“Olha como a coisa virou” at Passa Palavra. The English translation was first published at Libcom.org.
2 MC Vitinho, Crime é o Crime / Dilma Sapatão / Instalar a UPP This song is “proibidão” (a subgenre of carioca funk connected to criminal factions from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas) recorded after the invasion of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas by the Army and the creation of the Pacification Police Units (UPP) under the Workers Party’s federal government.
3 Former president Lula’s speech at the “Act for the reconstruction of the democratic state” given in the halls of the UFRJ Law School (Aug 11, 2017, available here)
4 We speak here of “revolt” because it was the term used by the militants active in the urban uprisings against bus fares which broke out in Brazil between 2003 and 2013. On the other hand, we also take into account João Bernardo’s conception of the term, to whom “revolt is the agitation under the flag of common place, thus exactly opposite to revolution, which is the liquidation of common place” (Revolta/revolução, Passa Palavra, Jul 2013) – Distinction which, in fact, contributes to the analysis of the limits faced by these struggles.
5 “The only “movement demand”—the repeal of the loi Travail—was not really one, since it left no room for any adjustment, for any “dialogue.” With its entirely negative character, it only signified the refusal to continue being governed in this manner (…)”. (The Invisible Committee, Now, Ill Will Editions, 2017). This description of the protests against the new french labour law (Loi travail) made in 2016 by the “Invisible Committee” seems very familiar.
7 Translation Note: In Brazil, the “Law and Order Warranty Operations” (GLO Operations) are a legal instrument by which the President of the Republic authorizes a temporary military intervention over part of the national territory “to pacify opponent forces” (in other words, to repress civil conflicts). The GLO were used during mega-events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup or the 2016 Olympics Game. Read more here.
8 Tracing the repressive escalation in the long aftermath of Rio de Janeiro’s post-june, between 2013 and 2014, the film Operações de Garantia da Lei e da Ordem (something like “Law and order operations”, Julia Murat, 2017) draws the line of continuity between Dilma’s discourse when facing the protests and Temer’s inauguration speech: the defense of order. Translation Note: the Anti-terror Law was approved by Dilma’s government just before the impeachment process.
9 Translation Note: respectively, “Free Pass Movement” and “Free Brazil Movement”. MPL is a radical social movement created in 2005 that reclaims free public transportation and was in the heart of June 2013 uprising (read more here). MBL is a right-wing organisation founded in 2014 that head the protests for Dilma Rousseff impeachment (read more here).
10 On one side, we watched the scene in which Lula, despite knowing his conviction was a political maneuver, surrendered to prison reaffirming his trust in the democratic norms: “if i didn’t believe in the Justice, I wouldn’t have built a political party, I would have proposed a revolution in this country.” On the other, we see that the Bolsonaro’s campaign summit, despite knowing the elections were already won, didn’t stop questioning the ballots’ legitimacy and affirming that the victory of their opponent could only happen due to fraud. Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of the elected president, even mocked the Supreme Court, stating that to shut it down only “a soldier and a corporal” were needed.
11 Common expression in militant environments which designates the strategy planned by the so called “popular democratic” field since the 80’s. As a tweezer, seizing the power would require a twofold movement: from above, the gradual occupation of institutional spaces; from beneath, mass mobilization directed by popular organizations, social movements and trade unions.
12 “For the first time, what is expressed in the elections”, said Paulo Arantes recently in an interview, “wasn’t only about generating or managing classic public policies, but it was about seizing power with political confrontation”. (Abriu-se a porteira da absoluta ingovernabilidade no Brasil, diz Paulo Arantes, Brasil de Fato, Nov 2018). Translation Note: Paulo Arantes is a Brazilian marxist author.
13 Analysing the recently nominated Minister of Foreign Relations of the Bolsonaro administration, Jan Cenek (in Trump, o Ocidente, o chanceler, o ex-prefeito, o romance e a crise, Dec 2018) reaches similar conclusions: “the far-right programme is beyond the deaf mute reformism, because it assumes and openly defends that which the other said it wouldn’t do, but has done and keeps doing. Since capitalism is not gone, repression is inevitable, the difference being the open defense of militarization and violence by the far-right, opposed to the discursive condemnation of both of these by the deaf mute reformism, which proclaims itself as democratic (but those who were in the streets in June 2013 know well what Haddad did on that Fall).”
