Brazil: Social movements denounce 'institutional coup'

May 20, 2016
Brazillians marching in December against attempts to remove Dilma.

Brazil's Federal Senate voted on May 12 to proceed with the impeachment process against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in a move that many see as an attempt by the right-wing opposition to carry out an “institutional coup”.

In response, the Popular Brazil Front, a broad coalition that includes the Unified Workers' Central (CUT) and the Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), said in a statement that the senate had “capitulated in the face of the oligarchy's coup against the Constitution, and become an accomplice in the flagrant breach of the democratic order”.

The Front insisted: “The popular vote has been usurped by parliamentarians seeking to seize political power. Acting without the backing of elections, they are part of the coalition of conservative forces that came together to establish an illegitimate government at the service of large local and international economic groups.

The statement described Dilma's “temporary removal” as “nothing more than a farce: with no crime of responsibility having been committed, it is simply a means towards inflicting heavy setbacks on … Brazilian workers.

“The intentions of the coup leaders have been openly declared: cut wages, end the policy of increasing the minimum wage, cut spending on social programs, eliminate civil rights, privatise state enterprises, reduce public investment, annul constitutionally-imposed expenditure on health and education, abdicate national sovereignty in the face of imperialist centres.

“To fulfil this anti-people and anti-national program, they will not hesitate to go beyond the institutional coup in progress, adopting measures of criminalisation and repression against democratic resistance, social movements and progressive parties.”

In response, the Front called on “workers from the city and countryside, on intellectuals and artists committed to freedom, on youth and women to reject this attack on democracy, in all centres of study, workplaces and communities”.

“We are all united under the slogan 'Temer Out': there will only be peace when government is restored to those who received a constitutional mandate at the last elections.

“The coup will be defeated in the streets and institutions. We will continue pressuring the senators until the day of the final vote. We will continue demanding that the Supreme Court express its opinion on the merits of the impeachment.

“We will defend the social gains made to date and react against the unpatriotic agenda of usurpers.

“Once again in our history, the Brazilian people have the mission of returning the country to the rule of law and a democratic regime through their own actions.”

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