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FAG: The counter-attack
brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana | repression / prisoners | opinion / analysis Wednesday November 11, 2009 15:02 by Federação Anarquista Gaúcha - FAG fag.solidariedade at gmail dot com
Rally at "Democratic Corner", march along Borges Avenue and rally at the Quilombo of Arts. And now?
"Now is the time for Unity of Lines and of Struggle, the time for Yeda and her whole bunch to go, the time for Punishment and Judgement for those who killed landless peasant Eltom Brum da Silva and those who ordered the killing! Because this land and its people will not be sold to the World Bank! Neo-liberalism in Rio Grande do Sul will not succeed!" [Português]
The counter-attack: rally at "Democratic Corner", march along Borges Avenue and rally at the Quilombo of Arts. And now?
As the investigation goes on, one frantic day follows another, and interesting situations are developing. The movement of solidarity with the FAG is going further than simple rejection by the various components of the popular movement and the Left in general of the neo-liberal government, accused of corruption. It is a recognition of the work of this organization, both in terms of insertion as a means of empowering organized social fighters (thus eliminating the power of professional intermediaries), and of the effective policy of unity in struggle, not sterile sectarianism. The political and social reach of the FAG is much greater than Crusius and her minions think.
This was plain to see on Tuesday 3 November when after a thunderstorm at 6pm, around a hundred people from different groups to the left gathered at "Democracy Corner" (the corner of Rua da Praia and Borges), in the centre of Porto Alegre, under a constant drizzle, for a political rally against the repression of the FAG. Following the rally there was a brief march along Av. Borges de Medeiros to the Quilombo das Artes, the cultural centre of the "Utopia and Struggle" Autonomous Community, where another political rally took place. By not changing our mode of work, the State powers were shown that their official intimidation has not worked. Though the 17th Precinct has not yet completed its investigation, which leaves some margin for legal action, as far as the strictly political is concerned, the solidarity campaign has been strengthened and is demanding that the police investigation into the murder of landless peasant Eltom Brum be reopened. Certainly, this has increased the legitimacy of the FAG and the organization has been strengthened by the episode. But what now?
We can point out some variables. If human rights activists do manage to reopen the investigation into the murder of Eltom, what will happen to police bosses in Rio Grande do Sul? What will the Crusius government do? Will they intensify their focus on political repression, maybe going after other organizations on the left? Will they pick out another target, this time perhaps not specifically political, but social, and therefore with a wider base? Will there be a repeat of the campaign of violence that we saw in the first half of 2008, when Colonel Mendes (now commander general of the Brigade) acted as Rio Grande do Sul's "Capitão do Mato" [bully boy], at the service of the neo-liberal mafia based in Piratini?
The only certainty is that 2010 promises a lot, and we can strengthen our forces in the political field if we cede a little on the legal front, without allowing this scum to destroy the militant morale of our group of comrades. The coming year will a year for the Other Campaign. We will be fighting for strategic, long-term issues, such as protecting the Pampa ecosystem and fighting the sale of Rio Grande to the World Bank. The electoral race of the representatives of bourgeois democracy at the ballot box cannot quell our efforts to expand our range of action and really mark out what is most important to the people. The FAG has already started this and deserves some political merit, which it seems is being recognized, even by the neo-liberals given their decision to repress the organization. As we said above, it hits the mark and reaches elements we did not reach before.
Because, as the FAG comrades said to end their organization's speech on 3 November: "Now is the time for Unity of Lines and of Struggle, the time for Yeda and her whole bunch to go, the time for Punishment and Judgement for those who killed landless peasant Eltom Brum da Silva and those who ordered the killing! Because this land and its people will not be sold to the World Bank! Neo-liberalism in Rio Grande do Sul will not succeed!"
Federação Anarquista Gaúcha9 November 2009
Translation by FdCA - International Relations Office