frontline 12

Brazil - Movement for a new party

The victory of Lula and the Workers Party (PT) in Brazil in 2002 was hailed as a step forward for the left. In the election campaign it became clear that Lula was prepared to move to the right and to preside over a government that would not challenge neo-liberalism. The expulsion of three left-wing MP's (see Frontline 10) who opposed the governments plans to cut public sector pensions gave the impetus to creating a movement for a new party to the left of the PT. The founding statement of the movement was signed by the expelled MP's and is carried below.

Political Declaration: 'Left Democratic Socialist Movement for a new party'

Who are we?

We form part of those who:

Reject the disgraceful subordination to the financial system and consequential predatory speculation that Brazil was subjected to under the imposition of the neo-liberal model during the 1990's.

We will never passively accept that the incessant profits of the international moneylenders should be greater than the national, just and democratic development of the Brazilian people through the accounts of supposed external debt that has never been audited and that was multi-plied many times during the application of this economic model.

We loudly oppose the privatizations that have handed over our inheritance of public companies to the big multi-national corporations almost always financed by BNDES.

We defend the consistent history of struggle, with the banners and demands of the working class, which allowed the victory of Lula in the elections of 2002, when the Brazilian people showed their rejection of the neo-liberal model.

We give continual support to the struggles of the workers and youth, to the marches and occupations of the landless and the homeless, to the strikes and mobilisations for better wages, employment, land, education, health and in better conditions of life.

We have been in the front line in the struggle against pension reform, of the mobilisations and strikes of the federal state employees and oppose the dismantling of the public pensions and benefiting the private pension funds.

We are not prepared to see this victory transformed into another episode that frustrates the interests of the Brazilian people.

We are those that defend socialism, democracy and liberty.

How we see the actual picture today

We do not accept the premise that there is no alternative to the unquestionably "bad inheritance" that exists due to the continuation of this rejected neo-liberal model even for a so-called transitional period. Above all there can be no transition to democratise a model when the dynamic applied is founded within the paradigms of conservative orthodox monetarism. This was even confirmed by the Minister of the Economy when he spoke to the federal PT parliamentary group and affirmed that the absurd recessionary fiscal surplus must be maintained for the next 10 years.

We do no accept that a government, whose majority is made up of the Workers' Party, can present as great conquests those things that only serve the interests of the market speculators and make totally unacceptable constitutional amendments. They do not take into account that such 'virtual indices' are published simultaneously with the tragedy of the real economy with record levels of unemployment and the fall in the value of wages. We also eject the so-called Pension Reform and the Taxation Reform which were even part of the plans established by the IMF. These initiatives would have been concretised under the government of FHC but for the mass resistance of those involved supported by the PT.

We consider, therefore, that Lula's government is determined to undertake the task which was done in the past by institutional social democracy - to do for big capital what the traditional right wing was not able to achieve.

This scenario has led us to conclude that:

It is clear that the PT, in an irreversible form, has moved dropped its founding principals. It is already moving in the municipal election campaign of 2004 and the Presidential campaign of 2006 to establish alliances based on the support of the the PMDB, PTB, PL and whoever is prepared to participate in "giving and taking" in the buying of parliamentary votes. Even the PP of Maluf is now given space to demand front line posts. The PCdoB, PSB and PPS after making a noise here and there has ended up supporting and consolidating this broad front of the centre-right - leaving it open that evidently it could not leave a vacuum.

What we want

We believe in the struggle of the working class, the youth and the poor as an instrument that can result in conquests being made for employment, wages, land, health and education. We defend the right the right of the most oppressed against the atmosphere of fear and threats that is developing as a result of the policies being applied by the government.

We do not support the turn of the leadership of the PT and its government. We have the right, if not the obligation, to build a party political alternative, to occupy the ground which they have abandoned. An alternative party of struggle, against the neo-liberal model and the government which is applying it, in defence of the demands and banners of the working class. This alternative of the masses is plural, democratic and internationalist, free of whatever doctrinaire attitude or sectarian spirit, which methods that guarantee the active participation of the membership with full right for all tendencies, respect for minority opinions and opinions. The party will be open to members who break from the PT and to those that have not been members of it, along with other left parties that reject being seduced by the palace privileges and who defend the independence of the working class in the face of the bourgeoisie. It is open to all those who that are clear of absolute incompatibility of satisfying the demands for social justice and the radicalisation of the democratic process within the limits of the capitalist system. It is open to all who define themselves as being 'left' and identify with Socialism and democracy as a strategic, explicit and permanent objective.

We defend the building of an alternative party with all those they do not accept the continued submission of the country to the interests of the banks and the IMF: oppose ALCA (FTAA): support non payment of the foreign debt: oppose the autonomy of the Central Bank: oppose the reduction of workers rights laid down in the trade union reform and labour laws of the Lula government and policy of destroying public universities outlined in the university reform.

This is what we want to build following this first meeting. These are some of the ideas which we want to discuss with thousands of comrades in order to build together a new political tool for the Brazilian people. We believe that only with a full democratic discussion can this new political alternative develop, It is for this discussion that we call upon all those who believe that another world is possible and necessary to participate.

Rio de Janeiro 19 January 2004.

Heloísa Helena (Senator), Luciana Genro, Babá, Joao Fontes (Federal Deputies), Agnaldo Fernades (Socialismo e Liberdade), André Ferrari (Socialismo Revolucionario), Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Cid Benjamin, Démerson Dias, Edílson Silva (Pólo Resistendia Socialista) Elídio Marques (Movmiento Esquerda Socialista) Francisco Affonso Henrique Acker (Movimineto Terra y Liberdade), Iranilson Brasil, Jadiel Messias dos Santos (Sintrasef) Jefferson Moura (Movimineto Terra e Liberdade), Leandro Konder, Luiz Carlos Lucas, Marcelo Badaró, Marco Antonio Figueiredo, (Nosse Temo e Hoje), Maria de Souza Lima, Marlene Moreira (Assibg-SN), Martiniano Cavalcante (Movimineto Terra e Liberdade), Miguel Leme (Socialismo Revolucionario), Ney Nunes (Uniao Cominista), Nilo Sergio Aragao (Nosse Temo e Hoje) Miguel Malheiros (Correinte Socialista dos Trabalhadores), Pedro Fuentes (Movimineto Esquerda Socialista), Reginaldo Schenermann (Nosso Tempo e Hoje), Robério Paulino (Movimiento Terra e Liberdade), Roberto Leher, Roberto Morales (Movimineto Esquerda Socialista) Silaedson Juninho (Corriente Socialista dos Trabalhadores) Tostao (Socialismo Liberdade), Welington Cabral (Corrente Socialista dos Trabalhadores).