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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly actions of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters, who attempted to overthrow President Lula through a coup. Bolsonaro supporters stormed the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace in Brazil on Sunday, because his supporters refuse to accept that Bolsonaro lost the elections to President Lula da Silva in a fair process. They were hoping their actions would result in regime change. Some of the demonstrators called for a military intervention to either restore the far-right Bolsonaro to power, or oust Lula from the presidency.
Thousands of demonstrators bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs, smashed windows and invaded buildings. They vandalized offices and destroyed and damaged infrastructure. Police fired tear gas in their efforts to recover the buildings, and at least 400 protestors were arrested and removed from the area after President Lula got the federal authorities to intervene.
The incident was eerily similar to the Jan 6 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump, who refused to accept the results of the elections which resulted in Trump being ousted from power and replaced with Joe Biden. Bolsonaro is a fascist just like Trump and this attack is not surprising. He has been sowing doubt about the reliability of the nation’s electronic voting system, and he has done so with no evidence, just like Trump did. The results were recognized as legitimate by politicians and institutions from across the spectrum, including some of his own allies, as well as dozens of foreign governments, and the local Electoral body of that country. There is absolutely no evidence to back up these false claims peddled by Bolsonaro and his supporters.
We are not surprised that Bolsonaro and his band of cowardly fascists would resort to such desperate tactics. They refuse to accept that they are a minority in Brazil and that their right wing views are not shared by the majority of the electorate. They are also fearful of what a progressive Lula Presidency will do because it means that their power and privilege will be weakened. NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim said,
“NUMSA stands in solidarity with President Lula and with all the freedom loving people of Brazil who voted him into power. We call on all progressive formations who care about democracy, here and all over the globe, to defend President Lula against the actions of opportunistic fascists who seek to destabilize Brazil for their own selfish right wing agenda. They have good reason to fear him. The last time that Lula was in power he transformed the lives of at least 20 million Brazilians by lifting them out of poverty through progressive Socialist policies.”
NUMSA calls on all progressive Left formations to unite and defend President Lula, because if Brazil under the leadership of Lula succeeds, that is a victory for us all. We support the revolutionary agenda which Lula and his administration are driving. International solidarity is one of the core values of the union and NUMSA wants to encourage all progressive Left forces in that country to continue to stand firm in defence of democracy in Brazil. The return of Lula is proof positive that a united working class, can transform the lives of the majority, by driving a revolutionary agenda for its own benefit and interest. The counter reactionary primitive right-wing fascists must be defeated not only in Brazil but all over the world.
The struggle continues!
Issued by NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim
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