The struggle has just begun. The general strike has shown the way: unity in action against the coup d’état. The alternative independent media plays a fundamental role in this environment.
About 40 million workers participation; demonstrations in all states of the country and in Brasilia, public transportation, banks and factories stoppage; closed shops; Catholic Church, Evangelical Protestant Church and various civil society organizations support. Yesterday, April 28, Brazil experienced its largest general strike ever.
In an unexampled move, all the main Brazilian labor union federations were united in the call for the strike — a unity seen as key to explain the movement success. Just as important was the spontaneous mobilization of collective organizations created to cover areas not reached by the arms of unionism. Numerous reports show grassroots organized manifestations, specially in Brazil’s Northern and Northeastern regions.
Here are the facts that the dominant media try to suppress. Its deceitful narrative followed the same tone adopted before the strike. These channels concealed the consummation of the strike to the farthest point they could. Their manipulation knew no boundaries. Disciples of Joseph Goebbels, the head of Nazi propaganda, have been inebriated with the illusion that a lie repeated a thousandfold turns out to be true.
The day before the general strike, Brazil’s largest TV network (but not Brazilians’) simply erased the news that a great stoppage was about to happen. Not a word. On the following day, however, it was forced to put almost all its journalists out on the streets to cover a strike which, according to them, was not going to happen … Their behavior change speaks for itself. It discloses their cowardly acknowledgment that, despite of their powerful wish for the opposite, general strike was a reality that not even this billionaire media clan could ignore.
The narrative of the great capital, broadcasted by those at its service and its command, was full of the same fallacious arguments in the presence of the success of the general strike. In the following day, April 29, the big newspapers still squirm to reduce the movement to a local and inexpressive, minority thing. The contrast with the facts is so brutal that even dead fishes in street markets will probably not accept being wrapped by this kind of papers.
The coup government recited the same script. Not surprisingly: all cut from the same cloth. During the strike, Temer and the thief entourage who (mis) govern the country climbed ministers of second line to give way to the verbiage of forgeries. Osmar Serraglio, that is, the one caught in negotiations aimed at extorting tips from meatpackers, went to radio, TV and other media outlets to preach the “failure of the strike”. The guy, amazingly, is Minister of Justice. Nothing better to portray the kind of creature that assaulted power — few times such expression has been so real.
Meanwhile, Michel Temer, the chief of these people, was comfortably sheltered in the presidential palace. He planned to make a statement to the nation to celebrate what he would call as a “setback” of the movement. He gave up his plan, and everyone knows the reasons. He preferred a note from which it is hard to remember the beginning, the middle, and the end. Not without reason. With 4% of popularity, rejected by 92% of the population, hated by the people, snubbed by the pope and hanging on charges of having steered $ 40 million during the election campaign, Temer acted the same way a thief does whenlooking for one side, calls the police and and turn to the other while stealing a wallet.
Sa Paulo Mayor João Doria has not missed the chance to exercise trickery with the fear of the workers. He got to his cabinet by helicopter on the 28th. Lobbyist who made a fortune on the basis of influence with businessmen, partners and public agencies such as Embratur, Doria had the good idea of describing strikers as “bums”. He forced servants to sleep at work. And he forced one of them to an unprecedented humiliation: to say that he was in favor of strikes, but not on a working day.
If that were all, we would have the scenario of a country governed by people incapable and disoriented. But that’s not the point. In the absence of any force of ideas, the gendarmerie puppet again resorted to the idea of force. And there came the cops. Coup leaders had summoned thousands of uniformed men to attack a people’s legitimate movement against the reforms that rip labor laws and narrowly require a death certificate from those who want to enjoy already meager retirement pensions.
Facts, photos and images prove: clashes sung in prose and verse by the official media originated in the brutal police repression. Injured toll surpass the dozens. At least one worker lost an eye; pregnant women gave birth by not resisting the impact of gas bombs and its (i) moral effect; Protesters were hit when they tried to escape from the bombs.
There were arrests in several cities. The show of force carried out by the police found its apex in the siege around the coup president’s house. Hundreds of soldiers threw bombs and shot rubber bullets at workers and young people who wanted to defend their right to a respectabli job and a better future.
But the people did not back down, even in the face of such unfavorable conditions of struggle. The message has been sent. Workers, students, the youth and the poorest population will not accept bills erasing hard earned rights. There is atill time to overturn the labor reform, approved only in first vote. There is time to prevent reactionary changes in retirement.
The fighting has just begun. The path is the same as the general strike: unity in action against the coup. In this scenario, independent media outlets plays a key role. No wonder the news about the strike were in the first place on Twitter trending topics worldwide for several hours on Friday.
It is a job that is not restricted to the hundreds of workers and young people who make up this true information network. It counts, as it counted on the day of the strike, with the collaboration of anonymous people sending photos, videos, news and audio messages showing what actually happens — not the post-truth (lies, in good Portuguese) spread out by the official media. Jornalistas Livres welcomes and thanks everyone who joins in this effort to rescue the truth.
From all this, a certainty emerges: nothing will be as before after this historic April, 28 2017.
Translation by Ricardo Gozzi and Cesar Locatelli