New Advances of Brazil’s Poor Peasant League

[The following is an unauthorized draft translation from A Nova Democracy. — Frontlines ed.]
8th Congress of the LCP North and South of Minas Bahia
Year XIV, No. 159, 2nd half of October 2015

 ‘Take all the lands of large estates!’

MÁRIO LÚCIO DE PAULA | RAFAEL GOMES PENELAS – A Nova Democracia

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Ahead of the demonstration, went activist-combatant youth, workers and peasants – Photo: Victor Prat

The city of Januária in the North of Minas Gerais, received in the last 10 and 11 October, the 8th Congress of the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) North of Mines and southern Bahia.

THE BRAVE PEASANT PEOPLE

Since March it has not rained for most of the North of Minas Gerais and southern Bahia. The creations lose weight and the earth is only in clod. The reserves dwindle and many fields were lost. Through drought months of drought, this brave black people and peasant, like dry land, resists. Just one drop of water to get up and thrive.

Thus, the peasants – this backcountry people, the cerrado, the executioner and the savanna, the people who are mixing the quilombo remnants and indigenous peoples, who never lowered his head and resists the land facing the large estates and their gangs of gunmen, facing the persecution of the old state and its repressive forces, facing the antipovo government policies and opportunism – rose once again with their red flags and, under the scorching sun from 11 am, took to the streets of Januária, announcing with a large, vibrant demonstration on the morning of October 10th: we are completing the activities of the 8th Congress of the League of Poor Peasants of Northern Mines and Southern Bahia! Conquer Earth! Destroy the Latifúndio! Long live the Agrarian Revolution! Long live the workers and peasants Alliance! Continue reading

From Brazil to Ferguson, Black Lives Matter

12/18/2014

Under the banner Ferguson is Here! #fergusonéaqui Thousands took the streets in Sao Paulo, Brazil in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests in the US.Foto: Midia NINJAToday’s event in Sao Paulo was to highlight the systemic police violence, the high rate of murders and the judicial injustices suffered when these crimes against black communities go unpunished.

In a report by the Brazilian Forum of Public Safety published on Nov. 9th 2014, Brazilian police killed 2,212 people in 2013.  Twice as many blacks as whites in Brazil were victims of police violence in 2009, according to a recent study by economist Daniel Cerqueira.

Another study by the University of Sao Carlos showed that even as blacks comprised 34 percent of the population of Sao Paulo, they numbered 58 percent of those killed by police.

 

Brazil: Cleomar, Leader of Poor Peasants League in Northern Minas and Bahia is killed in ambush

By CEBRASPO, 23 October 2014

On Wednesday, the peasant Cleomar, coordinator of Liga dos Camponeses Pobres do Norte de Minas e Bahia (Poor Peasants League of Northern Minas and Bahia) was ambushed and killed in Pedra Maria da Cruz, near the Área Revolucionário Unidos com Deus Venceremos, where he lived, worked and struggled with his comrades. Cleomar organized collective honey production in the area, and part of this production he and his fellow workers protested the political repression in Rio de Janeiro, which made him very happy. Recently, Cleomar attended the Congress of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) held in Rio de Janeiro.

We demand investigation and punishment of the perpetrators and masterminds of this crime against the people!
Comrade Cleomar! Presente!
We reproduce below statement from the National Commission of the Poor Peasants League:

Leader of the League of Poor Peasants of Northern Mines and Bahia is murdered in Pedras de Maria da Cruz
Belo Horizonte, October 23, 2014
Comrade Cleomar, Coordinator of Poor Peasants League of North Gerais and Bahia, was cowardly assassinated October 22, 2014, after passing the “cancela do cascalho” (“gate of gravel”) and entering the path to get to the Área Revolucionária Unidos com Deus Venceremos, where he lived, worked and fought for the piece of land along with other companeros.
His body was found pierced by gunfire, according to the first report of his companion who was quite distraught.
We are sending this announcement to all who support and accompany the struggle for land, to denounce this crime of landlordism and this rotten and murderous state, while the Poor Peasants League North Mine is gathering all the information and preparing an honorable farewell to this martyr of the struggle of the people.
We urge everyone to be present at the farewell to this comrade, (despite the distance).
Cleomar was humble, dedicated, responsible, hardworking, combative, intelligent, patient, insightful, politicized. He was a husband and exemplary, respectful, affectionate father.
Cleomar often received death threats, and constantly denounced the authorities, whose attacks continued.

