Mon Dec 11, 2023
December 11, 2023

INTERVIEW : “The importance of the CSP-Conlutas Congress in Brazil lies in its class independence,” says Atnágoras Lopes

By: Roberto Aguiar, from Salvador (BA

The Fifth National CSP-Conlutas Congress will be held at the Clube Guapira in the city of São Paulo, Brazil from September 7 to 10 under the slogan “Where the struggles against governments, bosses, and all forms of oppression meet.”

This event is taking place at a moment of particular importance in the Brazilian workers’ struggle. Now more than ever it is important to reaffirm the relevance of classism, independence from governments and bosses, democracy, and internationalism. Opinião Socialista (Socialist Opinion) interviewed construction worker Atnágoras Lopes, who is a member of the National Executive Secretariat of CSP-Conlutas.

Opinião Socialista – What is the importance Fifth National Congress of CSP-Conlutas, particularly in the context of the Lula-Alckmin class conciliation government, which is being supported by the other trade union centers?

Atnágoras Lopes -The importance of our congress lies in its class independence vis-à-vis the government and the bosses. We will bring together more than a thousand leaders from trade unions, popular struggles, anti-oppression movements, youth, rural workers, quilombola, and indigenous peoples. They are leaders of hundreds of organizations that did not surrender and did not capitulate to the Lula-Alckmin government of class conciliation, as did the biggest trade union centers of our country.

The resolutions that emerge from our congress will serve as a point of support for the organization of the struggle against the Lula-Alckmin government’s economic policy, including the Fiscal Framework and the Tax and Administrative reforms. These are measures that favor bankers, big business, and agribusiness, and that are provoking cuts in social services such as Health and Education. We cannot accept this! Along with this, we will continue to demand that the Lula government repeal 100% of the Labor, Pension and the New High School reforms. Likewise, we will remain firm in the struggle for agrarian reform, for the demarcation and official recognition of all indigenous and quilombola lands, and against the genocidal Temporary Framework.

OS -Apart from the struggle in defense of the rights of the workers and of the oppressed and exploited sectors, with class independence from the Lula-Alckmin government, how is CSP-Conlutas confronting the far-right sectors that continue to operate in our country?

AL -We are aware that Bolsonaro’s electoral defeat was a victory for the Brazilian working class. But that does not mean that the far-right is dead. Our Congress will debate and deliberate policies to combat the far-right’s nefarious project. That is why we advocate for the imprisonment of the coup plotters and financiers of January 8.

Within that same context, we have also debated and will advance resolutions on the need to organize the self-defense of our class in order to confront the far-right and also respond to the repression of the state apparatus against our democratic freedoms and our rights, such as demonstrations, organization, and strikes. Our congress will point out ways for us to strengthen our work in those areas.

OS -CSP-Conlutas organizes urban and rural workers, youth, native peoples, and movements that fight against oppression. How will all of these sectors be represented at the congress?

AL -The slogan of our congress is “Where the struggles against the governments, the bosses, and all forms of oppression meet,” precisely because we seek to unify, in direct and organizational struggle, the whole of our class against the evils of the capitalist system, its very structure, and its agents.

We will have four days of intense and diversified debates in groups, plenary sessions, meetings of different sectors, self-managed activities, and a lot of workers’ democracy. There will be workers, Black men and women, women’s groups, public employees, LGBTI+ folks, indigenous peoples, quilombola residents, peasants, youth organizations, urban popular movements, immigrants, outsourced workers, and workers from the tech sector. In short, the full spectrum of our class will be present and represented, which will contribute to the strengthening of our organization, its trade union and popular character, and will stimulate the construction of a field of unified action and left opposition to the Lula-Alckmin government, and in the struggle against the far right.

What will the congress be like?

The Fifth National Congress of CSP-Conlutas

From September 7 to 10, at Clube Guapira, São Paulo (SP)

The delegate election assemblies are already being held:

– Metalworkers from São José dos Campos and Region will be represented by 45 delegates and 45 observers who know the reality of factory labor and will be able to bring this knowledge to enrich the discussions.

– The Tremembé Indigenous People, from Maranhão, a community in the process of demarcating the Mill’s territory, will hold an assembly next Saturday, the 12th.

– Civil construction workers from Belém have already held an assembly, as well as chemical workers from São José dos Campos and the Region.

– Workers from the South Fluminense region are organizing travel by bus.

Article published in, 9/8/2023.-

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