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Free Lula: the need for unity against Bolsonaro and for building a new left

After the decision of the Supreme Federal Court on the second instance, Judge Danilo Pereira Júnior accepted, on Friday (8), the request from the defense of former President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who left the prison moments ago. The decision of the Supreme Court had constitutional basis, concluding on Thursday (7) the vote that assessed the possibility of arresting defendants after conviction in the second instance or only after the final appeal, with the score of 6 votes to 5. This decision is a democratic triumph against political manipulation and can release thousands of people who were not entitled to a due trial as Lula, also activists such as DJ Rennan da Penha, Rafael Braga and many others.

We are a founding tendency of PSOL, a party built to continue to carry left-wing and socialist agendas, in a struggle against the conduct of the PT government, which in a coalition with the big capitalists implemented a social-liberal project of the country. This coalition ended up collapsing, for profound reasons that we are not going to elaborate in this brief statement; the PSOL has put itself forward and affirmed itself as a pole of the left. Thus, we salute the liberation of Lula.

Lula’s process was political. Glenn Greenwald’s revelations illustrated the unfair and opportune process to get Lula out of the 2018 electoral dispute. This condition was denounced by us, even at the time of his arrest, as a fundamental basis for the element of distortion of the electoral process as a whole. In a country where we have Bolsonaro as president, with his provocations and authoritarian temptations, there are no political bases to justify Lula’s arrest. Although we were an intrasigent opposition to Lula’s administration at the head of the country and to his spurious dealings with large construction companies and contractors.

Lula’s release, in addition to the constitutional decision of the STF, obeys a new political situation, where two factors combine: a) a new political situation in Latin America – Ecuador’s indigenous rebellion, the electoral defeat of Macri, the Chilean uprising and the changes underway in countries such as Colombia and Peru – that influences the Brazilian situation, where Bolsonaro and his project are losing strength; b) the search for a political caste sector and the Brazilian elite for a pact to stabilize the situation; Whether as a preventive measure to avoid radicalization of the masses as happened in Chile, or to take a ride on Toffoli’s decision, alleviating the penalties of corruption, the search for pacts opens the possibility for Lula to regain his former role as agent of conciliation – of classes and of political sectors. Toffoli himself has been an organiser of attempts to stabilize bourgeois rule, saving Flavio Bolsonaro himself from investigations and indicating to the government that the STF is supporting that everything continues as it is.

In this new scenario, with free Lula, the Bolsonarism will position itself as those who defend justice. But a significant part of the people no longer listen to their lies. Lula’s freedom is a fair and democratic act, especially because the one who most wanted his arrest is a criminal government. Against Bolsonaro, we will always be with Lula when the government wants to persecute him for his role as leader of the masses of opposition to the authoritarianism of the project of the extreme right. In this sense, his freedom is a victory for all of us. Bolsonaro is our common enemy. In this regard, we are going to follow the orientation voted in our documents: to join all forces to defeat Bolsonaro and the extreme right. And the broadest unity in this case is more than fair, necessary, also, of course, with Lula and his supporters, in what is in the interest of democratic and social struggles.

But we caution the activists: Lula’s strategy of cooperation with banks, contractors and big capitalists was an orientation that disarmed the working class, organizing a defeat that was not of historical proportions, because we are standing and fighting, but it was a defeat that led a large part of the people into such great confusion that it resulted in a tragedy like the Bolsonaro government. And that now, in order to overcome this tragedy, it is necessary to build a left that does not have class collaboration as its strategy.

We know Lula’s orientation: as soon as we continue on our way as an independent left, marching separately, but seeking unity to attack together, when we have agreements in opposition to Bolsonaro and the extreme right. We must strengthen real opposition to Bolsonaro as an imperative task.

We take to the streets to defeat the project that leads Brazil into chaos, which wants to destroy our rights, our sovereignty, our nature and our dignity.

São Paulo, MES/PSOL National Secretariat, November 8, 2019.

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