against immobility

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By PAULO GALO, HUGO OTTATI & VINICIUS SOUZA*

A call from the left to the streets is needed

In the midst of a serious health crisis, with an average of more than a thousand deaths a day in the country and situations such as the health collapse in Manaus, Bolsonaro's posture, sometimes of omission, sometimes of anti-popular measures, highlights its genocidal and your project of death. It's not about incompetence; but of political choice.

As if the defense of an ultraliberal economic agenda were not enough, which, by itself, paves the way for the precariousness and generalized spoliation of the life and work of the Brazilian people, the posture assumed by your government in the face of the pandemic is translated into the absence of an effective plan of mass vaccination; in the refusal in relation to the continuity of the emergency aid; in the discourse against science and in the anti-vaccination campaign; in the deliberate omission in the face of the collapse announced in the health system of Manaus; and reflects its direct responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

In the sphere of institutional dispute, disregarding his apparently anti-systemic speech, Bolsonaro did what is oldest in politics and what was already imagined: the give-and-take and the purchase of votes from deputies and physiological parties with representation in the National Congress to ensure the victory of its candidate for the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP).

But this movement is not surprising, nor is Bolsonaro's indifference to mass death; or the unemployment that affects more than 14 million people and the discouragement that reaches more than 5 million; or even the growing number of Brazilian men and women living in extreme poverty in the country. In fact, contempt for life has always been a hallmark of its history and an integral part of its political project.
What is, to say the least, troubling is the lack of action; a certain “immobility”. Without intending to reduce the pots and pans that are intensifying across Brazil, which undoubtedly constitute legitimate demonstrations, it must be said that they are evidently insufficient to overthrow Bolsonaro. In this context of barbarism, at the center of the political debate during the month of January was an institutional dispute in the Chamber of Deputies, polarized between two liberal and conservative candidates that in no way contemplate the working class. Sides that until yesterday were working together in the 2016 coup; in the approval of the labor reform, total outsourcing, the PEC of the Expenditure Ceiling, the pension reform and the dismantling of the timid framework of existing social protection.

It is worrying to note that left-wing socialist parties and organizations have had their discussions and efforts over the last month directed towards this dispute between Baleia Rossi (MDB) and Arthur Lira (PP); and that it has even lost the opportunity, within the limits of institutionality, to endorse an independent and radical candidacy from the left, carrying in its program agendas that meet the urgent needs of the working class. Definitely “the hook of the right turned the left into a fish” as Criolo said, during most of the last two months the left and the progressive camp were caught in this debate between two sides of the same coin.

In the end, Arthur Lira, candidate supported by Bolsonaro, and the policy of “whoever pays the most, takes it” won with the release of billions in amendments – and it is worth mentioning: with the support of parliamentarians said to be “from the progressive field”, hidden in the vote secret.

Bolsonaro's defeat necessarily involves building a project for the country, a program, and a lot of grassroots work and popular mobilization; and not a scarecrow in a suit, in the corridors of Parliament, who contemplates everything from Dória to Luciano Huck; from Maia to Baleia Rossi; from MDB to DEM. These characters and parties were never truly concerned, beyond empty speeches, with our lives.

The maintenance of the mobilization of the US extreme right even with the electoral defeat of Trump gives us the key to understanding that these phenomena of the new extreme right cannot be defeated only at the polls. It is necessary that we abandon purely institutional illusions such as the one that placed this Chamber election at the center of the political debate in the country, at the same time that Brazil is swept by a tsunami of deaths, without returning here to the direct impacts that the crisis has on us. exploited and oppressed sectors of Brazil. It is necessary to break with the limits imposed by the purely institutional view of politics (which does not mean abandoning the institutional struggle), which puts us in a game where, regardless of the result, the worker is defeated.

Therefore, it is urgent that the left, who took to the streets to ask for votes during the electoral process, understanding the contradictions and challenges posed at that moment, do not be afraid to make an urgent call for Bolsonaro to be out, for the vaccination of all and for the right to quarantine with decent income; through the construction of a front of struggle in the streets, from the base, to overthrow the ongoing genocidal project in the country.

* Paulo Galo is a delivery man.

* Hugo Ottati is a union lawyer.

* Vinicius Souza is a PSol militant.

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