Wikileaks: Temer was a U.S. Embassy informant in 2006

This morning, Saturday, May 14, 2016, La Jornada in Mexico published the Wikileaks news about Brazil’s new interim president, Michel Temer, having given information about the political situation in Brazil to the U.S. Embassy in 2006. La Jornada interprets this as having been a CIA informant. Other news outlets around the world are also publishing this story. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/05/14/mundo/017n2mun

Meanwhile, Raúl Zibechi believes that the cause of Dilma’s impeachment was a fear of those below by Brazil’s 1%. See his article below.

Anti-impeachment protests in Brazil.

Anti-impeachment protests in Brazil.

CAUSE OF THE IMPEACHMENT: THE ONE PERCENT’S FEAR OF THOSE BELOW

By: Raúl Zibechi

In the face of the Brazilian crisis the decisive question must be: Why did the big financiers that had supported Lula and Dilma break with the governments of the PT and launch a potent offensive to obtain removal? The offensive of the Brazilian right against President Dilma Rousseff was the product of an abrupt turn, a consequence of the intensification of class struggles, in particular of the poor, blacks and inhabitants of the favelas.

In order to elucidate this hypothesis it’s necessary to reconstruct what happened in recent years. The events they say were the turning point in the tolerance of the bourgeoisie happened in 2013. With the distance of time it’s possible to show confluence among diverse sectors of workers and young people in a juncture that permitted giving an enormous qualitative leap in the popular sectors’ ability to mobilize. For that we see three events: the mobilizations of June 2013, the notable rise of strikes and the growing organization of the different los de abajos (those below).

We have talked a enough about the first point: in June 2013, millions of young people won the streets against the increase of urban transportation and police repression, in actions that ought to be understood as a gigantic denunciation against the inequality that the Workers Party governments did not modify, although there is a decrease in poverty. Now we know that inequality not only didn’t fall, but rather tends to increase, even in the periods of economic bonanza, when the one percent monopolized 25 percent of the wealth, percentages that will have risen during the present crisis.

The second is related to strikes. The workers’ struggles in Brazil had reached a peak after the exit of the dictatorship, in the period of approval of the new Federal Constitution in 1988 and the first direct presidential elections in 1989. In those years they reached an historic peak of 1,962 strikes in 1989, and something less in 1990, to descend abruptly in the neoliberal decade and stabilize under the two Lula governments to around 300 strikes annually.

A Brazilian protester's sign reads: "Never Temer."

A Brazilian protester’s sign reads: “Never Temer.”

The year 2013 produced a sudden increase in strikes (although they had already increased in 2012), beating the record of the historic series of the last 30 years. According to a report from the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Economic Studies, Balance of Strikes in 2013 (http://goo.gl/o35Wi6), there were 2,050 strikes that year. But quantitative growth is data that doesn’t show the strong changes in the protests.

The cited report emphasizes that there was an expansion of struggles to sectors that usually don’t mobilize. It maintains that there was an “overflow” of “the most fragile professional categories, as much from the viewpoint of remunerations as for working conditions, health and security.” It particularly refers to workers in the food and urban cleaning industries.

Some 800,000 people work in the cold storage industry, of which between 20 and 25 percent present health problems, since they realize between 70 and 120 movements per minute, when it’s recommended not to exceed 35. In 2010, 70 percent of the workers at the multinational Brazil Foods suffered pains because of the work, and 14 percent thought about committing suicide because of the pressure to which they are subjected (http://goo.gl/x0Bxfi). A youth that enters the industry at 25, already has irreversible injuries at 30.

The urban cleaning workers of Rio de Janeiro went on a memorable strike during Carnaval 2014 and got increases of 37 percent in their salaries. It was a massive and combative strike that was maintained based on direct democracy, unknown to the bureaucratic union (http://goo.gl/zvl58G). The immense majority of them are blacks and mestizos that live in the urban peripheries and in the favelas.

In 2014, the less qualified and lower paid layers of the working class irrupted, encouraged by the June 2013 mobilizations and impelled by the crisis that they started to feel in 2012.

The third question consists of the increase of organization and activism in the favelas, where the poorest Brazilians live. On June 24, 2013, while millions were peacefully demonstrating in the avenues, the police entered shooting into the Complexo da Maré [1] in Rio de Janeiro, and murdered 10 black youths. That’s common. What was different was the response of favela residents: 5,000 neighbors cut off the strategic Brazil Avenue for two hours. It was the beginning. In July, the actions multiplied because of the disappearance of the worker Amarildo de Souza at the Pacifying Police Unit, of the Rocinha favela.

The flash mobs, or strolls, (rolezinhos) happened in December and January, where thousands of poor youths met up in the shopping malls and, dancing, challenged the police. From there, there were dozens of reactions to the police brutality. Favela residents neutralized control and started to organize cultural groups in many favelas, for denunciations, human rights defense. Those groups are connected to other groups from other favelas. They have lost their fear.

Those below re-launched their fight for dignity and for life. It sounded the alarm for those above. In one of the world’s most unequal countries, where class coincides with skin color, classism and racism are expressed with the brutal violence that characterizes colonial societies. Thus, Brazil must be analyzed as a colonial society, where capital accumulation supports itself on segregation that supposes the non- recognition of the humanity of those below.

The crisis has devolved that democracy is barely the veil that those above use to hide their shames: the first and fundamental being that they are not willing to share the pie with blacks and mestizos; only the leftover crumbs are for them. But the problem is something else: we believed the story, some for convenience, and others because of slowness or fear.

[1] To read about the current situation in the Complexo de Maré, a group of neighborhoods in Rio, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/11515531/Rio-favela-still-wracked-with-fear-and-violence-as-Olympics-2016-approaches.html

—————————————————————————

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 13, 2016

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/05/13/opinion/015a2pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

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