Thousands of people take to the streets throughout Brazil for an 'Exit to the Left'

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Info Source: 
Pagina do MST*

In São Paulo, the largest demonstration in the country, at least 100,000 joined against fiscal adjustment and in defense of democracy.

Protest Sao Paulo

Hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets across the country on Thursday (8/20/15).

The demonstrations, endorsed by several popular movements, have focused on denouncing current austerity policies of the federal government and the "conservative turn" led by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) by stating that "the exit out of the crisis is to the left. “

The criticism of the fiscal adjustment and calls for "the rich to pay for the crisis," pointing, also, for the taxation of large fortunes, dividend and profit remittances and an auditing of public debt as alternatives to relieve the economy.

The movements also argue that the exit from the crisis "should be on the left," and called for the people to fight for reforms.

In São Paulo, the largest demonstration, it is estimated that about 100,000 people ended up adding to the mobilization that began in Largo da Batata and went to Paulista Avenue.

They also had demonstrations in at least in some cities of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Minas Gerais, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Pará, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Ceará and Bahia, and Manaus and Brasilia.

Protest Sao Paulo

"We want to demonstrate to the whole of the working class that if we unite forces we can ensure a progressive agenda," said João Paulo Rodrigues, of the MST.

The president of the CUT [Central Única dos Trabalhadores (Unified Workers' Central)], Vagner Freitas, emphasized that the demonstration supports a national development project, generating jobs and income and reduce inequalities. "We want to respect democracy. Those who lost the elections must stop with this 'third round' of elections and prepare for 2018," Vagner said.

"But we do not agree with these disastrous neoliberal policies to workers. It is necessary to tax large fortunes. Who earns more should pay more. Also we do not agree with tackling inflation with the policy of high interest rates. The market does not think of the workers,” said the president of the CUT. "We are here for agrarian reform, for political reform that would end the business financing of campaigns, for a tax reform that reduces inequalities and a media reform to combat the concentration and oligopoly of the media."

A "selective outrage" of last Sunday's protest was observed by Guilherme Boulos, of the MTST [Homeless Workers Movment]. "We are here to reject this selective morality of who was at Avenida Paulista saying it's corruption, but then applauds Eduardo Cunha and Aécio Neves," he said, referring to the mayor, who has just been denounced by the Attorney General of the Republic for crimes of bribery and money laundering, and the PSDB senator and president of the PSDB.

Cunha was also the target of the speech of Raimundo Bonfim, the state coordinator of the CMP [Center for Popular Movements], "Strange that the name of one of the biggest corrupt politicians in the country was not seen on any poster. The elite that were on Paulista [Avenue] Sunday [August 16] do not want to end corruption, but an end to the social programs."

Boulos was also blunt in criticizing the federal government: "We are not here to defend any government. We are also rejecting the fiscal adjustment that cuts social investment, and this Agenda Brazil," he said, referring to proposals made by the President of the Senate, Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL).

On the pretext of conducting a negotiation to end the crisis of governability, Renan proposes measures such as approval of the project that releases the outsourcing, the easing of rules for environmental permit granting, changing the contribution period for retirement, among others, that open way for further privatization and attack indigenous lands. "We do not accept any pact without people. This is an exit from the crisis on the right. And we defend the ‘exit on the left.’ And fiscal adjustment on the backs of the rich. This is just the beginning. "

* With information from RBA [Brazil Amazon Television Network]