Why we do not participate in the protests in defense of Lula


On the 24th, Lula’s trial took place in the Court of Appeal, in Porto Alegre’s TRF4 (4th Regional Federal Court,) for one of the nine or ten legal suits he faced, related to corruption.
By PSTU National Leadership
The PT, the PCdoB, the PSOL, the MST, the MTST and all organizations that are part of the Frente Brasil Popular and Frente Povo Sem Medo order their agenda from the call to the working class and popular masses to mobilize in Porto Alegre, and to participate in protests all over the country in Lula’s defense and in defense of his candidacy for president, with the mottos “In defense of Democracy” and “election without Lula is fraud.”
This demonstration is also supported by a manifesto, with signatures of personalities like Paulinho da Força Sindical, and most Federations (except CSP-Conlutas); videos, like the ones made by Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL) and Eunicio de Oliveira (PMDB-CE); and even statements by the main bourgeois political figures, like Temer, Alckmin, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso [FHC].
We reaffirm that it is not a task of the working class to participate in the demonstrations in defense of Lula, neither in events against Lula.
The working-class’ task is to unite in a General Strike to bury the Social Security reform for good; against Temer and this corrupt Congress, and to build a class independent and socialist alternative for the ones below to defeat the ones above and rule against the explorers.
The PSOL (the majority of its leftist internal currents) says that they are not “Lulist,” and that they do not support his program and candidacy (it would be good to clarify: in the first round…) but they call to participate in demonstrations in defense of his right to run.
They claim to have differences with the PT but they are still campaigning in Lula’s defense because him being banned from running would mean a “coup against democracy;” if Lula is sentenced and, because of it, he cannot run, the coup would be strengthening. The trial is just a political persecution, marked cards but no proofs, aiming to erase him from the equation while other corrupt politicians are still allowed to run.
Consequent with this, they fight for Lula’s acquittal for him to be allowed run for presidency under any circumstance. In other words, for him to be “tried” electorally but not legally. And if this does not happen, for some it means the deepening of a “State of Exception” (so, a dictatorship,) and for others, it means to be breaking with the “Democratic Rule of Law.”
It is funny that both the Plea-bargaining and the Ficha Limpa Law[1] (which could disqualify Lula) were passed during the PT terms, with the PT support, and therefore as part of the bourgeoisie “Rule of Law” that the PT (and the PSOL) defend so much. Unless we were under a “State of Exception” before, under Lula and Dilma’s terms, and nobody knew…
But this was not the case, and it not the case now. It would be justified to mobilize democratically against the persecution of a politician or political sector if it meant the change of the political regime per se, but that is not what is happening.
Lula’s right of defense is granted. Even with arbitrariness or illegalities in any of the juridical instances, Lula has countless appeals in each one of those instances. It is not even forehand defined that, if sentenced,[2] he will be banned from running. Indeed, from the political point of view of the majority of the bourgeoisie, he is a preferred candidate.
The fact that he is not the bourgeoisie’s favorite candidate (at least for now) does not mean that he does not have the support of (and alliances with) important bourgeois businessmen and politicians. And we cannot discard the possibility of him having an even wider support if his candidacy becomes a fact, as the bourgeoisie is fully confident that Lula is not a threat – not to neo-liberalism, and even less to capitalism. We already have a new letter from the PT to the market… sorry, to the Brazilian people.
A different thing is that, in the current crisis, they have full control of the law. But we insist, it is not a task for the working class to stick its neck out for Lula’s innocence, neither to stop his investigation and trial for corruption. Workers must demand all corrupt ones and corrupters to be judged, not for Lula to not be tried.
Neither should we trust the bourgeoise justice or believe it is fair. Lula and the PT ruled with and for the bourgeoisie, so why should they not be tried by the bourgeois justice for their actions in alliance with, and serving, this same bourgeoisie? Nevertheless, they should have, without a doubt, the right to defend like anyone else.
To join the events in support of Lula’s candidacy as if what was in check was the bourgeoisie democratic regime in the country is to politically support one of the two bourgeois fractions in dispute: the one of class-collaboration, headed by PT and Lula (and composed by Renan Calheiros and so many others.)
Saying that Lula cannot be tried or investigated, and even less sentenced by the bourgeois justice because he is a supposed “representative” of the class and the people, or because he is part of a “progressive bourgeois field” is a major de-education for the proletariat.
It is practically saying that the PT ruled against the bourgeois and for the working class instead of making part of a government with the same thieves that make part of Temer office, in service of banks, construction companies, big industries, and agribusiness. We must remember that Temer was Dilma’s vice-president and that Gedel (the one of the bags with money) as well as Padilha, Moreira Franco, and all that gang, were the base of the PT government.
