This is an interview series with folks living in every country around the world. This second report from Brazil is with an activist named Marcos.
Jae: What are the major organizations doing positive liberation work in your area?
Marcos: Hard to say… In my specific area, I know none. I live in the countryside, and I know there are antifascists around, but I don’t know who they are. In Brazil, in general, there are some parties and some organizations, but the parties tend to get too busy with electoral politics and no direct action.
J: Who are the writers and activists with their finger on the political pulse in Brazil?
J: What can international solidarity look like for comrades in Brazil?
M: Have conversations about our situation and history like you have about Venezuela and other countries. (And do that for other countries who are ignored, like Haiti.) International pressure against Bolsonaro’s (and his men in power) actions and speeches, international economic and political pressure (by pressuring governments)
J: What is the political climate in Brazil? Who holds the major politics/economics power?
M: arguably more divided then America’s. Since 2012 things are getting more and more binary between right and left. I can say for sure that we are in the rise of fascism. Bolsonaro is doing all the steps listed by Eco and other Fascism scholars. His supporters support him blindly and he also has an army of Twitter bots. He’s putting a lot of generals and Evangelical leaders in the higher slots of the government. Violence against minorities is rising ever so fast and police brutality is, for some years now, worse then in the USA.
J: Can you talk a bit about the daily life of the average proleteriat in Brazil?
M: The commute hours tend to be around 1-2h to and from work, the minimum wage is 998BR$ (Where BR stands for Brazilian Real) and it’s normal for the wages to be paid monthly, not hourly. The majority of the population lives in rentals. It is considered a privilege to be able to own a house or even live in apartments. Rent tends to be about 400BR$, but can get as high as 1500BR$ in the nicest neighborhoods. Of course gentrification is a huge factor. We also have about 12 million unemployed people here.
J: Can you contrast Brazil with other places you live in terms of economy and political life?
M: …Don’t know how to answer … never left the country.
J: Who are some artists who’ve touched on the political climate and economic situation in Brazil that resonates with you?
After the dictatorship, our Cinema got heavily political. You should watch:
Central do Brasil
O pagador de promessas
Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol
Cidade de Deus
Tropa de Elite 1 and 2
O que é isso companheiro
Today’s music is also getting political, mostly on rap. Listen too:
Baco Exu do Blues
Trilha sonora do gueto
J: What has been the biggest activist actions of the last ten years in Brazil?
M: On the left, the most recent one was #EleNao, a feminist manifestation of nation wide protesting Bolsonaro’s run for presidency. There’s also the occupations of idle land by MTST, lead by Guilherme Boulos, who also ran for president against Bolsonaro, but lost. This month they delivered an apartment lot for people without houses, achieved through these occupations.
J: Any self care advice you’d give comrades who are getting burnt out?
M: Therapy. Honestly, I don’t know much else, cause I need that advice too.
J: Can you give a brief overview of the history of anarchism in Brazil?
M: I wish I could, but we don’t really have a tradition of anarchy here. But… I cannot recommend enough the activism of Carlos Marighela, who was a member of PCB (Communist Party of Brazil) and wrote the Guide of the Urban Guerrilha. He gives very good instructions on attacking private property, setting targets, and overall guerrilla tactics.
J: Any closing remarks?
M: Americans can pressure Gov. Bolsanaro, who is seriously Trump’s little bitch. Bolsanaro just opened up our borders for the Americans, gave our most valuable satellite launch base, which the Americans have sabotaged for decades. Bolsanaro will do anything to please the Americans, and we need the Americans to shame him.