By the NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE PSTU
We call on the Workers Party (PT), the central organizations, unions, and social movements to mobilize workers and organize for self-defense!
NOV. 1—A few hours after announcing the defeat of Bolsonaro in the second round of yesterday’s presidential elections, Bolsonaro activists began to block highways across the country. By early afternoon on Tuesday, there were still 267 blockades in 23 states, even after the announcement of the unblocking of 421 spots.
Amongst the key orchestrators of these blockades are truck drivers, especially from agribusiness companies and fleets that, along with traders, finance the actions and this ultra-right-wing militancy. The blockades challenge the election result and are demanding military intervention to keep Bolsonaro in power. In other words, they are calling for a military coup. The silence of the defeated president is a green light for actions in support of the coup threats of Bolsonarism to continue.
Numerous videos circulating on social networks show the Federal Highway Police (PRF) and military police not only not repressing the roadblocks, but fraternizing and, in some cases, even encouraging the protesters to remain mobilized. The few clearings that have occurred so far, such as the access to Guarulhos airport, were carried out by the Municipal Guard.
This comes even after the minister of the Supreme Court (STF), Alexandre de Moraes, called for the PRF to immediately end the blockades, under penalty of fine and even threatening the arrest of the director general of the institution, the Bolsonarist Silvinei Vasques. It is the second threat of arrest for Vasques in less than 48 hours. On Sunday, in the middle of the election, the director was urged to stop the operations that prevented or delayed the arrival of voters at the polling places, especially in the Northeast.
A coup attempt?
There is no doubt that, far from being spontaneous or leaderless actions as they would like to make it seem, these are orchestrated coup protests and threats.
There are no conditions or correlation of forces for Bolsonaro to impose a coup at this moment, even with his refusal to acknowledge his defeat at the polls and preventing Lula’s inauguration. But he wants to maintain and deepen the questioning of the electoral result, and will continue organizing and mobilizing coup threats. This will be in addition to the goal of demonstrating strength and support in armed military sectors (such as part of the PRF, PM, and even the Armed Forces), and paramilitaries.
In light of this, the PT’s position of ignoring and, at most, demanding the institutions to take a position, helps to add water to the Bolsonarist mill. The criminal actions of the PRF of Vasques on Election Sunday, attacking the democratic freedom to vote, and now blocking roads, with threats of a lockout against the recognition of the election results, set a serious precedent, and are a green light to continue with threats and the possibility of preparing coup actions in the future.
One cannot trust and leave it merely in the hands of bourgeois institutionality to put an end to such threats and curb them. It is enough to see that the head of the PRF, who did not obey the TSE on Sunday, continued helping the Bolsonarists to block roads and is still free to continue his actions.
It is necessary to mobilize and organize the working class, both working and popular sectors. It is necessary that the workers and popular organizations organize a response to this roadblock action, but not only that, we need to be organized and prepared to, through self-defense, prevent new threats and defeat them.
The CSP-Conlutas and the unions and movements linked to it, alongside other sectors are calling for a unified meeting of the movements in the regions to react to this provocation.
Arrest the coup-instigating Bolsonarist commanders now!
The director general of the PRF should be arrested immediately, as well as the commanders of the public security forces that have shown support for the coup acts.
In the same way, we must demand an investigation and exemplary punishment of Bolsonaro and his family, both in relation to the criminal charges against them and their participation in this orchestrated action.
To the streets: mobilization and self-defense against the ultra-right!
The action of the Brasfels shipyard workers, who forcibly unblocked the BR Rio-Santos highway, is a true example of how the working class and the poor should act in the face of these demonstrations against the electoral results and in defense of a military dictatorship. As well as the population of the communities that, in the same way, destroyed the Bolsonarist barricades.
It is necessary to go to the streets and advance the organization, mobilization, and self-defense of our class and the popular masses. Both to ensure Bolsonaro’s definitive exit, breaking down the blockades and demonstrations for a military coup wherever possible, and to prepare for future clashes against the ultra-right.
The PSTU (Unified Socialist Workers Party) is the section of the International Workers League-FI in Brazil.
Photo: Demonstrators organize self-defense coordination in the face of police repression during an act in Brasilia in 2017. (Romerito Pontes)
From what I have read, there have been road blockades by truck drivers in the past, and that they were primarily by owner operators. These owner operators, aka independent truckers, are 1/3 of the truckers in Brazil. Given their precarious position, they can go either left (to the unionized workforce) or to the right. Supposedly the rightists have been approaching them in recent years. The unions have a job cut out for them.