The Socialist 12 June 2004 |
Join the Socialist
New Workers' Party Founded In Brazil
AMIDST ENTHUSIASTIC scenes, upwards of 1,000 workers,
young people and representatives from the landless movement, formed a new
party - "Party of Socialism and Liberty" (SOL) - in Brasília on 5-6 June.
20,000 participated in regional and city meetings leading up to this historic
The impetus for SOL came from the sharp rightward shift of
Lula's PT government and party. Some left PT MPs originally protested against
attacks on workers' pensions rights and the brutal offensive against the civil
servants - but only one senator in the upper house, Heloísa
Helena, and three MPs in the lower house, voted against these vicious attacks.
In the conference, militant speeches for "socialism" and
"revolution" gained an enthusiastic response from the floor, with constant
chanting of slogans and demands for socialism now.
Party leader Heloísa
Helena is a very popular figure and an extremely effective mass orator, as is
another MP from Pará in the north of Brazil. She said that "the party will
hold up the banner of socialism and struggle relentlessly against a system
which kills workers and the poor".
SOL's constitution is very democratic, with the right to
tendencies to put their position within the party and publicly if they so
wish. A political programme was accepted far to the left of other parties that
have been created elsewhere, with an explicit pledge for socialism and
Some aspects of the programme however, need clarification
and these were taken up by the members of Socialismo Revolucionário,
the Brazilian section of the Committee for a Worker's International.
This new formation is not a classically "broad party" but
a coalition of sizeable Trotskyist and revolutionary trends. But with the
right approach it could find a big echo amongst angry and radicalised
JOAO BATISTA (Baba) was an MP of the ruling PT party but
was expelled for opposing the cuts programme carried out by Lula's PT
government. Baba, a founding member of SOL, will address the opening rally of
Socialism 2004. Book your ticket today!