have walked the streets of Leblon, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world. A few meters from the house of Cabral, PMs did not hesitate to attack. But as has happened repeatedly, the masses resisted bravely and faced the repressive troops of the fascist State.
RJ: Cenas exclusivas da corajosa resistência das massas à violência da PM em ato no Leblon
Jul 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Na noite da última quarta-feira, milhares de pessoas fizeram um protesto no acesso à rua onde mora o governador do Rio de Janeiro,. Os manifestantes denunciaram a corrupção na gestão Cabral, o derrame do dinheiro público, as remoções de bairros pobres por conta dos megaeventos, o extermínio da juventude nas favelas e o ataque aos povos indígenas. Os manifestantes caminharam pelas ruas do Leblon, um dos bairros mais caros do mundo. A poucos metros da casa de Cabral, PMs não hesitarão em atacar. Mas como tem acontecido repetidas vezes, as massas resistiram bravamente e enfrentaram as tropas de repressão do Estado fascista.

 

Police arrest filmmaker from Media Ninja and shoot lethal ammunition at protesters during the Pope’s visit to Rio

July 23, 2013  — Jornal A Nova Democracia — Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people have faced the police, denounced the exorbitant spending for the Pope’s visit to Brazil, and demanded the impeachment of governor Sergio Cabral. After the showdown, PMs chased demonstrators through the streets of the barrio de Laranjeira. A filmmaker of Media Ninja was arbitrarily arrested while transmitting live news of the protest  to thousands of people. One protester identified as Leonardo Caruso was shot with live ammunition and cared for by the red cross, then taken to the hospital de Souza Aguiar, in the Center of the city.
Polícia prende Mídia Ninja e dispara munição letal durante visita do Papa ao Rio

Jul 23, 2013– Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas enfrentaram a polícia em um ato que, entre outras bandeiras, questionava os gastos exorbitantes por conta da visita do papa ao Brasil e exigia o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral. Após o confronto, PMs perseguiram manifestantes aleatoriamente pelas ruas do. Um cinegrafista da Mídia Ninja foi preso arbitrariamente enquanto transmitia a manifestação ao vivo para milhares de pessoas.
Um manifestante identificado como Leonardo Caruso foi alvejado com um tiro de munição real e atendido por socorristas da cruz vermelha. Em seguida, o manifestante foi levado para o hospital Souza Aguiar, no Centro da cidade.

Missteps by Brazil Mar Visit by Pope

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Pope Francis shares a word with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during a welcome ceremony at Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. Pope Francis returned to his home continent for the first time as pontiff, embarking on a seven-day visit meant to fan the fervor of the faithful around the globe.  (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

Pope Francis with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. Pope Francis, with a long history of support for repressive powers in Latin America, became an object of the ongoing mass protests against Dilma Rousseff’s corrupt and repressive regime — an unintended consequence of a visit planned to “fan the fervor of the faithful” and to distract the anger of the oppressed.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis celebrated his first public Mass on Wednesday at one of Latin America’s largest shrines, asking Catholics to shun the “ephemeral idols” of material success, power and pleasure, but his visit to Brazil continued to be marked by tension over blunders by its Brazilian organizers.

The missteps began minutes after Francis arrived in Rio on Monday, when his small motorcade got stuck on a crowded thoroughfare, exposing the pope to a mob scene of people trying to touch him through the open window of his car. On Tuesday, Rio’s subway system broke down for two hours, leaving thousands gathered here for a conference of Catholic youth scrambling to reach a seaside Mass.

Rio’s political authorities have also faced scrutiny over their handling of street demonstrations around the pope’s visit. They acknowledged using undercover agents to infiltrate the protests but denied claims that their intelligence officers were to blame for violence, including the throwing of firebombs. Continue reading

Brazil Needs a Great Revolution!

[The statement by the Revolutionary Front for the Defense of the People – Brazil (Frente Revolucionária de Defesa dos Direitos do Povo – Brasil), has now been translated into English.  It provides important background on the current rebellion, as well as clarifying the revolutionary program and strategy to move forward. — Frontlines ed.]

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Proletarians and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!
“The law of the people is to fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again until victory!” — Chairman Mao Tsetung

Massive protests explode across the country and a spontaneous mass movement  of hundreds of thousands takes the center of large cities and spreads everywhere, shaking and panicking all the old order. A new phase of the developments of the revolutionary situation is seen in protest and rebellion!Major storms are approaching.

The final straw was the brutal repression of the just and peaceful demonstration against the increase of the bus fares in the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The outrage spread across the country and released popular anger no longer stifled by decades of political demagoguery and constant barrage of misleading government propaganda of a Brazil of great progress and improvement. When even television networks, radio and newspapers trumpeted the popularity of President Dilma as the one bringing full employment, creation of a new middle class, the development of the country with a sound economy against the global crisis that sinks the world’s largest economies – this suddenly exploded with the upheavals that arose as a tsunami.

Amid the deep and prolonged general crisis of the imperialist system that causes suffering worldwide, hitting hard working masses with mass unemployment, making brutal cuts in hard-won rights, pushing them to the streets by the millions, in a desperate fight for survival and resistance,  repression launched by the capitalist governments in client countries has been unrelenting.

As a direct result of the contradictions and weaknesses of the economy of our country, dominated and plundered by imperialism, the popular revolt is the release of decades of screams stifled by the ‘eternal’ deception of fraudulent elections and false left demagoguery (PT/Workers Party; PSB/Brazilian Socialist Party; PCdoB/Communist Party of Brazil, etc). What happened? A snap broke the charm of a truth found to be a lie repeated a thousand times, and backfired, no longer the social anesthetic of bread and circuses. Continue reading