About the September 7 demonstrations

Image: Paulinho Fluxuz_
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By FLAVIO AGUIAR*

The only time the Brazilian left interrupted the trajectory of a coup d'état already under way was defending Legality, 60 years ago

I'll say right off the bat that I observed September 7th with my scope glass, a 12-hour flight (at least) from Guarulhos airport, which is where I usually land when I go to Brazil. It is therefore easier to observe the size of the forest than the details of each tree, bush and clearing.

With that said, let's go.

Looking at the whole forest, before, during and now in the day after of September 7th, taking into account the demonstrations for and against Bolsonaro, the official and unofficial debates, the reactions I could observe on websites and groups I have access to, I have the feeling that the game of September 7th ended in a draw technician.

Remember, however, that a draw is always an ambivalent result: it tastes like defeat for one, it tastes like victory for the other. Undoubtedly, the draw sounds like a defeat for the Ku-Klux-Koizo side, although for the opposition it still does not sound like a victory.

The KKK had hoped to win in a landslide and failed. In fact, he couldn't even win. He expected a million and a half, had to settle for thousands that, in the context, sound like millions rattling around inside a can as rusty as the smoking armored cars that paraded in Brasília a few days ago to intimidate congressional votes.

These considerations have a major premise: Brazil is very big. Six thousand kilometers from north to south, another six thousand from east to west at its widest latitude, more than 210 million people unevenly distributed in this vast territory. Everything in Brazil is big, not like in the People's Republic of China, where a demonstration of 100 people can be considered smaller. Even so, 100 or 150 thousand people (adding together the pro-KKK demonstrations in São Paulo, Brasília and Rio), for those who expected to surpass the million and a half house, is very little. And important characters were missing: armed or unarmed PMs, with or without uniforms; soldiers in uniform, in civilian clothes or in pajamas; didn't show up. Or disappeared among the political rabble.

Observations have a minor premise. Let's talk about dimensions. I remember a magazine cover, one of those that distilled hatred for the left and contempt for the country, at a time when Brazil had a proud, proactive and sovereign diplomacy, challenging the FTAA and other imperialist dictates. The cover represented an unequal fight: the canary Piu-Piu, the one that the cat Sylvester wants to eat, with an angry face, challenging the portentous North American Eagle, which, with its distant look, ignored the pygmy adversary. That's how a good part of our economic elite sees us and, through the corporate media that is servile to it and is housed in its “employee premises”, it passes this subservient image to a good part of the population. We introduce the Mercator map, in which Brazil appears much smaller than Greenland, when in fact it is four times larger.

But let's go back to September 7th. On the right-wing side, greatness and threats were belched, seeking to sow panic and pave the way for more daring adventures, which could lead to a coup d'état. On the left side, in intra- and extra-group verbal skirmishes, three major trends emerged: that of the alarmists, the alarmed and the “relaxed”. I put this last trend in quotation marks because, strictly speaking, no one is relaxed in the face of the burning or extinguished country that we are now going through. But here and now I'm not talking about the country as a whole, just September 7th. Summarizing the arguments in a somewhat simplified way, we can say that for the alarmists the KKK had the knife, the cheese and everything else in hand, including the PMs and the Armed Forces, in addition to the Centrão and the decentralized or decerebrated, and could do whatever you want, from invading Congress and the STF to taking what's left of Brazil by storm.

The alarmed did not see that much power in the hands of the KKK, but they feared (and not without reason) the behavior of the Kkk's. The beginning of the 7th of September, on the night of the 6th, when the brainless crowd broke the PM cordon (or it opened) in Brasília and invaded the Esplanada dos Ministérios, reinforced their arguments. But the tsunami of kkk's broke in a wake at dawn on the 7th, when they tried to invade Praça dos Três Poderes and were stopped by the same PM who had let them pass hours earlier.

The “relaxed ones” had always argued that it was all ripple and crap and that the effort of the horde of barbarism would end in pizza.

I confess that for me, from all this distance, it was difficult to fully justify any of the trends. But one consideration required. The KKK had managed to impose its agenda (the first time I typed it out as “folder” instead of “pauta”, a significant error in the automatic corrector) with respect to the 7th. KKK all over Brazil and in some other countries. Suddenly, what started to be discussed was who would occupy Avenida Paulista and what would happen with and in the demonstrations favorable to him. So point to KKK.

Then the 7th of September dawned, starting with the defeat of the group of KKK's that tried to take the Praça dos Três Poderes. What followed was disappointing for them. About thirty thousand souls in pain gathered on the Esplanade to hear the reheated speech of the usual threats, uttered by those who have difficulty articulating subject, predicate, complements, commas and periods. Then came Paulista, with a larger but still unsatisfying crowd and a rancid, rancorous, bilious speech, rhyming with his preferred nickname, Bozo. It announced an arm wrestling match between him, the KKK, and his current closest foe, the Supreme Minister, suddenly transformed into our valiant Kojak, Alexandre de Moraes. To see.

For those who expected more, whether brainless over there, alarmist or alarmed over here, it was little. For those who did not expect anything or almost nothing, on the side of the “relaxed” it was a little too much. Dead heat. It's no use for the crazy people over there to sing victory: she didn't show up, much less smile at them.

Well, a technical tie leaves the idea of ​​a tiebreaker in the air. For this to be favorable to us, on this side, it seems necessary to me to resort to two ways, so that the initiative of the agenda is resumed

The first is to continue to maintain pressure on the streets, with all the limits that the pandemic imposes on us. The other side is not concerned – at least that is how it tries to appear – with COVID. Well, this is our condition, what to do?

The second is to maintain institutional pressure, continuing to build the Broadest Front possible against the KKK and its gang, keeping 2022 on the horizon, because whether this pressure will result in an impeachment process or not is still unknown, although on the 7th the Planalto Palace usurper provided more ammunition for the positive hypothesis.

There are those who accuse the left of relative immobility, for continuing to think in electoral terms, when the KKK and its kkk's are increasingly thinking in other terms. Well, what other possibility is there? From hunger strikes or priests immolating themselves in fire in front of the Planalto Palace to the nonsense of veiled insinuations of an armed struggle, as I've seen, nothing attracts me as an alternative. Nor do I see any verisimilitude in the idea of ​​an enraged crowd storming the Planalto Palace and driving the usurper out of there. Deep down, I don't even know if this would be desirable.

As limiting as this is, I remember that the only time the Brazilian left interrupted the trajectory of a coup d'état already underway was defending Legality, 60 years ago.

* Flavio Aguiar, journalist and writer, is a retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Chronicles of the World Upside Down (Boitempo).

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