Fri Aug 12, 2022
August 12, 2022

After M15, General Strike Now!

The huge mobilization that shook the country on March 15th has shown that the general strike in fully possible. The working class showed it has the willingness to struggle, a lot of strength, and that it is possible to defeat Temer’s reforms.
By PSTU – Brazil.
Until now, the only obstacle for a general strike has been the leadership of the movement. It is necessary for the Unions to do their part. It is no further possible to justify the absence of a date for a General Strike to take place.
Over the last months, the majority of unions rejected the CSP–Conlutas’ proposal to call for a General Strike. They said the working class was not willing carry a strike as there was a conservative wave in the country, and the class was defensive after the coup.
These were the CUT leaders’ allegations, for example. On its side, the Força Sindical appealed to a negotiation of reforms, arguing there would not be enough strength to fully defeat them once Temer was really strong, as said by Paulinho da Força.[1]
M15 proved categorically that the problem is not on the rank and file but at the heads. The class wants and is willing to make a General Strike. It is an true crime against workers that leaders seek to negotiate the reforms. These amendments represent severe attacks to Retirement. For example, the minimal age defended by Paulinho da Força is 60 instead of 65…
The task is to block the approval of these reforms. This is possible through a General Strike, which will only not happen if the Unions refuse to call for a unitarian date.
And, if they don’t, it will be up to the rank and file Unions and Committees of Struggle Against Reforms to take the task and do what has to be done.
Out With Temer, Out With All of Them!
Temer, with his best poker face on, said on the 15th that most of the population supports his reforms. The Govern and the Congress are a gang of corrupts who only represent themselves and half a dozen of bankers and big corporations.
This is why we defend to take this government and all the corrupt ones down, including the all the scammers in the Congress.
Workers need a government to stop the bleeding of public resources and quit the payment of the public debt to the bankers; a government in which the ones below rule through Popular Councils; a workers’ Socialist government without bosses and corrupt ones. Brazil needs a revolution from below to defeat the ones on the top.
Lula Does Not Speak on Our Behalf!
The Federations called M15 as a unitary day of stoppages and demonstrations against the Social Security and Labor reforms.
It was a very strong day that evidenced that rank and file is ready for a General Strike, unlike what the leaders of the Federations claimed. Another aspect that became evident is the willingness to struggle and the discontent with these reforms, the government, the Congress and the corrupt ones.
Most people present is not controlled by the Federations’ leaderships, what reminded of June 2013 demonstrations. At the same time, it was different in its social composition. M15 was clearly built by the working class and popular sectors.
The participation of Lula in Sao Paulo’s event was polemic. Lula closing the event does not strengthen our struggle. Trying to turn a unified action against the reforms into a platform for 2018 Elections weakens and divides. Currently, 90% of the people is against Temer and his reforms and in favor of General Strike. However, more than 50% do not support “Lula 2018”, and even less the “Come Back Dilma”.
A demonstration as M15 at Avenida Paulista should be coordinated by the same ones who called for stoppages and mobilizations, which is to say the united command of the Federations. However, the Frente Povo Sem Medo [Front People Without Fear], in a divisive and opportunistic way (with the support of the PT and the CUT) tried to turn the protest into an action of the Frente Ampla [Broad Front], putting Lula’s and the PT’s defense above the united action. The broadest unity of action is necessary to build the General Strike and defeat the reforms, and this is not about pro-Lula 2018 events.
In a unitary demonstration, all the supporting parties should have the right to speak. Thus, the PT can decide who speaks on its behalf. Just like the right to speak must be granted to Paulinho da Força’s Solidariedade and any others that are against the Social Security reforms and in favor of the General Strike occasionally.
The protest’s leitmotiv has to be clear. The participation of everyone aiming to defeat the reforms should be granted. Thus, it is not Lula who should be closing the event. If he speaks, he should be like any other speaker. It must be clear that this is not his action nor an act on his defense.
The General Strike is possible and necessary, and unity of action around it relies on the struggle to defeat the reforms.
We stand for “Out With Temer, Out With All of Them!”. We do not defend the possibility of going back to a Lula’s government, nor a government of PSDB, as they will continue ruling for the rich.
We defend to overthrow the ones on the top for the ones below to rule, through Popular Councils, to guarantee full employment by putting an end to the privileges of bankers, multinationals, and corrupt ones.
Translation: Eduardo Correia Neto.
Originally published @ Opinião Socialista #532.
[1] Paulo Pereira da Silva, known as Paulinho da Força, president of the Union Força Sindical [Union Strenght] and leader of the party Solidarity.

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