The murder of comrade Cleomar continues the hundreds of attacks and ambushes against peasants struggling for land: at roadblocks, where the companeros must stop; and after hearing the Public Prosecutor, on 09 October, about large landowners closing roads, preventing access to water from artesian wells by the municipal CDR, being evicted from lands occupied by INCRA, but which never received a hearing for justice, was back to square one, as has happened in thousands of cases in this country in recent years.  Cleomar denounced the landowners threats against him, and called for the peasants’ union, vazanteiros, fishermen and Maroons against landlordism to conquer the land.

Cleomar was popular in many areas, Cleomar organized the production of honey by a collective group, and imagine the happiness that he got when he saw “his” honey helping political prisoners protesters in Rio de Janeiro … Cleomar had participated in the early years of the Congress of the International Association of People’s Lawyers, and his interest in the struggles of other people was contagious. Cleomar fought not only for land, Cleomar wanted power for the worker-peasant alliance!
We lift high his name, and uphold and popularize the fight of comrade Cleomar, martyr of our people!
We are filled with pain and anger, hatred, and the spirit of revenge! Against the killers and those responsible for the murder of Cleomar —  First, landowners and their gunmen; Second, this state and its officers and managers, opportunistic scoundrels, who could have prevented the death of the comrade, if they did at least one percent of the Brazilian constitution that says this … Cleomar exposed the Incra and urged people to go and see those who lied and deceived and covered up the crimes.
Pain and anger, hatred, revenge. We demand justice!
Honor and glory to the martyrs of our people!
Long live the struggle for land! Viva Agrarian Revolution!
Comrade Cleomar, Presente!

 

Neo-Liberals be Damned — Let the Democrats Rot

by ROB URIE, CounterPunch

When considering elections in the U.S. the tendency is for voters to look at the issues placed in front of them rather than at history, political trajectory and who it is that chooses the issues? On their face Republicans, broadly considered, are more direct shills for the worst of the corporate-state— Wall Street, multi-national oil and gas companies, munitions manufacturers and replacement of any and all democratic tendencies with corporate interests. This written, Democrats have been the cleverer proponents of these same interests, the clean-up crew that poses state support as response to ‘natural’ catastrophes that are exactly and precisely the product of self-cannibalizing corporate-state capitalism.

Eleicoes no Brasil

The cartoonist Latuff’s commentary on the elimination of independent and opposition politics, when embracing electoral illiusions and voting. The cartoon was produced in response to the false choices offered the people in Brazil’s elections this year

Political strategy within the mainstream, the choice between slower or faster decay, leaves out of its calculation the possibility of break and rupture that are the most likely ends. Wall Street, which counts ‘both’ political parties in the U.S. as wholly owned subsidiaries, has had three crises of increasing magnitude in as many decades. The oil mafia, the CIA-MI5-BP-Exxon Mobil-military oil and gas establishment, is launching wars at increasing cost with decreasing results except inasmuch as human and environmental catastrophes sustain it. And the ‘political’ establishment that sits metaphorically atop this morass retains public attention only through infinite iterations of manufactured cultural difference.

Continue reading

Not on the Ballot: Imperialism, Corporate-Capitalist State Power, Racism, Police State, Patriarchy, Justice …..

[When people rise, and believe that the State offers no relief or solution, they turn away from elections, reject the credibility and false promises of the political system, and consider what it will take to take matters into their own hands.  It happens all over the world. — Frontlines ed.]

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The 2014 campaign to boycott the election in Brazil

Election materials are set ablaze in front of a polling booth after an attack by protesters in Bogra January 5, 2014. Bangladesh's ruling Awami League was poised on Sunday to win a violence-plagued parliamentary election whose outcome was never in doubt after a boycott by the main opposition party. — Photo by Reuters

Election materials are set ablaze in front of a polling booth after an attack by protesters in Bogra January 5, 2014. Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League was poised on Sunday to win a violence-plagued parliamentary election whose outcome was never in doubt after a boycott by the main opposition party. — Photo by Reuters

Continue reading

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

Brazil Election held under Police and Military Arms, and with Growing Popular Boycott

[The Brazilian national election was held last week, and nearly half a million police and military were deployed to enforce the farce of democracy.  Meanwhile, a popular boycott of the election developed in the cities and in the countryside. — Frontlines ed.]

Don’t Vote, Boycott the Electoral Farce!-Brazil

In recent weeks, popular organizations organized numerous activities for rejection of the 2014 electoral farce.

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RIO DE JANEIRO

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The Independent (FIP-RJ) Popular Front, which brings together various organizations of struggle, led the campaign in the state capital. On days 4 and 28/8, 17/9 and 11 pamphlets were handed out. In each of them, about 8000 pamphlets were distributed at the entrances to the main train station in Rio. Some of these actions were accompanied by a large banner of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People (FRDDP) the rights to the phrase “Do not vote! Below the electoral farce! ‘.

