Editor’s Note: We share the following unofficial translation of an article from the comrades at A Nova Democracia honoring the life of Sandra Lima as part of celebrating International Working Women’s Day.
By the Editor-in-Chief of A Nova Democracia
An Example of a Remarkable Revolutionary Leader
Born in São Domingos do Prata, in the interior of Minas Gerais, Sandra Lima moved permanently to Belo Horizonte in the 1970s. She attended part of high school at Colégio Estadual Central, an important setting of student resistance to the fascist military regime.
She had her first contact with mass work in 1976, when she started to visit Lindéia, a working-class neighborhood located on the outskirts of the cities of Belo Horizonte, Ibirité and Contagem. She quickly integrated herself into community life, showing, still in her youth, the perspicacity and combativeness that would mark her as a future revolutionary militant. There, she helped organize adult literacy classes and cultural activities for proletarian youth; she actively participated in the construction of the health clinic and in the demonstrations to demand that the city government of Belo Horizonte reduce taxes and make improvements in the transportation and sanitation conditions of the neighborhood. It was while working at Lindéia that Sandra studied the work that would awaken her to fight against the oppression of women, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, by the great leader of the international proletariat, Friedrich Engels.
In the late 1970s, she became a militant in the October 8 Revolutionary Movement, the MR-8. She dedicated herself entirely to the revolution and to combat of the fascist military regime. Together, with the class-conscious and combative workers’ movement, which had already led the strike at the steelmaker Mannesmann, she contributed to the fact that, in August 1979, the streets of the mining capital were taken by approximately 30 thousand striking construction workers.
In the 1980s, she began to more closely follow the important paths of the fight against the oppression of women. Sandra encouraged her women comrades to take the lead in the revindicative and revolutionary struggle. It was with this spirit that she launched herself into construction of the Minas Gerais Federation of Women, created in 1984, when she assumed the presidency.
In March 1995, she joined the group of revolutionary militants who broke with the national reformism of the MR-8 and, from then on, Sandra dedicated herself more deeply to the arduous and collective task of forging the winding paths of the Brazilian Revolution. .
After the Battle of Santa Elina, in the municipality of Corumbiara, Rondônia, the crucial work of solidarity with the occupation was under the coordination of Sandra Lima, who was also in charge of articulating the medical support network to the encamped families.
In 1999, she worked intensively in the support and organization of the proletarian women of Vila Bandeira Vermelha, in the city of Betim, in Minas Gerais. She lived and fought with families. On April 26 of that year, during the brutal attack on the Vila by the forces of repression, enlisted by the then mayor of the city, Jésus Lima (PT), women played an outstanding role.
A leader of the Popular Women’s Movement (Movimento Feminino Popular – MFP), an organization founded in 2000, Sandra Lima was one of the main formulators of the line of the Brazilian women’s revolutionary movement. She pioneered and forged this detachment of women who were more advanced, more aware, more rebellious, more determined not to accept the age-old oppression that has befallen them.
She directed numerous acts in celebration of the International Working Women’s Day; she acted in combative strikes; she relentlessly denounced the farcical character of the reactionary elections. She participated in peasant congresses and student assemblies, always emphasizing the importance of training women as activists and, above all, as leading cadres who dominate the ideology of the proletariat so that they can thus serve the revolution in the country and the world revolution.
An admirer of literature and art made by the people, she encouraged young people to read the classics of Marxism and, on certain occasions, listened and sang revolutionary and popular songs with companions and friends. With her raucuous voice, like a drawn sword, she fought class enemies, agitating the people to fight and to rise up against all oppression.
A revolutionary mother, she made an effort for her children to understand, participate and support, without reservation, the struggles of the masses in the country and around the world.
An internationalist activist, she acted in defense of the Palestinian people, of the heroic resistance of the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, in defense of the people’s wars in Peru, India, the Philippines and Turkey. She also defended the national liberation struggles of the peoples against imperialism and against the imperialist war.
He led the campaign nationally for the punishment of criminals, commanders, and perpetrators of tortures, murders and forced disappearances of the fascist military regime. MFP, under her leadership, staged memorable protests in repudiation of the 1964 coup.
In the days of 2013 and 2014, when the youth combatants rose up against the exploitative system and, in particular, against the festival carried out by FIFA, the blazing flag of the MFP was always present in the front rows. Who raised the flag up, defiantly, was a young girl forged by Sandra Lima.
Her life and her example are indelible and will be engraved in golden letters in the pantheon of the heroes of our people in the triumph of the revolution in our country.
Comrade Sandra Lima dedicated her life to the Brazilian Revolution. It was more than 40 years of militancy, organizing the masses in proletarian neighborhoods and factories, in the struggle for housing, in the struggle for land, together with the class-conscious workers and union movement.
She dedicated herself to building the Popular Women’s Movement in different regions of the country, especially in the countryside. Always in her interventions she paid attention to the need for the women of our people to engage in a shoulder-to-shoulder struggle with their comrades and to form themselves as revolutionary cadres who dominate the ideology of the proletariat to fulfill the tasks of the New Democracy Revolution in our country.
Selfless, she never resigned herself to health problems. She devoted herself without reservation to the mobilization, politicization, and organization of the masses.
We aim and rely on the radiant example of liveliness, combativeness and optimism always overflowed by our companion Sandra Lima so that, as she has always taught us, we convert our pain and indignation into more decision to fight for the complete emancipation of our people.
Comrade Sandra: Present in the Struggle!
Awaken the Revolutionary Fury of Women!
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