We workers and trade unions unequivocally declare: We stand against Bolsonaro and the disastrous policies he has imposed on the Brazilian people.
In just one term, Jair Bolsonaro has scarred Brazil. His presidency brought economic decline, violent, extremist threats and growing inequality. Bolsonaro has sold the country off to the highest bidder, privatizing all that he can. The Amazon rainforest is in flames, encouraged by the government. Workers’ rights are under attack. The president himself incites racist and misogynist hatred — pitting Brazilians against one another. Hunger, once nearly eradicated, afflicts millions of hard-working families. Indeed, Bolsonaro so willfully disregards the life of his own citizens that he was charged with “crimes against humanity” at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
President Bolsonaro has now turned to sustained attacks to undermine the democratic process. While attacking the integrity of Brazil’s electoral system, he restricts independent electoral observation. Last year, Bolsonaro urged supporters to violently storm the country’s National Congress and Supreme Court. He has even claimed he will not leave office unless he is killed or imprisoned, later stating that he is willing “to go to war” over election results he plans to contest. The gravity of these threats cannot be underestimated.
We furthermore declare our unwavering resolve to defend the rule of law and Brazil’s democratic institutions. Despite a resounding first place finish by Workers’ Party candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on 2 October in the first round of the presidential election with nearly 48.5% of the vote, sustained mobilization by democratic forces in Brazil and international solidarity will be required to defend the popular will.
Workers and unions are a lynchpin of any democratic society — and there is no better case than Brazil. In the 1980s, mass industrial action was a turning point in Brazil's democratic transition. Sustained strikes and protests by workers across the ABC region in São Paulo proved a decisive factor in bringing down the brutal military dictatorship.
Without unions, without workers, without our struggle, the very democratic society Brazil enjoys today would not be possible.
Now more than ever, workers, unions and their allies in Brazil remain ready to defend against the reactionary, anti-social agenda that Bolsonarismo represents. And we — their trade union sisters and brothers around the world — stand with them in eternal and unwavering solidarity.
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