Brazil: Emergency platform to confront the coronavirus pandemic and crisis

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By Brasil Popular Front & Povo Sem Medo

April 16, 2020 — The Brasil Popular Front and Povo Sem Medo (People Without Fear) along with the social, people’s and student movements, central unions, political parties, traditional religions and entities of civil society, signatories to this document, concerned with the life of the Brazilian people, present and defend an emergency platform, in order to save our people from the tragedy of the new coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis, the lack of income and the irresponsible policy of the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which can kill thousands of Brazilians.

The moment we are going through is unprecedented in recent history. Humanity has come to know the enemy and its own weaknesses during the battle. We don't have, nor does anyone else have, the magic recipe for overcoming this situation. All exits involve the submission of private interests to those of the whole of society, collective action, unity and popular solidarity.

In this context, the Federal Government, by failing to take effective measures against the crisis, became the main threat to the safety and well-being of the Brazilian population. In contrast to leading the nation in fighting the pandemic, the President of the Republic acts openly to sabotage measures to protect the Brazilian people, contrary to the measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Simple measures such as quarantine, the universalization of Covid-19 tests, and the guarantee of basic income for workers that have been applied in most countries on all continents.

That is why, in addition to proposing alternatives, we add to the voices of millions of Brazilians who have daily expressed their rejection of President Jair Bolsonaro and demanded the end of a government that plays on the lives and deaths of human beings.

Our economy is controlled by financial capital and transnational corporations that, even before the coronavirus, were already imposing the worst living conditions on our people. The virus arrives in Brazil at a time of economic stagnation, dismantling of public services, increasing poverty and social inequality. The labor market is highly precarious, with high unemployment and a large proportion of those employed in informal jobs, without social protection.

The crisis caused by a pandemic exposes the irrationality and folly of the neoliberal and neo-fascist projects that today are leading the nation. The annulment of social rights, the privatization of public services and companies, the assault on public resources by large companies and banks, the deregulation and precariousness of work and the denial of the State as guarantor of human and social rights are formulas that only keep us from solving the most urgent problems of the people.

For all of us who claim a democratic and popular project for Brazil, it is impossible, therefore, to dissociate social mobilization to face the pandemic from that by a qualitative and programmatic 4 change of government in the country. The persistence of a government and a ruler guided by private and business interests, which works against scientific evidence and limits state action to combat the crisis, makes it extremely difficult for the Brazilian people to overcome this situation.

Preventing the situation from worsening further requires effective and concrete proposals. With that in mind, we have put together a set of feasible measures that can help to lessen the dramatic consequences of the current economic and health crisis. In this document, we present proposals to unite social forces to dialogue with Brazilian society about the collective responsibility of reversing a scenario whose prognosis is not very optimistic. We hope the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary will accept such proposals, grouped in the following axes:

1. Basic conditions in order to save our people

2. Promotion and strengthening of public health

3. Guarantee of employment and income for workers

4. Social protection, right to food and housing for everyone

5. Right to food for everyone

6. Right to decent housing

7. Reorientation of the economy and allocation of public resources

We have a long and decisive battle ahead of us, which will only be won if we manage to bring unity of action to our people and reorganize life in society. Our lives can no longer be controlled by the greed of capital.

Download PDF version of plan here