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President Jair Bolsonaro participated, without masks or protection, in yet another openly coup protest. After the motorcade that gathered hundreds of followers, calling for the closure of the STF and “military intervention,” Bolsonaro made a passionate speech: he said he “reached the limit” and that he “will enforce the Constitution” “with the support of the Armed Forces,” who “would be on the side of the people”.

Bolsonaro referred to the “limit” that the Supreme Court, through Alexandre de Moraes’ decision, imposed on him by barring the appointment of Alexandre Ramagem as head of the Federal Police. Ramagem is a friend of the Bolsonaro family and, according to the indications given by Sérgio Moro when he resigned, his nomination would be directly related to the desire of Bolsonaro to control PF investigations, especially those related to the children of the president in progress in the Rio de Janeiro section of the institution.

The conflict that has arisen since then between Moro and Bolsonaro had another explosive chapter with the 8-hour testimony of the former minister of justice in Curitiba last Saturday. After Moro’s defense requested the suspension of the secrecy of the testimony, its content was released on Tuesday. Moro reaffirms, giving more details, the accusations he made to the president when he resigned: Bolsonaro tried, on more than one occasion, to dismiss the superintendent of the PF in Rio and the former director general Maurício Valeixo, in addition to demanding that “intelligence reports” of the institution, about ongoing investigations, be passed on to him daily.

The political “tug-of-war” is part of a much bigger crisis: Brazil leads the world ranking of death in peripheral countries, even with high rates of underreporting. At the same time, all economic indices are in clear decline.

The health situation is worrying. The situation in Manaus, where the hospital system collapsed, is already repeated in other Brazilian cities, such as Belém, São Luís and Fortaleza, and specialists say it is a matter of days for the public health systems of São Paulo, Rio and Florianópolis to reach full capacity of their ICUs, which will impose on health professionals the choice of who to keep alive with the help of scarce artificial respirators. The overcrowding does not show signs of cooling in the coming weeks, since specialists point out the exponential growth of new infections and an upward curve of contagion and deaths, according to calculations of specialists such as Atila Iamarino.

Little by little, the country is getting to know the human dimension of the deaths by Covid-19 and the tragedy is getting closer to our relatives, friends and references of our culture. The deaths are not numbers: they have faces, names and stories. The loss of Aldir Blanc, a tragedy for Brazil, gives the dimension of the crisis we are facing. It is life that is at stake.

We have presented our analyses and more general elaborations about the crisis and the ways to face it, as in the recent article by Luciana Genro in the portal of the Movemento Magazine. What we want to deepen in this editorial is the analysis of the latest movements of Bolsonaro and how to defeat his authoritarian project.

A year of melting

The “end of the beginning” of the government occurred last May. It was the students and the school community who, with the demonstrations of the “uprising of the books”, stopped the government’s hand for the first time. The massive demonstrations of May 15 and 30, 2019, gathering more than 2 million people, marked the end of the golden age of government, facing its first organized opposition in the streets. Then, the sectors of culture and art also represented a turning point and confrontation.

Almost a year after these events, despite the weakness of the parliamentary opposition, what was seen was the loss of part of the popular support and the isolation of Bolsonaro. Recent surveys, despite some disparities between them, show that the majority of the population is in opposition and considers the Bolsonaro government bad or very bad. The shocks within the government and its support base have led to the loss of allies such as governors, former parliamentary ministers, members of the STF, businessmen, among others.

As a result of multiple pressures, aggravated by Bolsonaro’s criminal policy to deal with Covid-19, the presidential isolation became clear. In an attempt to respond to the new situation, Bolsonaro gives his new card, radicalizing the discourse to maintain the hard core of his social base and trying to co-opt parliamentarians from the “centre” by means of the old “take it, give it” of the distribution of posts, to try to prevent a pro-impeachment majority among deputies and senators from being consolidated.

At the same time that the polarization is growing – with the “motorcades of death” of its supporters and the daily panelaços yelling “Out, Bolsonaro” in Brazilian cities – defecations are growing. After Mandetta and Moro leave the ministry, daily speculation in Brasilia asks who will be next. This month of May doesn’t seem to bring very encouraging prospects for Bolsonaro and his surroundings.

 

The decisive battles are approaching: impeachment of Bolsonaro already!

With the advance of Covid-19, it will be impossible, in a few days, to continue sustaining the reopening of trade. Chaos may prevail with the uncontrolled rise of cases and the collapse of health services. The payment of the emergency aid of 600 reais, in turn, condemns millions of Brazilians to humiliation with its useless application and the failures that force tens of millions of people to run, in desperation, to the Caixa’s agencies [a public bank] to withdraw their money, waiting for hours in the midst of agglomerations. Popular despair and indignation, with the loss of income and lack of support from governments, tends to increase.

The dispute for control of the Federal Police, in turn, should lead to even more tensions, with the revelations of Moro’s testimony threatening Bolsonaro. In addition, other inquiries and accusations weigh on the president – such as the dispute in court over the presentation of his exams to Covid-19 – and his family, involved, for example, in the investigations in Rio de Janeiro that bind her to militiamen and the investigation of the fake news in progress at the STF.

Without presenting any economic or political way out of what is perhaps the most serious crisis in Brazil’s history, Bolsonaro only repeats his threats and claims that he will rely on the Armed Forces. How long will this script work? Social anger, like a tide, is likely to turn against Bolsonaro in a short time, even if the streets are closed to demonstrations. At the same time, the discussion about impeachment is a reality in political circles in the country.

We must unite the protests of health workers to defend their rights with the wishes of the majority who reject Bolsonaro and want to stop their hate machine. The country must fight to flatten the contagion curve and also strive to flatten the already declining “support curve” of Bolsonaro, bringing the hesitant to the side of those who want to shorten their mandate of attacks on the rights of the people and democratic freedoms.

We must unify the ongoing initiatives in a calendar of struggles, supporting the demands of the workers in the front line of the fight against the pandemic. At the same time, it is time to unify the impeachment requests filed and demand an end to the omission of Rodrigo Maia and the National Congress leaders: Impeachment now! Out, Bolsonaro!

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Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder