Thousands of Brazilians March to Defend Dilma and Democracy

Source:  TeleSUR
March 31 2016

thousands march in defence of dilma and democracy.png

Protests in Porto Algere against the procedure to impeach President Rousseff.  Photo @mandatofontana

The protests against the procedure to impeach President Dilma Rousseff’s coincided with the annual march commemorating the anniversary of the 1964 coup.

Social movements, trade unions and student groups

Social movements, trade unions and student groups mobilized en mass across the country Thursday, to defend democracy and condemn the right-wing coup attempt against the president, who is currently facing threats of impeachment.

lula 1.jpgProtests took place in at least 56 cities of the country, including in Brasilia where former President Lula da Silva led over 100,000 people according to the organizers’ estimate.

The protests coincided with the national annual march commemorating the anniversary of the 1964 coup, which overthrew President Joao Goulart from the progressive Labor Party.

International solidarity

Mobilizations also took place across the world, including in Paris (France), Munich (Germany), Coimbra (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain).

brazil international solidarity with dilma.png

Berlin. @joaopaulo_pt

Coup plotters 

“We will not recognize an eventual interim government led by Michel Temer,” said President of Sao Paulo’s main trade union CUT, Douglas Izzo, commenting the mobilization. A “Temer exit” would be the result of an underhanded trick on the part of coup plotters.”

 

He added that a coalition government including the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party and the Democrats would be the “worst of the world” for the workers. It would have devastating effects on labor rights and social programs, he warned.

One thought on “Thousands of Brazilians March to Defend Dilma and Democracy

  1. These protests in defense of President Rousseff and against the Brazilian oligarchy, its right wing political servants and the empire that back them are very critical not only for Brazilians but for all of us in the region and the world who support true freedoms, democracy and Justice for the broadest masses of people.

    These protests are critical for at least three important reasons. First and most immediately, they are critical to build the movement not solely against the impeachment attempts of the right wing and the oligarchy’s goal to impeach the democratically elected president who is not even implicated in the ongoing corruption scandal in Brazil.

    Second, these protests more importantly are way beyond defending Dilma Rousseff and the Workers Party against the right wing’s attempts to impeach the president. More importantly, the protests are about defending a type of democracy in Brazil and elsewhere in the region that will always institutionalize the voice and participation of ordinary folks in the governance of their lives and the affairs of their countries.

    The fact is that should the oligarchy, the empire and the right-wing politicians who are fronting the cooked up impeachment succeed in impeaching and removing the Brazilian President not only would they have achieved a political coup but more importantly it is reasonable to assume that they would try to repeat it in other countries in the region where presidents and governments are not liked by them.

    The class enemies of the people in Brazil and elsewhere in the region and world would now have an alternative to their “hard coup” option in which they use the military to overthrow governments they dislike. Instead, they would now use the so-called “soft coup” option in which they would use the constitution (as they are attempting to do in Brazil right now) to overthrow presidents and governments.

    The ” soft coup” option to attack democracy is arguably more dangerous as it presents a facade of legitimacy since it employs the constitutional articles of impeachment and the required congressional votes to impeach a president and perhaps by implication questions the legitimacy and credibility of the government of the impeached president to govern the country.

    Furthermore, the use of the “soft coup” option by the oligarchy and its right wing political servants to remove a president could also potentially confuse and demobilize swats of ordinary people including perhaps some progressive people from taking political action including the massive and effective street protests against oligarchy’s coup.

    The potential political challenge is that if the oligarchy and their political servants are successful in removing Dilma Rousseff through a “soft coup”, it is possible that several people may accept albeit reluctantly
    their “criminal project” in purely constitutionalist or legalistic terms instead of seeing the politics of how they utilize their own bourgeois constitution to hijack bourgeois democracy.

    Thus, these protests must not only continue, they need to grow by the tens and hundreds of thousands of Brazilians of all walks of life including rich and poor, workers and capitalists, blacks and whites, gays and straights, transgender, men and women who believe that no president should be impeached for baseless and politically motivated reasons.

    The latter should be the case even for Brazilians who may have political disagreement with the president. The latter reinforces the point that the protests are not solely or even mainly about safeguarding the presidency of Dilma Rousseff but rather they are about preserving democracy and the integrity of the constitution in Brazil and beyond.

    As such, another critical reason to have these protests and to make them even bigger each time is to change not only the political momentum against the right-wing politicians and those who they serve but to change the balance of forces in the country to continue and deepen progressive changes in Brazil and the region.

    Here is another fact for all of us who defend progressive changes in the region. If the right wing forces succeed in their coup attempt under the pretext of an impeachment of Dilma Rousseff not only would they have changed the balance of forces in Brazil but they would also have changed the political balance of forces in Latin America and the Caribbean. The latter would mean that progressive and anti-imperialist changes in defense of workers’ and women rights, anti-poverty policies to lift millions out of poverty by providing subsidized education, housing and health care services for them, policies to protect the climate from further deterioration among others would literally be severely restricted or brought to an end.

    Consequently, the struggles of the protesters in Brazil to defend President Rousseff against the coup plotters and in defense of democracy is ostensibly a domestic Brazilian affair though when examined more seriously it is also a regional and global implications for tens of millions of people far beyond Brazil’s borders.

    Thus like trade and finance which are globalized and accepted as such, the struggles of Brazilians, Latin Americans, West Indians, Africans, Asians and Europeans have no choice but to globalize democracy and peace as our only hope to survive on this blue planet!

    “Peace if you are willing to fight for it” Fred Hampton

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