Brazil: "Liberty, Socialism and Revolution" is born
ON THE 22 May in São Paulo, Brazil, a successful unification congress took place between Socialist Liberty Collective (CLS) and Revolutionary Socialism (SR - the Brazilian section of the CWI), to form a new organisation - Liberty, Socialism and Revolution (LSR). André Ferrari, of the national committee of LSR, reports on the new formation.
APART FROM members of SR and CLS, many other guests took part in the opening rally. Amongst those represented were Conlutas (a central organisation for trade union and social movements) and PSOL (the new broad left Party for Socialism and Liberty). Other currents and parties also sent representatives.
Although the CWI leadership was not able to be represented, a video greeting by Tony Saunois, on behalf of the International Secretariat, was played at the rally. Greetings were also received from other parts of the country and from different parts of the world.
The new organisation has from its launch a presence in eight Brazilian states and is intervening in a number of trade unions, social movements, such as the landless peoples, the students, the women's and LGBT movement.
After a broad discussion the congress voted to accept the basic documents to constitute the new organisation, a declaration of principles, a programme, statutes and a resolution agreeing to affiliate to the Committee for a Workers' International, and establish the new organisation as the new Brazilian section.
The congress also reaffirmed its support for active participation in Conlutas and the effort to build a new, united centre for trade unions and social movements in the country. It also endorsed a policy of fighting to build a left revolutionary wing of PSOL. On both fronts, Conlutas and PSOL, LSR will participate in the Socialist Resistance Bloc that brings together different left groupings.
The socialist activists present in the congress sought to take decisions that reflected the new, historic moment which has begun, marked by the global capitalist crises and the necessity to reorganise and strengthen a new coherent socialist left, capable of responding to the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the working class and poor.
The Brazilian working class is severely affected by the most serious crisis of international capitalism since 1945. This is despite the triumphalist speeches of Brazil's social democratic president, Lula.
The wave of mass sackings in industry and other sectors of the economy in the last few months is far from over. It is enough to see the threats hanging over the workers of the mining giant Vale to recognise what is still to come. We will see new mass sackings, and also attempts to cut the wages of public sector workers.
The government and the bosses are trying to avoid wage increases at any cost. They use the crisis to justify this. The wage negotiations together with new layoffs, together with the despair of workers who were sacked at the beginning of the year and are now running out of unemployment pay, may provoke new radicalised mobilisations in the coming months.
However, the development of political consciousness about the way out of the crisis depends largely on the role and intervention of conscious socialists. The ongoing struggles, the perspective for more mobilisations in the next semester and the elections in 2010 will be important opportunities to strengthen a working class and socialist alternative to the crisis.
The LSR has been born and is directly involved in these struggles and processes.
As the comrades closed the congress by singing The Internationale, it was clear that an important step was being taken, not only in their individual trajectories as activists, but also in the building of a coherent socialist alternative in Brazil.
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