Lessons from the 3rd of July

Image: Action Group


The political struggle against neo-fascists will take place in all spaces

“You shouldn't change tactics when you're winning” (French popular wisdom).

The national day of July 3rd was a victory, and it left behind three lessons. The first is that the strength of the United Left Front can keep strong pressure for impeachment in the streets. Bolsonaro's fall is not for tomorrow, but it is placed as a possibility on the horizon. It's not imminent. We are still on the scale of tens of thousands in the big cities, and the overthrow of the extreme right government requires the presence of a mass of millions.

It will be a continuous process, it will demand determination, it has to be built, but it is a perspective far superior to the quietist tactic of a slow wear and tear waiting for the 2022 elections. It would be an unforgivable opportunistic mistake to miss the opportunity.

The second is that it is possible to divide, split and breach ruling class parties. This dynamic is still initial, incipient, embryonic, but it is in place and cannot be wasted. One cannot fight, at the same time and with the same intensity, against all enemies. Unity in action with the parties that historically represent the bourgeoisie is essential. A sector of the big capitalists is already in opposition. But the mass of the bourgeoisie still supports Bolsonaro. Therefore, apprehension and insecurity with the impeachment prevails. It would be a second interruption of presidential term in five years. Something that reveals the instability of the regime to contain the excesses of an extreme right government.

The impact of shifting massive sectors of the middle classes to support the impeachment would be a spectacular victory, and would greatly help a possible change in the balance of political forces in the National Congress. The support of leaders of the liberal right for Bolsonaro's impeachment is progressive. It would be an unforgivable sectarian error to overlook the importance of unity in action.

The third is that two actions by tiny groups unfortunately had dangerous repercussions in São Paulo. The first was the gratuitous attacks on Toucan LGBT activists. It was not a self-defence action in the face of an attack by fascists. PSDB militants are not fascists, and were legitimately present supporting the Fora Bolsonaro program.

The second was the depredations and provocations towards the PM's at the end of the march, as had already happened on June 19, by anarchist supporters of the tactic black block. Both are being widely used on social media by the extreme right to denounce, disqualify and demoralize mobilizations for impeachment. It would be an unforgivable ultra-leftist mistake not to guarantee security control of the next mobilizations.

The acts in more than three hundred cities, and presence in many around the world, confirm that the Fora Bolsonaro campaign continues in the process of accumulating forces. In Porto Alegre and Fortaleza, for example, the 3rd of July was higher than the 29th of May and the 19th of June. In other capitals they were similar. In still others they were a little smaller, but still powerful. There was no leap in quality. But the characterization of a crime of prevarication has already imposed the opening of an investigation of Bolsonaro by decision of the STF.

The emergency convening of the national day of demonstrations on July 3rd was a lucid and courageous decision. Taken on Saturday, June 26, the day after Bolsonaro's crime was revealed in the face of allegations of the purchase of the covaxin vaccine, the risks taken were not small. Just fifteen days after the June 19th day, and still in very dangerous conditions of the pandemic, the Fora Bolsonaro committee was unanimous. The unity of the Left Front was preserved. Over the next seven days, political fissures grew and support for the demonstrations grew, with right-wing ex-Bolsonaristas and liberal right-wing leaders joining.

The unified impeachment super-request was also a smart initiative. Presented jointly by all leftist parties with roots among workers and a reference in socialism, therefore, the same class field, but also by Bolsonarism dissidents, such as Joyce Hasserlmann and the MBL, it was a firm and mature gesture.

It is a parliamentary tactic that could thrive. And it reassures and helps raise the morale of the left-wing militancy that is restless, tormented, and anxious in the face of the seriousness of the sanitary and social hecatomb and the slowness of the outcome of the crisis. We all know that Bolsonaro will not fall from maturity, and there is danger “around the corner”. But, the most important thing is that this Saturday, July 3, 2021, the horizon of Bolsonaro's impeachment got closer.

It is not true that Bolsonaro is the ideal enemy in a runoff in 2022. It is not true that the greatest danger to the strategy of a leftist government would be a candidacy from the left of the liberal right. It is not true that impeachment is of more interest to those articulating a right-wing candidacy disguised as a center. It is not true that fighting for impeachment now and now, with all our might, is building a ladder for the toucans to return to the presidency.

Bolsonarism is not an electoral current, it is neo-fascism. They are prepared and will not hesitate to launch a frontal attack on democratic freedoms, when they feel cornered before 2022. Bolsonaro is weakening, but he is not an unburied political corpse. He can recover. At some point, we will witness a sense of relief as the consequences of the pandemic subside. An economic recovery is already underway, albeit slowly.

The defeat of the Bolsonaro government is only possible if the neo-fascist current that supports it is contained, isolated, repressed and demoralized. There is a militant neo-fascist party under construction as a shock force at the service of a self-coup project. They are inflexible, sectarian, angry, infuriated, therefore, uncontainable. His exaltation obeys a plan to spread hatred and impose fear. Prepare for the power struggle. They rely on a reactionary mass current. They respect nothing but strength.

Their strategy is to destroy the left. All left. Activists from environmental, feminist, black, indigenous, LGBT's, student, popular and union movements. The most moderate and the most radical parties. They will not let themselves be intimidated by decisions by Congress or the STF. They can only be defeated by a motivated, combative, resolute, and unwavering left-wing militant force.

Those who calculate that we can choose the terrain on which we will measure forces with Bolsonarism are dramatically mistaken, and we should prioritize the electoral. The political struggle against neo-fascists will take place in all spaces: in institutions, in elections, but it will be decided by the social shock force that is most powerful at the time of mass mobilizations. This mobilization against the fascists will only be able to galvanize the popular masses if, in addition to the defense of democratic freedoms, it includes proposals that respond to the most felt anxieties.

* Valerio Arcary is a retired professor at IFSP. Author, among other books, of Revolution meets history (Shaman).

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