The third Lula government – ​​rebuilding human rights

Jack Butler Yeats, A Rose Among Many Waters, 1952.


Bolsonarist neo-fascism deconstructed decades of conquests. A popular-democratic government needs to have Human Rights as its programmatic nucleus

Demoralizing everything related to human rights in society and destroying, one by one, the set of policies for the defense, protection and promotion of these rights are axes of the government of Jair M. Bolsonaro. Neo-fascism has been carrying out a brutal offensive in the political-cultural-ideological terrain – against the ideas of solidarity, diversity, pluralism and dignity.

The ongoing coup under which we live, which started in 2016, allowed the transformation of Bolsonarism into the main vector of bourgeois domination in Brazil. The fusion of Paulo Guedes' neoliberalism with Jair Bolsonaro's authoritarianism resulted in what is the worst and most regressive government in our history.

Neo-fascism is incessantly engaged in political, ideological and cultural struggle – targeting people's rights and democratic freedoms. Hate speeches that prioritize the attack on women, LGBTI, black women, indigenous people, the poor – and culture, science, education.

Therefore, the main task of the left, the progressive camp, the PT and Lula: to face this tsunami of darkness from now on. No fear, no pretense (or supposedly mistaken electoral pragmatism). It's time to raise flags and fight: to reaffirm what we are, to proclaim our set of democratic, libertarian, humanist, feminist, anti-fascist and anti-racist values.

Lula's campaign against the former captain will not be a common electoral dispute. It will only make sense because it will become a social, popular, political, cultural whirlwind – mobilizing millions, exciting the youth above all, putting into motion what is best in the country (as we did in 1989).

This third Lula government (the president knows this) is destined to be exceptional. Or it won't be. First, it will have to re-constitutionalize the country. That is, to revoke the dismantling that was operated in recent years. Right off. Furthermore, in order to meet the expectations and needs of the majority of the people, it will be necessary to be bold enough to be able to do much more than we did in previous governments. Not just rebuild, but move forward. Very.

The human rights agenda must necessarily be located in the central articulating nucleus of the program. A vector of social and cultural mobilization. The third Lula government will undo all of Bolsonaro's misfortunes, putting the people in motion, innovating.

Starting on the first day: we will revoke, in a stroke of the pen, all decrees, ordinances and administrative measures of Damares/Bolsonaro. Dissolve infralegal setbacks at once. Lula will recreate the Ministry of Human Rights, the Ministry of Women, of Racial Equality, of Culture – and will restructure the National Youth Secretariat. In the first days of January 2023, the Minister of Human Rights will convene a gigantic Popular Conference on Human Rights, which will have the task of approving the main lines of the National Human Rights Plan 4.

In the construction of these proposals (in articulation/alliance with universities, social movements, party leaders), there are some ideas that already have a reasonable accumulation and need to inspire the program of the PT, Lula and the entire progressive field. Let's go to them.

The third Lula government, bold and participatory, radically popular, is committed to:

(I) Institute a policy of redress and punishment. Memory, Truth and Justice. Prosecute and punish those responsible for the genocide (Covid), create a reparation policy. Manaus Court to judge Bolsonaro and his accomplices;

1 – Implement and articulate measures to end the mass extermination of young black people, focus on reducing homicides – today there are 45 thousand people per year;

2 – Review and propose to Congress the change in the institutional architecture of Public Security. Reorganize, unify and demilitarize the police;

3 – Cease the war on drugs: regulate, effectively decriminalize, promote harm reduction, education and health;

4 – Work to reverse the mass incarceration of blacks and the poor, starting with the thousands of provisional prisoners;

5 – Structuring a national policy of education and culture of human rights, with massive propaganda of democratic, pluralistic values, facing neo-fascism;

6 – Create the National Human Rights System – with a legal framework approved by Congress, a federal, state and municipal structure – a federative policy, with defined and substantial budgetary resources and organized plans;

7 – Disarm the country, massive anti-gun campaign, review all Bolsonarist legislation, radical policy to reduce the number of guns, resume the Disarmament Statute;

8 – Rebuild all policies for people with disabilities, in all areas of government, going beyond “living without limits”, ensuring more resources and structure;

9 – Restart actions for LGBTI citizenship; structure a national policy for the defense and promotion of the rights of the LGBTI population, with guaranteed resources, legal framework, induction of actions, transversality; create the Transcitizenship national;

10 – Include the issue of aging among government priorities, tackle violence against the elderly; put in place an articulated policy to promote integral rights, health, assistance, create a public network that will guarantee the well-being of this population

11 – Guide all actions related to children and adolescents with the revaluation of the ECA as a foundation. Break with the conservative manipulations of this agenda – creating and strengthening policies that actually protect children and adolescents from sexual abuse, child labor, violence, abandonment, prioritizing spaces for social participation, such as Guardianship Councils;

12 – Strengthen programs to protect human rights defenders;

13 – Recognize the full citizenship of migrants, through public welcome policies, economic, social and cultural integration - fight for the right to vote and guarantee spaces for participation; revoke Temer's decree that regulates Law 13445 of 2017, regulate article 120 that establishes a broad, participatory and welcoming national migration policy.

14 – Rebuild the mental health policy respecting human rights, valuing the psychosocial care network, resuming investment in CAPS; focus on the SUS – return to the psychiatric reform guidelines, without any funding for private organizations called “therapeutic communities”;

15 – Guarantee investment in all human rights policies; without resources there are no public policies; the budget for the set of plans for the promotion and defense of human rights will be substantially increased.

With the apologies of most non-PT readers, I add an internal note at the end.

In the second half of the year, the Workers' Party is going through a process of mobilization and renewal of its collectives, thematic secretariats/sectorals (Women, Youth, Combating Racism, Environment, Culture), and of course, Human Rights (among many others).

In mid-November, after discussions and meetings across the country, the PT will elect a new collective and a new National Secretary for Human Rights. Very proud. Note the quality of the names that are available to the Party to lead the Human Rights Secretariat: Adriano Diogo (former São Paulo state deputy, a reference in the fight for memory, truth and justice); Marcelo Mascarenhas (social activist, public prosecutor in Piauí), Nilmário Miranda (Prime Minister DH de Lula, icon of the cause), Pedro Batista (leader of the anti-racist movement) and Renato Simões (former São Paulo state deputy, author of the first anti-racist law) homophobic).

Whichever of them is elected, the PT Human Rights Secretariat – I am sure, will be in very good hands – prepared, mobilized and motivated to lead the articulations, debates, formulations, that is, the human rights campaign of Lula, our governors, senators, federal and state deputies.

Rebuilding and advancing in the struggle for human rights: the left and the PT united against fascism.

* Julian Rodrigues is a professor, journalist and activist of the LGBTI and Human Rights movement.


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