From October 12 to 15, the 3rd Congress of CSP-Conlutas will take place in Sumaré (São Paulo) with over 2000 delegates, elected in more than 500 rank and file assemblies all over the country. The Congress will debate the situation of the country and the world and the challenges for the workers.
By: Atnágoras Lopes, by the National Executive Secretariat – CSP-Conlutas.
The CSP-Conlutas project will also be on debate. It will be an active and democratic congress. Different opinions will be expressed, and the base will decide the next steps. The voted contributions and proposal of resolutions will be available in the CSP-Conlutas site [http://cspconlutas.org.br/English/].
The CSP-Conlutas is an achievement in matter of organization, of class independence, of workers’ democracy, of combativity, and of the direct action of workers and popular sectors in Brazil. Hence, it has played a significant role so far in workers’ struggles.
Decisive role in the fight for unity of action to struggle
The role of CSP-Conlutas has been essential and even determinant in several moments to build and grant the broadest unity of action to fight and defeat the obstacles to impose a direct and unified action of the working class and popular sectors.
So it was in the articulation of the national metalworkers’ strike of 2016, and in the process that gave origin to the Day of Struggle during the first semester of 2017 against the reforms, opening the way for the rank and file to impose, on March 15, a strong day of mobilization and stoppages, which was a lever for the General Strike of April 28.
It also had a vital role in the demonstration of May 24, in Brasilia. It denounced the dismantling of the General Strike –originally called for June 30– by the leadership of the main Federations, by the PT, by Solidariedade, by the PCdoB, the FBP [Broad Front Popular Brazil], and by the FAD [Broad Front for Direct Elections], all of them campaigning for the election of 2018.
Our Federation is still minor, but it was in the first line of constructing the broadest unity of action to struggle, from the unification of metal workers’ unions from different Federations. The Activism Encounter of September 29 proposed November 10 as a unified Day of Struggles, once again surpassing obstacles and opening the way to fight, from below, for a general strike to defeat the government and reforms.
This proves that our Federation has been present in the struggles, trying to unify the working class as a whole, without losing its autonomy, linked to the real processes and together with our class in struggle. The balance of the Federation for the last period is a lesson of Unity-Confrontation.
Let’s defend the class independence nature of the CSP-Conlutas
The main debates will be regarding the evaluation of the current situation of Brazil and the world, mainly on orientations, priorities, and the nature of the Federation.
The working class’ strength and disposal to struggle
Unlike most bureaucratic Federations, blaming the workers for not having enough disposal to struggle, and Temer’s strength –with only 3% popularity- the CSP-Conlutas states that the leadership is the problem and that it is necessary to continue betting on the mobilization of our class.
This debate has to be present in the Congress, as there are sectors that defend that the workers and struggles as a whole are defensive. This was already posed to the interior of the Federation, when a small portion defended that the General Strike of April 28 was impossible due to lack of workers’ disposal to struggle.
Against their prognostics, the working class carried out what was probably the strongest General Strike ever seen in Brazil. And our Federation had a decisive role in it.
After the betrayal by the Federations’ leadership on June 30 and the operation of dismantling by the FBP, FPSM, PT and all of them, the labor reform passed in the Congress, and Temer won an after-life buying deputies. This debate will re-emerge, and the Congress will have to define: was it because of the base or because of the leadership that there was no general strike on June 30?
It is also incorrect to believe that, when capitalists impose a setback to any of our consequests it means that the working class has no disposal to struggle. From 2013 on, there are more struggles of the working class, popular sectors, and youth. We count, now, the highest number of strikes since the boom of the 80s, and this year we had the first General Strike since 1989. What there is, yes, is a polarization of class struggle, because there is a capitalist crisis.
The problem of the working class is not its lack of disposal to struggle but most of its leadership, attached to capitalists and defending the institutions, prioritizing the election over the struggles.
This is one of the historic bases of CSP-Conlutas, which allowed the Federation to be able to confront the bourgeois government of class collaboration of Lula and Dilma, and now, coherently, of Temer. It is essential to keep the class struggle against the bourgeois blocks (PMDB/PSDB/DEM/Bolsonaro, but also against the block of the PT with all other bourgeois sectors) independently of who is in power and who in the opposition. There is no progressive bourgeois block.
The PT, now part of the Federal opposition, continues constructing a block committed with capitalist economic growth, and it keeps labor organizations and social movements subjected to that project. The FBP, the Frente Amplo pelas Diretas, the FPSM, and the recent platform Vamos are all articulated around an electoral project of class collaboration, led by the PT and Lula.
From our point of view, we have to build a broad unity to struggle. Such is the way to defeat the bourgeois attacks, and in the process, move forward in the organization from below towards popular power. We will not defeat the government’s attacks through an election, and it would be a setback to dissolve the CSP-Conlutas in the interior of class collaboration initiatives whose priority is the election.
To mobilize, to carry out unified actions and a General Strike, we should construct the broadest unity of action, as we have been aiming to. The CSP-Conlutas should keep its original role, of broad unity to struggle, but keeping its nature of being a class independence pole to present and build, in direct ation, a workers’ and socialist alternative to the crisis.
To deepen the workers’, popular, and union nature
This might have been the biggest and bravest achievement of the CSP-Conlutas existence. The strategic struggle for the socialist revolution in Brazil demands to root the Federation in the working class, to organize all other sectors of the working class and major popular sectors of the city and the countryside. The advance of CSP-Conlutas in gathering and organizing working and poor and oppressed sectors must be deepened.
To build the CSP also in those spaces, turning it into the most working, black, and popular federation, is something strategic. To organize the ones below to defeat the ones above, to transform the society and achieve socialism: such is our goal.
The CSP-Conlutas has a virtue, which is to be led by its instances of deliberation (supported in base delegates, in the entities of the movement, and its rank-and-file representation,) in which the most important one is the Congress, from the implementation of workers’ democracy and not by agreement or consensus between political currents. Consensus as a method of functioning means, in practice, a dictatorship of the minority over the majority.
Action Plan – To build Novemeber 10 towards the General Strike
A high point of the Congress will be the definition of the Action Plan, which will certainly be an important boost to build, through the base, a strong November 10, to build through the base a new lever to put once again the General Strike in the Agenda.
100 years – Russian Revolution is part of our Congress
There will be a central panel debating this on Firday 13, at 10 am. Also, several organizations will present materials and activities during the breaks.
The IWL and PSTU will present a documentary on the Russian Revolution.
Internationalism – International Encounter after the Congress
On October 16 and 17, it will take place the First Encounter of the American Working Class, in São Paulo, encouraged by the Labor Solidarity and Struggle Network.
The goal is to organize the workers’ struggles against the attacks of imperialism and capitalism in the continent, United States included, and strengthen the Network.
Representatives of at least 10 countries will be present, besides several representatives of countries of Africa and the Middle East.
Check it out here
You can check the schedule, proposal of contributions, resolutions, and other information in the CSP-Conlutas Congress Site: