This is an unofficial translation of the statement, Viva o 1º de maio classista e combativo! written by the Workers League (Liga Operária) of Brazil.
By Liga Operária
More than at any time in our recent history, it is time to warmly greet the day of all the workers in the world. Long live the class-conscious and combative May 1st of 2020! We salute the entire international proletariat, the oppressed masses from around the world, for our glorious day. We salute young people and elders, women and men from the countryside and the city, indigenous, quilombolas, who bravely resist the attacks and onslaughts of the imperialists, mainly Yankee, through the lackey governments in each country. We workers are the moral and healthy reserve of this old society that already shows its signs of agony! We are the producers of all wealth and it is up to us to build the New Society.
The year 2020 will be marked in history as a great leap forward in the development of the revolutionary situation worldwide. The moment when imperialism exposed its wounds and the deep crisis it faces leads to terrible initiatives to reduce its agony. On the other hand, the popular masses around the world unveil the true class character of capitalist states, clearly identify their enemies and unify themselves, increasingly, in the slogans: “Proletarians of all Countries, unite!” and “Let us do with our own hands everything that concerns us” [Ed. Quote is from the lyrics of the Internationale in Portuguese] In waves, the peoples and nations of the whole world rise in a class, combative and organized manner against all exploitation and oppression.
The world is being shaken, the capitalists, enemies of the people, can no longer continue to govern – oppressing and exploiting – as they have done until today and on the other hand, the oppressed peoples and nations, the working masses of the city and the countryside, do not accept to live how they have lived. Let us look and fervently greet the rebellion of the peoples and popular masses that are fighting, on the front line, the imperialist beast, all over the world.
We salute all the heroes of the people who shed their generous blood in the fight against all exploitation and oppression with effusive reverence for the murdered workers, on the days of May 1, 1886 in Chicago – USA, for fighting for better living and working conditions, lighting the flame of the workers’ struggle for a new society, a historical landmark of this date. Heroism that further reddened the glorious banner of the struggle of oppressed workers and peoples around the world. In all our class struggles, we proudly take the great example of our companions: Albert Parsons, Louis Lingg, Adolf Fischer, George Engel, August Spies, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden and Oscar Neebe, who are always present in the fight! Let us follow their example, organize ourselves and take our destiny in our hands!
Long live proletarian internationalism!
Imperialist agony expels its ills
The world is entering a new era, marked by great social and political storms caused by the deepening crisis of imperialism and showing no signs of possible recovery. In this context, the Covid-19 pandemic is used to justify measures to increase the overexploitation of workers and the plunder of oppressed countries, all justified and sustained in the commotion, boasted by the press monopoly of “fighting the common enemy of all” trying to immobilize the mass rebellion, demobilizing them while preparing, legalizing and increasing the repression and criminalization of popular struggle.
They proclaim that the so-called “Covid-19 crisis” will bring ruin to the world economy – shameless fallacy! The crisis is not caused by the pandemic, but is worsened and clearly exposed by it. For a long time, the imperialist powers have not managed to sustainably recover from their crises, and one after another, they have increased the exploitation of workers and the plundering of nations to continue to survive. The pandemic completely tore off the mask of capitalism as a defender of freedom, the right to come and go, and that the so-called “first world” countries were the best of all worlds, exposing their rotten, bourgeois essence and revealed its monstrous, bitter, and genocidal face.
At the first sign of the pandemic, the reactionaries Donald Trump – USA and Benjamin Netanyahu – Israel, bared their teeth and embodied the saying: “every man for himself.” Netanyahu immediately took a coup, closed the congress and broke the confidentiality of everyone’s phones, to monitor them and then immediately closed the only clinic in Jerusalem that tested for SARS / Cov2 in Palestinians. Trump, after some bravado, rolled his tongue and went to buy health supplies in China and issued a decree prohibiting American factories from exporting materials and equipment used to fight the pandemic and cut off all aid to the World Health Organization (WHO), with its colonialist policy.
