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  • Supporters of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff, show a banner that reads

    Supporters of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff, show a banner that reads "Out Temer" (L) in reference to interim President Michel Temer, and a banner reads "putschist," during a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 29, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 September 2016
Brazilians must be prepared to fight back against the neoliberal assault which the new, illegitmate government has in store for the country.

The parliamentary-judicial-media coup has been carried out after the long episodes of a soap opera whose ending we already knew, since most of the actors had already received the scripts they would perform.

Democracy Is Dead in Brazil

The problem was not with Dilma Rousseff, who even worked hard to adopt the fiscal adjustments required by the elite classes and handed over economic policy to one of Brazil's major banks, Bradesco, in 2015. She was guilty of no crime. In the end, Michel Temer had also signed decrees that amounted to budget maneuvers – as did 17 governors, including Senate speaker Antonio Anastasia. None of them were punished.

The farce was so great that the Senate did not have the courage to deprive her of her political rights – Rousseff is still allowed to hold elected office. They just stole her presidency.

The bourgeoisie just needed a government that was completely in its power to implement its neoliberal plan in order to recover its profits and its ability to accumulate capital in the face of the severe economic crisis we are experiencing in Brazil, in Latin America and throughout the world. In other words, they needed to throw the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the people. And for this you must have absolute control of all the country's levers of power: the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judiciary and the media.

Now it is up to the grassroots forces, in their different expressions — the parties, popular movements, churches, intellectuals, artists and media — to analyze our mistakes, correct them and stand united to face the coming battles, which will be as important as the fight against the coup.

The coming battle will be to defend our social and labor rights against the neoliberal avalanche that will come from Congress, the dismantling of all of the rights won over the last century!

After this, without following any chronological order, is the battle in defense of the natural resources that the elites want to privatize in order to recover their previous levels of profit accumulation – such as oil from Brazil's deep sea reserves known as Pre-Salt, land, biodiversity, minerals, water, etc.

The Brazilian Tragedy

We have to take on the battle to ensure that our public resources and our taxes go toward the population's needs in health care (they are already threatening to dismantle SUS, Brazil's free public health care system), education, affordable housing and agrarian reform.

We cannot remain silent amid the accusations of the carwash scandal, which incriminates the imposter vice president and several ministers. We must demand fair punishment for those leaders of the PSDB, DEM, PP and PMDB parties, for now they can truly do as they please... and they are hiding behind the blatant persecution of Workers' Party leaders.

We must defeat this coup government. It has no legitimacy. It was not elected by the people. Many Senators who voted for the impeachment are facing charges for corruption and all types of other crimes. The program that it is adopting – the attack on people's rights – were not chosen at the polls. That's why “Out With Temer” (Fora Temer) is a necessity to restore Brazil's democratic process.

This is the greatest of all these battles: to fight for changes to our country's political system, with political and media reform, which can only come through a national constituent assembly.

All of these battles require mass struggle and large grassroots mobilizations. The fastest way out, which can be achieved on the streets, is to require a popular referendum to return to the people the right to decide over Pre-Salt, early elections and the convening of a constituent assembly.

Many struggles await us ahead.

Joao Pedro Stedile is a founder and among the leadership of Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement, MST. This is a translation of an article that was originally published on the Blog do Miro on August 31, 2016.

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