Continue reading

Increasingly discredited Brazilian electoral politics…….

combined with lackluster Catholic hold on mass sentiments/loyalties, gives rise to fresh opportunist prospects for evangelical-missionary-nurtured local weeds to grow.

————————————–

Brazil’s evangelicals gain clout, close to electing first president
BY ANTHONY BOADLE, REUTERS
BRASILIA | Sun Sep 28, 2014

An evangelical Christian is pictured as they march during the 'Jesus Parade' in downtown Brasilia August 14, 2014. REUTERS-Joedson Alves

An evangelical Christian is pictured as they march during the ‘Jesus Parade’ in downtown Brasilia August 14, 2014.

(Reuters) – Brazil’s increasingly powerful evangelical Christians are tantalisingly close to electing one of their own as president next month in what would be a historic shift for the world’s largest Catholic nation.

Marina Silva, an environmentalist running neck and neck in polls with incumbent President Dilma Rousseff, is a Pentecostal Christian who often invokes God on the campaign trail and has said she sometimes consults the Bible for inspiration when making important political decisions.

Some 65 percent of Brazil’s 200 million people are Roman Catholics but evangelicals are rapidly gaining followers and power. Continue reading

Brazil: Campaign to Defend Against the Threats and Attacks on People’s Lawyer Dr. Ermogenes

URGENT ACTION IN DEFENSE OF BRAZILIAN PEOPLE’S LAWYER Dr. ERMOGENES

Sat Sep 20, 2014

Dr. Ermogenes Jacinto de Souza is a well-known People’s Advocate and a

member of Brazilian Association of People’s Lawyers. He has spent his

professional life defending the poor peasants who have struggled for their

legitimate right to have lands in the State of Rondônia, in Brazilian

Amazon. This area of Brazil has witnessed significant number of murders

planned, ordered and executed by Landlords or their mercenaries.

 

No one forgets the murder of Renato Nathan a teacher and Élcio Machado,

Gilson Gonçalves peasants and dozens of others. The Landlords commit these

atrocities and criminal acts due to lack of rule of law and accountability

in the State of Rondônia. Murder, with total impunity is the fact of life in

Rondônia. The State authorities have failed to act. The Judiciary including

prosecutors and police have been busy dancing to the Landlord’ s tunes. They

are institutionally corrupt and server and assist the landlord to continue

their land grabbing strategies. Dr. Ermogenes have been threatened and

severely restricted in performing his duties as a lawyer. Continue reading

Brazil: Popular Organizations Building a Campaign…Against the Elections

‘Do not Vote! Down with the electoral farce!’

 

ANovaDemocraciaYear XIII, No. 138, 2nd half of September 2014

 RAFAEL GOMES PENELAS

In recent weeks, popular organizations organized numerous activities for rejection of the 2014 electoral farce.  With pamphlets, public events, debates, graffiti and collage poster campaigns to boycott the elections, activists took to the streets of many capitals and cities of the interior of Brazil. In the first two weeks of September, A Nova Democracia received several photos, videos and stories of some of these initiatives.

RIO DE JANEIRO

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Morro Hat Mangueira, Rio

The Independent (FIP-RJ) Popular Front, which brings together various organizations of struggle, led the campaign in the state capital. From late August until mid-September, pamphlets were distributed in several cities in Central Brazil. About 8000 pamphlets were distributed at the entrances to the main train station in Rio. Some of these upheavals were accompanied by a large banner of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People (FRDDP) proclaiming the right to  “Do not vote! Down with the electoral farce! ‘.

The Independent (FIP-RJ) Popular Front, which brings together various organizations of struggle, led the campaign in the state capital. From late August until mid-September, pamphlets were distributed in several cities in Central Brazil. About 8000 pamphlets were distributed at the entrances to the main train station in Rio. Some of these upheavals were accompanied by a large banner of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People (FRDDP) proclaiming the right to  “Do not vote! Down with the electoral farce! ‘.

Continue reading

Brazil: Police War on Favelas Trained by Brazil’s UN “Peacekeepers”

Brazil: Haiti mission shaped Rio police unit

Weekly News Update, WW4 Report, Tuesday, 08/26/2014

The UN mission in Haiti influenced the creation of special urban police units in Brazil—and helped the Brazilian military make up for shortfalls in its training budget.