Today’s pandemic is a direct result of capitalism, mainly in its monopolistic, imperialist phase, by the devastation of the natural environment in the pursuit of profit at any cost, the wars of predation and genocide against the oppressed nations and their peoples by the plundering of natural wealth, such as oil, iron ore and other raw materials, in addition to developing and applying biological wars in the dispute for world domination. The pandemic occurs in the midst of a profound general decomposition crisis that aggravates and worsens all fundamental contradictions, particularly the main one, which opposes oppressed nations and peoples to imperialism, leading broad masses of people to rebel against exploitation, oppression, subjugation, national war, and wars of imperialist aggression.
All over the world new massive waves of rebellions and protests are starting and will be strengthened by the worsening of the crisis. The popular rebellions that rocked the world in 2019, with continued protests and a general strike in France and uprisings in Latin America, are indisputable evidence of this. The working masses of all countries will use all means to defend their trampled rights, against exploitation and for the right to demonstrate and organize. In these battles they forge their vanguards and will unveil the way for a new society.
In Brazil, the struggle for the hegemony of the counterrevolutionary coup intensifies
The situation in Brazil is very serious, the country is entering a moment of deep ruptures!
If the economic crisis of decomposition of its backward bureaucratic, semi-colonial and semi-feudal capitalism, a servant of Yankee imperialism, which keeps millions unemployed and destitute, was not enough, the political crisis derived from the decomposition of this anachronistic economy, which is already expressed as a crisis of domination of the great bourgeoisie and landowners, in the decomposition of the old state and its political system, particularly the electoral farce as the first expression of this false democracy, the popular masses of our country have to face the pandemic helplessly.
Unlike what the press monopoly advertises, with Rede Globo at the front, the pandemic does not generate the crisis in Brazil, as in the rest of the world, it only exposes the serious situation that the Brazilian people are experiencing as a result of centuries of national subjugation, first by Portuguese colonialism, supported by the landlords and genocidal slaves of the indigenous population and then by English semi-colonialism and imperialism, mainly American, which since the end of the Second War has maintained a system of exploitation and oppression through this rotten old state of the great bourgeois and landowners.
There are more than five centuries of continued genocide of the indigenous population and for three and a half centuries it massacred the enslaved black population and after the official end of slavery deprived it of elementary rights and fomented the most disgusting racism to date. There has been a succession of odious regimes for the defense of the wealthy with repression and misery for the poor. The generals who now govern (ACFA), command and disband in the country, chiefs of the armed forces, contrary to what all their propaganda of the nation’s saviors proclaim, are responsible, as guardians of this system of exploitation and injustices, for all the ailments, iniquities, suffering and maladies of our people and subjugation of the nation, because they were the ones that with iron, fire and blood crushed all the attempts of our people to carry out a Popular Democratic Revolution, the only way to remove from power these parasitic mafias leeching off the people and the nation, which dragged Brazil to the edge of the abyss we are in.
In Brazil, the peasant masses amount to more than 60 million with no or little land and are persecuted and murdered in their struggle for the sacred right to plant and produce, while the landowners represent less than 2% of the owners and occupy 50% of the agricultural land in the country. In the cities, we are already at more than 15 million unemployed in official data, because the reality is different, we can see from the data of what the government calls self-employed people and their assistance bag that was requested by more than 60 million workers. The national industry is brought to ruin and the country’s deindustrialization is growing, from the 27.3% share of GDP that reached in the 1980s to 11.3% in 2018. For comparison, in 1960 it was 23.2% (IBGE data) GDP that is constituted in more than 40% with the extortion of workers with tax collection – the highest in the world – and are used to pay the external debt, aid to bankers (who profited more than 81.5 billion reales – only counting the big ones) and agribusiness financing (which mostly produces commodities for export), while leaving the popular masses helpless in the state of poverty and neglect, with public services scrapped, which is wide open with the criminal massacre of the people with the pandemic.
