Blacks, Unions, Landless, Women, Gays All Want Something from New President in Brazil

    Brazilian Landless's protest

    Brazilian Landless's protest What should be the attitude of the popular and union movements, and which standards should be central in the office of the government of Dilma, newly elected president of the country? The conservative offensive that marked the 2010 elections, the claims of the working class were not fulfilled during the Lula government and economic base left by the current government are some of the points of departure for the struggles of the social movements, according to the reflections of their leadership.

    For a member of the national coordination of the MST, Gilmar Mauro, the electoral results do not mean just the defeat of José Serra (PSDB), but the mainstream media as a whole. Mauro warns that the social movements will have an autonomous relationship with the next government, with whom the organizations must confront their claims. Land reform, for example, was not on the electoral campaign this year and should return to the agenda.

    On the land issue, Mauro emphasizes that the debate takes place on three fronts: on the use of land and natural resources, which should not be transformed into commodities, the type of food that the population is consuming, and in whose service the technologies in the field will be used.

    “I think that land reform is one of the most modern things in the world today. But land reform will have to change the agricultural model, the production model, the type of food, type of technology, and this debate will have to be a debate with the society. We hope that the Dilma government can help, to encourage, to create space for that debate to occur and that the society participates in the discussion of a genuine agrarian reform to change the agrarian structure in Brazil and the production model in Brazil.”

    The point of view of the black movement is of critical support and permanent pressure on the defense of public policies. This is the position of UNEafro [União de Núcleos de Educação Popular para Negras/os e Classe Trabalhadora – Union of Centers of Popular Education for Blacks and the Working Class], according to Douglas Belchior, general counsel of the organization.

    For him, Dilma will have to review the policies of public security that victimize the black population in all states. The further development of policies on access to education and pressure by the Statute of Racial Equality are strategic points in the evaluation of the entity.

    “The black movement must have an attitude of constant struggle and we will take to the streets. We will also occupy the universities to push for the government there to the service of the Brazilian people and not of the landowners, the racists, businessmen and bankers. “

    The economic base built on eight years of Lula’s government resulted in the generation of jobs and halted the flexibility of labor during Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC) is the analysis of the unionist Milton Viário, the Federation of Metal Workers of Rio Grande do Sul and the CUT [Central Única dos Trabalhadores (Unified Workers’ Central), the main national trade union center in Brazil] .

    He sees that this moment is to guide the unified platform of the workers, built in 2010 by social and union movements. In the fields of association, greater democracy and working conditions, 40 hour week and the end of welfare are central points of this project.

    “We will be able to present the best platform of the working class, focusing primarily on economic development. Therefore, expanding the productive activity, but strongly demanding the creation of quality jobs, jobs that are better-paying jobs where they can actually have a professional qualification and that there is specialization of labor.”

    The newly elected federal deputy for the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) in São Paulo, Luiza Erundina, points out that the Dilma government will face the challenge of greater democratization of the Brazilian state. This, according to her, passes through two avenues: political reform and democratization of the media.

    “Political reform that already has a backlog in Congress, has a parliamentary front for political reform with popular participation. Already it includes an inclusive Project of Law of popular initiatives that is in the Committee of Legislative Participation and already responds to important questions, the structure of the system of communication. It has, for example, Tax Reform as a mechanism of income distribution.”

    In line with the democratization of the media as the central standard in the battle on the left, the president of the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), Artur Henrique, said the pressure from the standards born in the proceedings of the Conferences of Communication must be the rules since January 2010.

    “This is an agenda item, the debate that social organizations will have to be very organized, mobilized, pressuring the government. Do not think that will be easy. I remember the first Conference of Communication just came out in the last year of the Lula government. It was a government in competition. And therefore we have to continue debating this. The next government of Dilma Rousseff will also be a government of competition.”

    The struggle of women has important dimension in 2011. Darli Sampaio, from the House of Workers of Curitiba, believes that the ideological debate over the abortion issue in the elections should now have the opposite effect. At this time the organizations should press for progress on this issue. According to her, the civil union of homosexuals and the challenges of women entering the world of politics are also challenges in the discussion of gender.

    “From the point of view of the organization of woman, there is an agenda as it has not exhausted, because the issues are not resolved. For example, the discussion about the gender issue, which now includes controversies that we saw during the campaign, as regards the issue of abortion, moreover, the disrespectful manner in which this debate has been waged in the political debate. The Women’s Movement believes that abortion is a public health issue.”

    In the evaluation of Luiza Erundina, there is space in the Brazilian state for the politicization on the part of the government, even the state taking a class character.
    “It’s exactly the way to govern. More than the results, is how to share power, the relationship with civil society. Facts leading to a change of political culture in the form of government, a democratic government, also popular, in the sense of prioritizing the interests of the majority of the population. Also to be a government focused from the first moment on all strategic issues, organized and political popular participation. Unfortunately we did not have this in the Lula government.”

    Pedro Carrano writes for Radioagência NP.


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