Two Brazilian experts in police work have confirmed longstanding claims that the Brazilian military and police used their leading role in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH [5]) as a way to train their forces for operations in Brazil’s own cities. According to Lt. Col. Carlos Cavalcanti, of the Brazilian Peace Operations Joint Training Center (CCOPAB [6]), the Brazilians were especially interested in the concept of permanent “strong points” in urban areas, which MINUSTAH forces used to “pacify” Port-au-Prince’s huge Cité Soleil section in 2005 and the Cité Militaire neighborhood in 2007. “Rio de Janeiro’s Militarized Police even sent a group to Haiti while these operations were still being carried out, with the object of taking in the Brazilian army’s experiences,” Cavalcanti said.

Police officers during a shootout with drug traffickers in the Vila Cruzeiro favela in Rio de Janeiro in 2010. (Reuters/Bruno Domingos)

Brazil police in the Villa Cruzeiro favela in Rio de Janeiro in 2010

These experiences inspired the use of special police groups known as Pacifying Police Units (UPPs [7]) in controlling the impoverished urban areas in Brazil known as favelas, according to Claudio Silveira, a defense specialist at Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ). The UPP in Rio was the target of repeated protests in the summer of 2013 because of unit members’ alleged torture and murder of construction worker Amarildo de Souza Lima [8]. One advantage of MINUSTAH for the Brazilian military is apparently that it helps make up for what top officers feel is an inadequate budget for training soldiers. In Haiti the soldiers get real-life training, for which the Brazilian government has paid out 2.11 billion reais (US$923 million) since the mission’s start in June 2004; the United Nations has reimbursed it with 741 million reais (US$324 million). (Adital [9], Brazil, Aug. 13) Continue reading

Strikes at Foxconn factory in Brazil halt iPhone production

Funcionários da empresa Foxconn continuam em greve nesta quarta-feira (Foto: Sandro Zeppi/TV TEM)

Up to 3,500 employees for the Brazilian arm of Apple’s iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn allegedly went on strike late last week, causing a factory-wide shutdown of production. The strike is still reportedly in effect at the factory in Jundiai, Brazil.

Harry Tunnecliffe, Macworld Australia
18 September, 2014

9to5Mac has received a number of tips and translated local news reports concerning the matter, and claim that every single production line had stopped when the strike was first enacted last Thursday. Workers are reportedly demanding changes to work and pay policies, and as part of the strike, have blocked other employees from entering the site. This would explain the complete halt to production.

Funcionários da empresa Foxconn continuam em greve nesta quarta-feira (Foto: Sandro Zeppi/TV TEM)The strike comes at a critical time for Apple, as despite record production levels, Foxconn are struggling to keep up with the amount of pre-orders that have already taken place – which are achieving record numbers.

Continue reading

Brazil: World Cup’s Nationalist Hype Fails to Curb Struggle Against Displacement

Dispatches From Brazil’s World Cup:  Real Estate Frenzy Provokes ‘Psychological Attack’ to Oust Favela Residents
Dave Zirin, The Nation, on June 18, 2014
Graffiti on the walls of Vila Autódromo. On the Brazilian flag, instead of "order and progress", "freedom" is written across the iconic blue globe. June 17, 2014. (Photo by the author)

Graffiti on the walls of Vila Autódromo. On the Brazilian flag, instead of “order and progress”, “freedom” is written across the iconic blue globe. June 17, 2014. (Photo by the author)

 

Before returning to the favela Vila Autódromo for the first time since 2012, I had already been told that the community would not look the same. As a friend said to me, “It will resemble a perfect smile with several teeth knocked out.” Vila Autódromo is situated just yards away from the site of the 2016 Rio Olympic village, and Olympic planners as well as construction interests have long targeted this close-knit community for demolition. Located on an achingly beautiful lake, where glittering new high-rise condominiums have sprouted “seemingly overnight”, the city’s business and political leaders see prime real estate, with pesky favelados in the way of their development dreams.

Despite a fierce resistance to their removal that has stymied the efforts of Olympic planners, I had heard before arriving that 150 of the 500 families living in Vila Autódromo had left. I expected many of their homes, places I had visited, to now be piles of rubble. What I did not expect was the absence of trees. Continue reading

Brazil: During World Cup Protests, “Free Saibaba” Banners Fly

Even as popular resistance to the FIFA-excused theft of public resources continued to grow, activists demonstrated on June 12, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, demanding the immediate release of the professor in India, Dr. GN Saibaba, who was abducted and arrested by the Indian fascist state on May 9.
GN Saibaba is Delhi University professor of English literature, an active defender of the rights of the people and democracy. Demand the Operation Green Hunt (the war of the Indian State Against the People in India)! Freedom for all political prisoners!