Highlights – II

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By BENÍCIO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

I highlight five questions:

(1) The first, in order of magnitude, useful life, impact, are the marches that took place last Sunday, June 07th, in the main capitals of Brazil. The anti-fascist and anti-racial march (but also the marches in defense of the government of Jair Bolsonaro). As in 2013, this set of marches indicates a position – especially on the part of the youth – against Bolsonarista rhetoric, characterized by widely reiterated prejudices.

I think it's important to point out that this is a phenomenon that has little to do with the march for the Diretas in the 1980s. Why? There are still no commitments from parliamentarians with this movement. What we have on the contrary is the complete absence, in these events, of political parties. In other words, we have here a heteronomous, dispersed movement, with general, generalizing flags. That doesn't mean they don't have value and strength going forward. They are, first of all, a sign that we are here defending certain causes and we are going to try to get the support of all the political forces that oppose the government.

(2) Another important point in the conjuncture is the reaction of the PT, and especially of Lula, to the ongoing manifestos in Brazil against the established order, calling for discipline and eventual impeachment of the Bolsonaro government. Now, this is not the first time that the Workers' Party has decided that it is better to be alone than in good company. This goes back a long way, since the election of Tancredo Neves. And what is to be done? It remains to wait for reality to conform to new positions.

(3) A third point is the attempt to reconstruct Brazil's international position on the issue of the Amazon forest. Now under the leadership of General Mourão, and within the scope of the Amazon Plan, the foundations of a policy with greater regional control are being sought, aiming to capture the international funds that have always been used for the sustainable development of the Amazon, albeit in a very precarious way. .

(4) The fourth item is this almost childish fight between the Ministry of Health and the other authorities over the number of victims and the number of people hospitalized by Covid-19. As a result, demonstrations are already taking place in the Netherlands, Australia, Austria and the World Health Organization against this attempt to obscure data related to the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil.

(5) Finally, it remains to remember and highlight here the armaments position of the Jair Bolsonaro government. In Águas Lindas, in Goiás, at the end of last month, the president, when inaugurating a field hospital, said very little about the coronavirus, talking more about the arms policy that he intends to introduce in Brazil. He even pointed out that he will try in every way to zero tariffs on arms imports.

It should be remembered that two other measures have already been taken: one concerning the tracking of weapons, older, and the other, more recent, enacting the release of weapons for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces – produced by Imbel – for ordinary citizens. A serious nod from the president to armaments.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

Article established from a debate produced by the consultancy Empowerr

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