We Need to Defend Lula to Stop Fascism

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Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / April 5, 2018

“Coup d’État – Never again”. Photo credit: Resumen Latinoamericano

Just like Bolivarian Venezuela has been for years a laboratory in which all sorts of aggressions have been tried to end a government that is deeply supported by the people, the recent events in Brazil show many of the same tactics.

The alliance between O Globo—the biggest media holding of the country—and the judicial power is unprecedented in this continent that is moving towards more totalitarian forms of government and management.

Last Wednesday’s ruling of the Supreme Court ratified the decision to imprison the former president even though there’s no evidence that he committed a crime—just like a few years ago, the Chamber of Deputies overthrew President Dilma Rousseff over a technicism.

The speeches with which the judges of the Supreme Court justified their decision were full of scorn and reflected the sentiment of the elite that currently controls the political power in Brazil: the network of the US embassy, the O Globo Network and the political right wing. In line with this era of post-truth, they continued to build their case on a big lie: that Lula allegedly received an apartment as a gift from a company that was “grateful” towards his presidency. What really mattered was not the truth, but to prevent him from participating as a candidate for the upcoming elections.

To make the farce even more evident, judge Rosa Weber played a pathetic role when she attempted to justify in a wordy and inconsistent speech why she was turning against Lula when she had previously supported him.

Weber knew that her vote against Lula would have a strong impact on public opinion. She knew the vote would be tied and wanted to position herself, along with the president of the court, Cármen Lucía, as “impartial” in her rulings. Or, from a different point of view, a swing voter. That’s why she alluded to the possibility that her position may change again in the future. This just confirms that the only reason for ratifying Lula’s incarceration was the need to stop the anti-neoliberal project he leads.

Together with Nicolás Maduro and Evo Morales, Lula makes up the trinity that could restore better times for the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. But Brazil means too much for the empire to risk the chance of losing it now that it has a tight grip on power—even though Temer’s image is eroding quickly.

Therefore, the Brazilian right, which is nurtured by Washington, is willing to go much further in order to remove the most popular candidate from the game. If the judicial farce weren’t enough, they have signaled (through the armed attack against his campaign team and the declarations of military officials threatening to intervene) that they are even willing to commit murder. Something that the militants that support Lula shouldn’t overlook.

We should adapt to this stage of judicial coup and demonstrate our support for the leader of the Workers’ Party.

Considering the current situation, we should assimilate the fact of the judicial coup and use the most powerful tool for the defense of the leader of the Workers’ Party: the support of the most committed sectors of the people, workers, peasants and students who have demonstrated for him.

We must understand, once and for all, that power doesn’t lie in the bourgeoise institutions and in a democracy that is corrupt and manipulative, but in direct action, in roadblocks, in mass mobilizations, and in the urgent need for declaring a general strike.

Like they did yesterday—and always—the people will have to use the best of its tools, which is rebelliousness and protest against those who want to impose themselves by force. This isn’t about spending time and energy defending the current “democracy”, like some leaders say. On the contrary, we need to demolish this system because it is the most powerful tool in the hands of the enemies of the people, which they use to crush the dreams of national and social liberation.

The “democrats” are in fact putschists who should be swept aside by a new form of power: inclusive, without exploitation, without impunity for those who supported the bloody dictatorship of the 1960s and the current de facto government, without ties to the empire.

There’s no middle ground when we need to resist enemies like Jair Bolsonaro (a racist homophobe whose only criticism to the 1960s dictatorship is that they just “tortured but didn’t kill” people) and his fascist paramilitaries.

If we truly want to defend Lula, we have to use our bodies to fight for a different, egalitarian, socialist nation. It is time to create a new Brazil, where the people self-govern themselves and hold the true power. One which incldes the Landless and the Homeless, the broad People’s Brazil Front and the budding unity that was formed around Lula last Sunday in Rio when a rally was held in his support.

Any solution that doesn’t include anti-capitalism and imperialism (even the traditional reformism and neo-developmentalism) has already been tried and not only failed but indirectly opened the door to the right that governs today.

The current fight in Brazil is for all or nothing. It’s not enough to cry out “Fora Temer!” (Out with Temer!”). We need to quickly create the conditions for the fall of Temer and his corrupt administration. Otherwise, fascism will stay in power and we know by experience what this may bring onto us.

Even if Lula is sent to prison, his leadership and the support of his defenders in Brazil and throughout the continent and the world should be enough to free him. The worst thing that could happen is not trying.

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