Is the bourgeoise justice partial? Of course it is! The bourgeois “Rule of Law” applies every day a practical, formal, and unfair justice. We do not have any illusion in this justice of the rich. Otherwise, Rafael Braga and almost half of the 700 thousand prisoners in the country (most of them arrested without police records; not just without evidence but even without trials) would not be in jail, and no uptown lady would put a poor home-maid in jail for stealing a can of peas.
It is good to remember that good part of this happened during the PT governments, under the “Rule of Law” that it defends. The PSOL and the PT want the working class to believe there could be a fair justice under capitalism.
We do not defend the bourgeois justice and we do not consider it impartial nor free from arbitrariness. But we do not think that the bourgeois rules should not or could not be tried by it. To defend the opposite is to defend an even bigger impunity to the ones above.
A different thing is to defend the democratic rights we conquered when we defeated the dictatorship: civil rights; freedom of speech, organization, and press, and also individual guaranties, like the right of defense. It is of workers’ interest to preserve the democratic freedoms, and we will always be in the front line of its defense (and, yes, authoritarism and repression, as well as the cut of democratic freedoms for activists and the poor people deepened, especially after 2013). But not to stop the investigations of cases of corruption but in defense of activists and poor people. In this regard, the PT as government strengthened authoritarism and repression with the ani-terrorist bill and other measures against [social] movements.
The PT considers the enormous mobilization of 2013 as reactionary, understands the investigations, trials and prisons for corrupt ones and corrupters as authoritarianism. We think that arresting and confiscating the assets of all corrupt ones and corrupters is a democratic measure. We defend that all corrupt ones and corrupters should be investigated, tried, and arrested, have their assets confiscated, and their companies should be expropriated and put under workers’ control.
Although we do not think the bourgeoise justice will grant this precisely because corruption is part of the capitalist system, we do not defend impunity.
The PT and anyone has the right to mobilize in defense of Lula. In this regard, we condemn the editorial of the newspaper O Globo of some days ago, which charged the PT with any security issues that might take place in the demonstration in Porto Alegre. This is non-sense, the PT or whoever wants to has the right to demonstrate, and if there is a security issue, it is because of this government and its repression forces.
Now, to pose Lula’s defense (and his candidacy and electoral campaign) as if it was a workers’ need and part of the defense of democratic freedoms is ridiculous. Those are very different things.
Workers’ interest is to defeat the Temmer administration plans (market plans, a continuation of Dilma’s) and to build a class alternative, independent from the bourgeoisie. To channel workers into that campaign deviates them from their real tasks, the immediate and strategic ones. The class has no business joining Lula’s defense demonstrations, nor any other bourgeois sector’s, like the MBL against Lula.
The call by groups like the MBL for Lula’s prison is pure demagogy, and a lie. Groups calling for these demos support the PSDB, the MDB, and all the corrupt ones in the Temer government. If it is to demand prison for someone, they should begin by Temer himself, and Aécio, FHC, Alckmin and all the corrupt ones.
Now, to join forces with the PT in its mobilization in defense of Lula and his candidacy, affirming he is innocent or denying the investigation and trial by the bourgeoise justice, as well as to say that he cannot be subjected to the law, endorses governments to be connivant with the class-conciliation bourgeois field that it represents.
The PT ran the country for 14 years with this den of bandits currently in the Temer administration (it is worth to recall that Temer was Dilma’s vice president,) and it is still an ally to some part of the alleged “pro-coup.” It is a poor story to say that only the PT fell in the trap of the “Lava-Jato,” because the PMDB, PSDB, PP and some others are also involved. Also, it is evident that there is a unified front between all of them to suffocate the investigations. This includes the commom defense by the PT, PSDB, and PMDB in the TSE trial that could separate Temer from office. If they consider that the PT is “suffering more,” they should demand more investigations to the others instead of general impunity.
The truth is that the PSOL and other political currents that whose current agenda is to defend Lula see themselves as part of the same Lulist field of class cooperation, even with differences in some specific proposals and alliances. They are “the left wing” of the PT, within the limits of the current order. They will definitely call to vote for Lula in the second round (if they do not support him in the first round already) if he runs.
We insist that the main task for the working class is to unite in the struggle, in a general strike to defeat the Social Security reform for good, and against Temer and this Congress. Secondly, it is necessary to build an independent class alternative for the ones below against the ones on the top, instead of becoming prisoners, once again, of a group of bankers and constructors that look up for their own interests and the enrichment of a few. To this, it is vital for the class to complete the already existing process of rupture with Lula and the PT, which far from transforming the bourgeois State were fully transformed by it.
Regarding the corrupt ones and corrupters, we must keep defending prison for them and confiscation of their assests – All of them.
Translation: Eduardo Correia Neto
[1] Law that forbids one to candidate in case s/he has been judged guilty by any crime
[2] He was, in fact, sentenced to 12 years.


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