The Opening of the First National Congress of the CSP-Conlutas Moves Participants
Written by PSTU - Brasil   
Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:18

Several delegations were still arriving at Sumare (SP) while the opening of the 1st CSP-Conlutas Congress begun, on Friday night of April 27th. Far from being a bureaucratic and boring event, the opening got the participants excited and moved. Many of them were coming directly from the women’s conference that happened some hours before.

The very diverse panel reflected also the diversity in the composition and struggles of the union federation. The Congress was opened by the brother Sebastião Carlos, Cacau, member of the national executive leadership of the union. One of the other invitees of the opening session, Benevenuto Daciolo, leader of the firemen of Rio de Janeiro, and unjustly and fired by the Cabral governor after the strike of the division at the beginning of the year, called on the ANEL students that were present to chant the slogan that he had heard during the congress of the student union in 2011: “I am not a puppet of the Federal government, I am a free student of the National Assembly” the students responded at the unison.

“We are here fighting now for amnesty” Daciolo said, denouncing the repressive policy of the government and his arbitrary imprisonment. The fireman invited everybody to the big demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, in front of the Copacabana Palace to be held on May 20th. At the end, Daciolo chanted: “Who are you? Who are you?”and everybody responded “We are the fighting workers!”.

One of the most moving interventions was the one by Dirce Veron, from the Kaiowa and Guarani ethnic group, who was representing indigenous communities. “In our community we are 70 000 indigenous people, and I am here to say “we do exist”” she said. “The Kaiowas, the Guaranis exist” she asserted enthusiastically, denouncing the government who always forgets the indigenous people.

Dirce's father was murdered in a land dispute in Mato Grosso and is demanding the government to acknowledge it. “While I was looking at the grave of my father I was remembering those who only come here for the elections and then do not come anymore.” The representative from the indigenous people said that, for the government, “we do not have any value, the only ones who have value there are the cattle.”

The Egyptian activist Fatma Ramadan, who had participated in the women conference, was also at the opening panel. She was representing the Federation of Independent Trade-Unions of Egypt and spoke about the importance of the workers struggles for the overthrow of the Mubarak regime: “From 2000 until the fall of Mubarak on January 25th 2011, Egyptian workers organized more than 3 000 strikes.”

The high-school student from Chile, Camilo Pinto, also talked about the recent struggles that trembled the country ruled by Piñera.

The opening panel was also composed, among other trade-union leaders, by Mane Melato, from the Steelworkers Union of Campinas, representing the Intersindical union. Even though he brought up some polemical issues, he emphazised the need to be united in the struggles. And finally, Jose Maria de Almeida, Ze Maria, thanked all the participants and insisted in the importance of the international delegations, reaffirming the need to unite the struggles, even though today we cannot yet unify the different organizations. He welcomed too the sectors that are coming close to CSP-Conlutas, like the Fenasps (Federation of public workers).



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