15 Carolina Catini e Renan Oliveira, Depois do fim (Passa Palavra, Nov 2018).
16 Translation Note: João Bernardo is an autonomist marxist militant born in Portugal. During the Portuguese Revolution of 1974, he was member of the “Combate” workers newspaper. See his biography here.
17 Fascism is understood as an historical phenomenon which is not a mere synonym to exacerbated authoritarianism, as it has been used by the left. It’s worth noting that the Brazilian dictatorship from the 60’s-80’s, for example, despite being authoritarian and nationalist, wasn’t properly fascist. For an extensive discussion about this topic, see João Bernardo, Labirintos do Fascismo (3ª versão, revista e aumentada, 2018).
18 For an analysis about this counter-insurgency project, see “Depois de junho a paz será total” (in Paulo Arantes, O novo tempo do mundo, São Paulo, Boitempo, 2013).
19 This expression is used by Leda Paulani in “Capitalismo financeiro, estado de emergência econômico e hegemonia às avessas” (in Francisco de Oliveira, Ruy Braga e Cibele Rizek [orgs.], Hegemonia às avessas, São Paulo, Boitempo, 2010).
25 “The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones” (Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848).
27 The commentary is from a blue-collar who was recording on his cellphone images of the fire at the workers’ accommodations. The impacts of the construction of Jirau, the worker uprising and the articulation between national trade union centers and the government to repress the movement are depicted in the documentary Jaci: sete pecados de uma obra amazônica (Caio Cavechini, 2015), released in English under the name Jaci: Seven Sins Of An Amazonian Work. It’s also worth looking at the reports on stoppages, killings, tortures and prisons at the construction sites over the years made by Liga Operária, a trade union group of maoist influences that operates in the region. Available here).
28 The trajectory of resistance of the residents of the Milton Santos rural settlement, which during the Dilma administration was endangered with suffering a “reversed agrarian reform”, was extensively reported by Passa Palavra (the complete coverage can be accessed here). In English, see here.
29 In the beginning of August 2013, Passa Palavra reported a “silenced spring”: only in the region of Grajaú, “about 20 terrains were spontaneously occupied by families which no more have condition to pay rent (…). It is at least curious to note that, following the political agitations which we call the “events of june”, a process of direct struggle has been developed by the poorer in the urban sprawl and that not even the left-wing communication organs have been giving it the attention it deserves. (Ocupações do Grajaú protestam por moradia no centro de São Paulo, Passa Palavra, ago. 2013).
30 The annual reports on Strike Balance, published by Dieese, raise a total of 2.050 registered strike in Brazil in the year of 2013, going up to 2.093 in 2015 (until now, no reports on 2014 and 2015 strikes were published). But, as Leo Vinicius pointed out, analysing the period should take into account the “strikes and actions in workplaces made outside trade union structures, which are not computed in these statistics. It is likely that many autonomous actions of organized workers occurred without us knowing at all. (Leo Vinícius, Bem além do mito “Junho de 2013”, Passa Palavra, jul. 2018).
32 The case of GEO-PR (Something like “Georeferenced system of monitoring and support to Presidency’s decision”) is emblematic. Created by the Lula administration in 2005 under the pretext of protecting quilombola communities, indigenous lands and rural settlements. “Fed by data about social movements, such as ‘manifestations’, ‘strikes’, ‘mobilizations’, ‘fundiary matters’, ‘indigenous questions’, ‘NGO action’ and ‘quilombolas’”, during more than a decade, gave body to “a powerful tool of social movement surveillance, the biggest yet known” (Lucas Figueiredo, O grande irmão: Abin tem megabanco de dados sobre movimentos sociais, The Intercept, Dec 2016).
33 Part of the article Revolta popular: o limite da tática (cit.)
36 “Michel [Temer] forms a government of national union, promotes a great agreement, protects Lula, protects everybody. This country goes back to being calm, no one can take this anymore”, said Sérgio Machado, former president of Transpetro, in his famous conversation with the Minister of Planning from Dilma’s administration, Romero Jucá, little before the voting deciding if Dilma’s impeachment would occur (recorded and leaked to the press in May 2016, the dialogue transcript is available here).