The use of the pandemic by the government to increase the application of the three permanent tasks dictated by Yankee imperialism and which take the form of a preventive counterrevolutionary military coup against the inevitable uprising of the masses, which is taking place step-by-step in our country. The increase in the exploitation of workers with the withdrawal of basic employment rights, justifying and legalizing endless hours and precarious working conditions as part of the task of giving new impetus to bureaucratic capitalism (first task) with the increase in the exploitation of workers. The intensification of conflicts within the government shows the imminence of the need for a new restructuring of the State with greater centralization of power in the executive (second task) to carry out the measures required by imperialism. The reactionary ACFA military that isolated fascist Bolsonaro now has to do with the unscrupulous and stubborn reaction of the fascist who is kicking and will not surrender without causing damage. All this while preparing the greatest repression against the people (third task), which will inevitably rise up against attacks on their rights and for better living, working and health conditions. The reactionary government of the generals will justify the increase in repression in social isolation and combat the pandemic censorship and arbitrary arrests, the restriction of the right to come and go and the greater militarization in the city and in the countryside.
The press monopoly, headed by Rede Globo with its hysterical propaganda of the pandemic, inflates terror and panic to try to demobilize the action of the masses, trumpeting imposing social isolation, blaming the masses for the spread of the disease, in an attempt to disarm their will to fight, while, as if by magic, they build an invisible enemy, replacing the main problem that is the fault and responsibility of the State, because that is the real enemy and responsible for this terrible condition that our people are being subjected, helpless, huddled in service posts, dying in droves with no vacancies for hospitalization and treatment, the absurd situation of public health workers, while cynically, nothing is said of the beds reserved for the bourgeois in private hospital, in addition to the blatant complicity with the government in the face of the despair of the masses.
But let the unwary not be deceived. The new cycle of class struggle in our country has already begun and this is marked by the growing uprising of popular protest. The new clashes of the much-needed and delayed Democratic Revolution in our country are yet to come. The real democrats, the class and combative forces, who do not believe in parliamentary illusion, are responsible for creating new forms, strengthening the workers ‘and peasants’ alliance, adding to all the democratic and revolutionary forces of our country, forging the proletarian vanguard of our country of struggles for achieve a New and True Democracy in our country.
Defend the rights of the people in the midst of the pandemic with Health Committees for Popular Defense
Old representatives of this putrefied semi-feudal and semi-colonial state, the executive, legislative and judiciary, in addition to the militia, especially the generals, now pose as “great humanists,” but they are true fascists who hate the poor. They say they are concerned about the lives of Brazilians by providing “emergency aid” of R$600.00 and release of a minimum wage from the Guarantee Fund starting in June, crumbs to hide the cut in workers’ rights for the benefit of mega-entrepreneurs and bankers. The scoundrels say that everyone has to make sacrifices but they are protected in their mansions and hospitals that look like luxury hotels with all the equipment and respirators they need. The poorest masses in our country are sure that the old reactionary state will do nothing to ease their suffering.
The old reactionary state, now in the hands of the generals, is unable to protect the population! Just remember that our people suffer from shortages in the queues of hospitals abandoned to their own fate, with dengue, chicungunha, yellow fever and so many other epidemics that affect our country every year. It does not even meet the minimum stipulated in the Constitution of the right to public health, with spending cuts and freezes in the budgets of this and other basic sectors for decades.
In order to protect the people from the pandemic and from attacks by the State on their rights in the situation of economic crisis, unemployment and the permanent and historic precariousness of public health services further aggravated at that moment, under the state of siege they will create to repress the masses, we must elevate our organization even further, creating Popular Defense Sanitary Committees in every neighborhood or slum, street and alley, factories and schools in cities and countryside areas, demanding everything we are entitled to: proper medical treatment, hospital beds with respirators to serve the entire population, individual protection materials (masks and alcohol gel), conditions to comply with quarantine, survival conditions and everything else that is necessary.
“Let us do with our hands everything that concerns us.” We know that only the independent popular organization, with active solidarity, can really save the people. The Sanitary Committees of Popular Defense must be organizations in which the masses rely on their own forces, without elusive and opportunistic illusions of all kinds. In this way we will strengthen the combative class struggle in our country against all enemies of the people. Let us prepare for the stormy moments ahead.
Long live the class-conscious and combative popular organization!
We demand the free public health care we are entitled to!
We require free distribution of protective equipment and materials (alcohol gel and masks)!
We demand COVID-19 tests for the entire population!