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"Bush out of Iraq and Lula out of Haiti"
IN BRAZIL, the biggest protest was on 8 March in São Paulo, where President Lula received Bush. The US president's visit flies in the face of Lula's Workers' Party (PT) attempt to regain a progressive image, especially in relation to the government's foreign policy.
André Ferrari, Socialismo Revolucionário, CWI, Brazil
In spite of all the efforts from the PT and PCdoB (Communist Party of Brazil) and the organisations led by them, - CUT (biggest trade union federation) and UNE (National Union of Students) - these parties and pro-government organisations didn't succeed in stopping the left denounce the presence of Brazilian troops in Haiti at the service of US imperialism.
At the demo in Avenida Paulista, the biggest financial centre of Latin America, behind a banner of "Bush out" and the defence of women's rights, the fighting left organised a strong 'Classist and Feminist Bloc'. "Bush out of Iraq and Lula out of Haiti" was the slogan that found the biggest echo amongst the demonstrators.
Present were thousands of activists from PSOL (Party for Socialism and Liberty), PSTU (United Socialist Workers' Party), PCB (Brazilian Communist Party), alongside new movements that are building alternatives to the pro-government leaderships of CUT and UNE, like Conlutas (National Coordination of Struggles) and Intersindical.
Socialismo Revolucionário (SR), the Brazilian section of the CWI that works as a current within PSOL, and especially its women militants, played an important role in the building of this left bloc.
The demo also rejected Lula's neo-liberal policies and the agreements with US imperialism.
The demo on Avenida Paulista was repressed severely by the military police of São Paulo state. Gas grenades and rubber bullets were used against the demonstrators. More than 20 were wounded, including two members and one sympathiser of SR.
A HUGE propaganda campaign was made to show that the agreements between George Bush and president Lula over the production of biofuels, such as alcohol produced from sugar cane, would benefit Brazil. However, not even this propaganda succeeded in containing the immense opposition to the presence of the US warlord on Brazilian soil.
Bush and Lula's model of biofuel production only serves big international capital and imperialism. They want to impose a system of production based on monoculture crops, latifundia (big landed estates), rural workers on semi-slave conditions, and using transgenic seeds (as in the case of soy and corn maize), thereby having to pay royalties to the transnationals.
Part of the interests of imperialism is also to try to reduce their economies' dependence on Venezuelan and Middle Eastern oil. Their 'green concerns' are only propaganda, as the production of sugar cane in Brazil generally uses methods that are very damaging to the environment.
In the end, almost nothing was agreed upon between the governments, not even a lowering of the high trade tariffs upon Brazilian alcohol that is exported to the USA.
Full report can be read on www.socialistworld.net
In The Socialist 22 March 2007:
War and terrorism
Socialist Party campaigns
International Socialist Resistance
Socialist Party news and analysis
What we think
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis