Socialist Left Movement (MES): For an independent and anti-capitalist PSOL

PSOL Militant Thesis

The existence of PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party); is a fact. Against those who didn't believe it was possible to build a party to the left of the PT (Workers Party), the almost 300,000 members, the thousands of militants in the workers', popular, peasant and student movements, as well as the parliamentary expression won, proved that it was possible. Occupying the space left empty by the PT's decision to take over the management of the bourgeois state, within the framework of its strategy for the development of national capitalism, was the PSOL's minimum founding project. In addition, its founding strategy was to position itself as an anti-capitalist party with mass influence. This point has not been realised and is even under threat. Backtracking on it could jeopardise everything.

As a result of the contradictions of the global and national situation, the extreme right has gained a weight it has never had in the country's history and democratic unity to confront it has presented itself as a central challenge for the party. The right unity, prioritised with parties that claim to be working class parties, of which the PT is the most important, enabled the electoral victory against Jair Bolsonaro, guaranteeing a fundamental democratic path to pull the country out of the abyss and avoid a catastrophe that was imminent.

However, the catastrophe that threatens the working class remains a threat. Not only is the far right still strong, but the Brazilian capitalist state has no possibility of guaranteeing a dignified life for the people, nor a real democracy capable of allowing the authentic participation of workers and poor people in the direction of the country. This incapacity will lead to popular discontent and, if there is no left wing that presents itself and positions itself to fight this state, only the extreme right will be able to present itself to channel the energies of the masses. That's why the PSOL's position must be to defend the government when it is attacked by the extreme right and to remain independent, presenting proposals that adjust the richest, showing that the extreme right defends them. Our party must not support any government measure that places the price of the crisis on the backs of the workers.

This orientation - of a PSOL that fights the extreme right, but postures and claims to be independent - was seen in the week when the federal bench, headed by Sâmia Bomfim and Talíria Petrone, defended the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in the House of Deputies Parliamentary Commission (CPI) while at the same time pushing forward the fight against the fiscal framework. Despite strong initial resistance from part of the party leadership, it was a victory that the caucus voted unanimously against this adjustment and a demonstration that there is hope for PSOL.

Our thesis is a call to group together a militant centre, starting from the PSOL, to continue this relentless fight against the neo-fascists and to build an independent, ecosocialist alternative that is present and active in the struggle for wages, housing and better living and working conditions for the poor.

I - A prolonged struggle against the extreme right and the crisis ravaging the planet

The current historical period is marked by an unprecedented combination of crises. The third decade of the 21st century, ushered in by a pandemic that has sharpened the contradictions of capitalism in its phase of decomposition, is polarised by an extreme right with mass weight, ready to destroy the achievements of the previous period and impose even more dictatorial regimes.

After the pandemic, there was an acceleration in the convergence of crises (polycrisis or multidimensional crisis), which feed back on each other. Rebellions and resistance processes have also gained ground, within a context of liberal democracy's inability to offer a consistent alternative and the difficulty of socialist consciousness. Thus, the extreme right is organising its troops in a supposedly anti-system guise, when in fact it is the most rotten expression of capitalism in its political and economic form.

There is a combination in the world of:&;1) an unprecedented environmental crisis: the current phase of global capitalism has us facing a socio-environmental collapse in which we can see the destruction of ecosystems, the dismantling of environmental policies and the threats to the lives of the peoples of the rivers and forests, aggravated by the climate disaster that puts the future of humanity at risk;2) geopolitical crisis and chaos (with a nuclear threat), marked not only by the imperialist invasion of Ukraine, but also by competition between imperialisms, the dispute over the China Sea and Taiwan and many other conflicts — since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there have been no real threats to use nuclear weapons;3) structural economic crisis: economist Michael Roberts has warned of a possible recession in the central countries, in addition to the ongoing inflationary spiral, bank failures, such as the one in Silicon Valley (US), and debt crises in important and populous countries such as Pakistan, Egypt and Argentina; 4) social crisis: hunger and barbarism are multiplying, as well as the frightening growth in the number of exiles, dispossessed people, immigrants and other people in vulnerable situations who need to leave their countries of origin; 5) organic crisis of the regimes (neo-fascist drift): we are witnessing the growth of extreme right-wing groups, the breakdown of traditional "public opinion", the growing weight of big tech, and the rise of neo-fascist leaders such as Giorgia Meloni, André Ventura, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Narendra Modi, including in Latin America, with Javier Milei, Gabriel Kast, Keiko Fujimori, Paraguayo Cubas and Bolsonaro. The resilience of the figure of Donald Trump is also an illustration of the deep global political crisis.

The development of the productive forces, appropriated by the big capitalists of the digital world, will lead to more control over human labour power, in a big picture of involution in which the need to stop fascism and put an emergency brake on the destructive escalation cannot be postponed.

The project of the far right is the destruction of civilisation

Under the banners of militarism, “political correctness”, the supposed agenda of customs and the questioning of scientific knowledge, the far right wants a total war against the institutions of the workers' movement, going back to conditions of social life before the French Revolution.

It is not an empty or exaggerated threat to say that the strategic objective of the far right is to impose new political regimes and break the civilising pact organised over the last two centuries.

At the same time, the current imperialist phase of capitalism is advancing on natural resources and common goods. Such predatory practices, commonly seen in Brazil and the Amazon, have contributed to aggravating the climate crisis and there is already talk of threats to the human species. Experts point out that if there isn't a drastic change in socio-environmental policies, the Arctic glaciers will melt between 2030 and 2050.

Antifascism and internationalist solidarity

Interpreting reality is an imperative, given the complexity of the scenario, but it is insufficient, as Karl Marx's thesis eleven has already taught us. We need to take steps to transform the scenario by engaging in combat. Defeating the far right requires concrete measures on the international and national stage. It also requires a combination of broad anti-fascist solidarity to dispute a position in favour of the social majority in every event, and the re-establishment of bonds of trust and collective solidarity between the exploited and oppressed.

In the field of concrete politics, we need to demonstrate and demand that governments under attack from the extreme right are able to get moving and defend popular flags. The PSOL must show solidarity with the peoples who are fighting for national self-determination, such as the Kurds, the Palestinians and the Saharawis. Likewise, it must denounce campism and fight against the neo-fascist positions of Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Dugin, for example.

Our proposal is that the 8th Congress of the PSOL convene an international meeting against the extreme right, in a broad way, with different allies, to promote the struggle and exchange experiences. It is essential to set up an international anti-fascist network to strengthen this struggle.

Betting on the streets to overcome impasses, like Petro and Francia

Finally, the best way to avoid the obstacles put in place by sectors of the oligarchy to prevent change is to rely on social mobilisation, following the example of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez, who have taken to the streets to impose change in Colombia. As a way of responding to the need for a reform that values public health over private agents who control and manipulate the lives of Colombians, Petro broke the pact with sectors of the liberal right and called two marches to show the way and encourage the social struggle against coup and neoliberalism.

Whether they will go as far as a major clash with the conservative forces of the bourgeoisie remains to be seen. The fact is that, so far, this is a great example for the "possibilists", who are betting on parliamentary negotiations and a purely institutional struggle.

II - De-Bolsonising Brazil and winning the social majority

We need to de-bolsonise Brazil and win over the social majority, unmasking the anti-systemic garb with which this sector presents itself to a less informed section of the working class and hides neo-fascism, the ultimate expression of what is most rotten in the system.

The political and economic bases for the rise of Bolsonaro are objective and structural: Brazil is facing a process of social regression, reprimarisation and neo-colonialism, as well as a permanent political crisis. Bolsonarism won the 2018 elections and is still alive because of these structural factors. We can schematise as follows:

- A powerful social and economic base, with agribusiness being the fundamental core of the pro-Bolsonaro ruling class;

- A political crisis, based on frustration and hopelessness, caused by the incapacity of the institutional left and the meltdown of the liberal right;

- Control of a communications apparatus capable of competing with the old big media;

- The prospect of building a shock force, recruiting elements among the security forces, expanding the flow and trade of arms and ammunition;

- The strong presence of neo-Pentecostalism, especially in peripheral territories, functioning as a superstructure for the reproduction of conservative ideas.

From a social point of view, the situation is dramatic, as the data on labour, unemployment, work, crisis and super-exploitation reveal. Industry accounted for around 50 per cent of GDP in the early 1980s, but only 22 per cent in 2022, a drop by half; the export of primary products reaches 47 per cent, in a country where there is a surplus of food for sale abroad and a shortage for 30 million starving Brazilians. From an unequal and combined point of view, technological progress in the countryside coexists with forms of labour analogous to slavery and other exploitative practices, while the advanced digitalisation of app platforms in cities provides the technological basis for the over-exploitation of labour without protection, guarantees or rights, harking back to pre-CLT levels.

In this context, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s electoral victory was an essential breath of fresh air for the maintenance of democratic freedoms. However, the class conciliation government is hostage to alliances that lead to a social-liberal programme. The coup action of 8 January was an expression of how far the Bolsonaro sectors want to go, imitating the assault on the US Capitol. Once this action has been frustrated, the space has opened up to publicly fight against Bolsonaro, while at the same time warning that sooner or later these coup actions could be repeated.

The PSOL was right to say that it does not participate in the government as a party, even though the December resolution was a hybrid. That's why our position must be one of independence, as we asserted in the votes for the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies and the fiscal framework.

Tough trenches of combat

In Brazil, we are fighting in various trenches against the actions of the extreme right. In the fight against fake news, against the rural militias of agribusiness and gold miners, for the exemplary punishment of the coup plotters from before and after the 8 January attempt - with the outstanding role that deputy Fábio Félix (PSOL-DF) has been playing in unmasking the role of the Armed Forces leadership in the district CPI. That's why the "no amnesty" agitation continues to be fundamental, demanding Bolsonaro's arrest and the accountability of all the coup plotters: our independence also serves to go up against the extreme right without strings attached.

Sâmia Bomfim's role in the CPI on the MST is also an expression of our single front line against the extreme right. Since the commission was set up, Sâmia has played the role of polarising with the genocide's allies on behalf of PSOL. "Agro-Bolsonarism" wants to go on the offensive against the MST and the social movements in the countryside and the city. Defeated electorally, the agrobolsonaristas want to advance in the plundering of indigenous and quilombola lands in order to continue sustaining their development model, based on reprimarisation and social regression.

On the one hand, agribusiness wants to extract more commitments from the government, putting the brakes on measures that could advance agrarian reform and the struggle in the countryside. On the other hand, the Lula government wants to avoid clashes by supporting other sectors of agribusiness, such as Minister Carlos Fávaro, and acting to contain the occupations and social mobilisation. For a whole sector of the government, the axis would be to put “wet blankets” on the fight against agro-Bolsonarism, not to mention the violence and persecution in the Brazilian countryside. It is also worth emphasising that the adoption of an economic policy structured on commodities strengthens neo-fascism, because of everything that this agricultural system represents in Brazilian territories, with forced removals, expulsions from territories, alteration of landscapes, poisoning, degradation of lands and rivers.

The MST is one of the largest social movements in the world. Despite certain differences of political reading, we have no doubt that it is time to defend it. And we have a central point of agreement with its political leadership for the current situation: without betting on street mobilisation and class conflict, there is no way out of the country's impasse. The sympathy of urban sectors and supporters of agrarian reform has grown in Brazil, reminiscent of the 1990s. The huge sympathy is also linked to the fight against pesticide poisoning, for healthier food and for food distribution, fighting hunger on the outskirts of the big cities. Conflicts in the countryside continue and the agrarian reform agenda remains relevant in a Brazil that has yet to resolve its structural problems. We need to strengthen the PSOL's rural militancy, which already includes militants from the MST, National Rural and Urban Struggle Front (FNL), Liberation Movement of the Landless (MLST), Our Land Movement and Popular Movement of Struggle.

In this scenario of social conflicts, the Amazon is a strategic territory of territorial dispute, in which the peoples of the region are under a siege of death at the behest of landowners, land grabbers, loggers and miners, with the support of rural and urban political and economic elites. In the south of the Amazon biome, the "arc of fire" — a consortium of timber, cattle and soya — is pressing ahead with the forest. To the north, the illegal mining network uses mercury to poison the waters and soil as a way of eliminating the Yanomami and other indigenous and riverine peoples. To the east, the large mining projects that began during the Grande Carajás Project are linked to the transport of soya from Maranhão, with the completion of the North-South Railway, making this region one of the most violent in the world, with constant murders of quilombolas, indigenous people and rural workers. To the west, the borders of the Amazon and indigenous lands remain unprotected and available to trafficking, deforestation and gunmen with very serious outcomes, such as the case of the murder of indigenist Bruno Pereira and journalist Dom Phillips in 2022, whose investigations were closely followed by comrade Vivi Reis (PSOL-PA) when she was a federal deputy.

The complexity of these conflicts shows that the Amazon is far from being a green sanctuary. After the primitive and predatory exploitation historically imposed on the Amazonian peoples, capitalism has sought to reinvent itself in the region in order, solely and exclusively, to maintain its level of accumulation and wealth. In a so-called “sustainable” approach and supposedly to combat climate change, the big capitalist companies responsible for much of the destruction of the biomes present false alternatives, such as issuing carbon credits or other measures from the green economy recipe, which are effectively new formats for the financialisation of nature, privatisation of common goods, natural resources and traditional knowledge and know-how.

The PSOL must be an integral part of the struggles of Amazonian peoples, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, riverside dwellers, small farmers and other rural workers who continue to resist and have built processes of reclaiming territories, while at the same time building ways of life and processes of sociability that resist capital's notion of time and space, affirming values, cultures and knowledge that oppose the logic of the market.

The independence needed by PSOL

The fight for the independence of the PSOL proved necessary in the definition of the PSOL’s own candidacy against Arthur Lira and, more recently, in the fight against the fiscal framework, a key and defining project because it is a composition of Lula and Fernando Haddad with the bourgeoisie and rentier class, especially the fraction of the banks, to maintain the adjustment and payment of the debt, under the “fiscalist” orientation of economic policy. The “new fiscal framework”, in addition to limiting spending and putting the government in a bad light in the event of economic crises, imposes a clear agreement on the country’s macroeconomic orientation.

The proposal for the new ceiling also threatens education and health, since the investment floors in these areas, an achievement enshrined in the Constitution, could put pressure on other spending limited by the framework, which has led technicians from the Ministry of Finance, such as secretary Rogério Ceron, to state that the government intends to end the floors in these areas.

As a fiscal adjustment measure, the PSOL rightly voted against it because it doesn’t matter who proposed it, but who foots the bill to keep the rich happy in a crisis situation. Furthermore, the proposal is a straitjacket for the government, frustrating measures from the agenda elected at the ballot box.

The government's contradictions were also expressed in the environmental agenda. After Ibama correctly vetoed the issuing of an oil exploration licence at the mouth of the Amazon, Marina Silva's Ministry of the Environment and Sônia Guajajara's Ministry of Indigenous Peoples were emptied by Congress, with the knowledge and even public praise of the government's political articulation. The indigenous movement continued to be very active during the Bolsonaro administration, leading the way in denouncing environmental dismantling, invasions of indigenous lands, illegal mining and gold digging. A year has just passed without Bruno and Dom, still without justice. There are many other clashes within the government, such as the construction of Ferrogrão.

The education struggle also polarised the first half of the year. As a central sector in the defeat of Bolsonaro, with the “education tsunami”, the Brazilian education movement has been fighting against the New High School, which continues to be the subject of controversy since, despite pressure from society and the movement, the orientation of the Ministry of Education continues to have a strong neoliberal component, with intrinsic relations between its leaders and organisations such as the Lemann Foundation.

There is also an important conflict between the historical sectors of the struggle for public health and the government, materialised in the option for therapeutic communities, which goes against the achievements and the anti-asylum struggle, in order to dialogue with the business of sectors linked to the neo-Pentecostal churches, which, incidentally, are demanding even greater tax exemptions.

Bitter measures are also being prepared against the people, such as the one linking bank debts to the possibility of seizing individual homes and properties, threatening the home ownership of millions of indebted Brazilian families. Not only does the government not face up to the debate on debt — with absolutely timid measures, which touch on the discussion about reducing income tax and the tens of millions who are on the SPC — it opens the door to an attack capable of causing a real "mortgage crisis" to please financial capital.

In order to forcefully confront the distributive issue that takes the fruits of their own labour away from the working class, we are raising the banner of taxing the great fortunes, as well as repealing the labour and social security reforms that have taken away a series of rights from the population in recent decades.

Supporting mobilisations and building a critical camp

The PSOL must support all mobilisations for rights, combining them with the fight against the extreme right and resistance to attacks in the countryside and in the cities, even opening up the possibility of fronts and unities in the parliamentary and electoral spheres. In the wake of the debate on the tenth anniversary of the June 2013 mobilisations, on the other hand, we repeat that popular demands and their methods of mobilisation cannot be neutralised. This separates us from the view of sectors of the left and centre-left that have distanced themselves from the streets.

There is bourgeois unity in measures against the working class, such as privatisation, wage cuts and the deterioration of working conditions in general, involving parliaments, the judiciary and the governments of the day. On this point too, the federal government has clearly been inclined to be part of this unity, whether by action or omission. Not only does it not question the labour and pension reforms, but it defends PPPs. In addition, of course, it never questions the judiciary in its activism against workers, as in the case of Gilmar Mendes’ position against the health floor and now against the strike by education professionals in Rio de Janeiro.

Therefore, the PSOL’s orientation, in addition to the consequent fight against the extreme right, must be to build a critical camp, starting from its independence to strengthen the trenches of society and the mass movement, stimulating self-organisation, the defence of activism in the countryside and the city, and the creation of associative forms linked to the interests of the people underneath. In this way, we can encourage the coming together of critical sectors that agree with this platform in order to defeat the extreme right, win the social majority and forge a militant and material force to carry out an effective programme of change, without reconciling with the interests of the ruling class.

III - Only a militant project can change Brazil

Almost 20 years of building the PSOL have not been in vain. We have a party that proved necessary in the face of the strategic bankruptcy of parties like the PT and Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), now federated. We can say that the PSOL has a contradictory character: it is an extremely progressive project in terms of its symbolism, social base and part of the parliamentary benches, but with major gaps and important risks, such as dilution in Lulism, the lack of a strategic project and an undefined relationship with the state.

Ten years on from the June 2013 mobilisations, the lack of a political direction capable of giving meaning to the revolt is taking its toll. There is a lack of a political subject that seeks unity in diversity and that is faithful to the demands that emerged on the streets. Only with the decisive action of millions, with a programme and an organisational culture, will we reverse the balance of forces and go on the offensive again. The struggle between coups and counter-coups requires an attentive leadership capable of mobilising. Bolsonarism acts in a conspiratorial and organised way, appealing to the streets, to the communication and hegemony dispute, seeking to impose itself by force and social weight. That's why the task is to group together the initiatives and build a militant centre, based on the orientation we are disputing.

Among the countless attacks on militants and leaders from the popular camp, we would also highlight the political persecution of comrade Aldo Santos, founder of PSOL and a historic militant from the greater ABC region of São Paulo. In 2003, as a PT councillor, Aldo supported thousands of families in the Santo Dias occupation in São Bernardo. In 2018, Aldo was sentenced by the Federal Supreme Tribunal (STF) to lose his full political rights for five years and a fine that is currently estimated at around R$800,000. It is absolutely unjustifiable to levy such a fine against any worker, and we are clear that the conviction is an attack on all popular movements and organisations. We are fighting for an end to this criminal process and we advocate amnesty for comrades Aldo Santos and Camila Alves!

The PSOL must act against the bourgeois state and its agents

There is another debate that has already divided the waters for years on the left of the PT: the relationship with the state. As we have been forced to rightly defend the frameworks of the 1988 Constitution in the face of threats from Bolsonaro and the far right, the discussion has become more complex today.

We have no doubt about the structural characteristics of the Brazilian state. Just as we take into account that the achievements of the struggle against the dictatorship are central to our defence of Brazil's limited liberal democracy. However, the orientation of unity of democratic action in defence of the regime of the New Republic cannot be used to defend a project that only has in mind reforming the structure of the regime and the state. This must be a difference between PSOL and the other parties of the regime.

The pressures of party and electoral funds, and of our institutional presence in dozens of houses of parliament exist and cannot be disregarded. The presence or relationship with governments of other parties from the so-called progressive camp is also a source of enormous pressure.

Our orientation must take this into account. Worrying and negative examples, such as the collaboration of Belém city hall with the government of Helder Barbalho of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the presence of PSOL militants in the ministry led by Jader Barbalho Filho and of a public figure from the party in the government of Amapá, with Solidarity and Republicans, point to a path of integration into the regime, as does the mistaken vote by the PSOL of Pará for an MDB leader to take up a lifetime post in the local Federal Court of Accounts (TCU). That's why we fought to prevent the PSOL from organically joining the new Lula government. This battle, coupled with the vote against the fiscal framework, encourages us to continue discussing the need for independent localisation.

The centrality of the anti-racist struggle in the PSOL

The anti-racist struggle is gaining strength internationally and is renewing the historical struggles of the anti-racist and civil rights movements, which were important advances of previous generations

It is important to remember that black slavery was the foundation for the expansion of capitalism worldwide, and we are not talking here about slavery that always existed at various times in ancient history, but organised slavery, with the aim of structuring a system that took over various countries around the world, but was strengthened in countries that became central as the axis of capitalism.

Brazil has a 356-year history of enslaving Black people and was the last country to abolish slavery. The Brazilian economy was sustained by this system and structured the country through slave labour in a historical period of many resistances, revolts and revolutions in search of freedom, which were always harshly repressed. The abolition of slave labour, as the dominant history tells us, took place only 135 years ago, the equivalent of four generations (compared to twenty-five generations during the years of the slave system), insufficient time for any kind of structural change.

In Brazil, any characterisation of power relations and social and political relations that does not take into account the anti-racist struggle will be a partial characterisation and disconnected from the formation and structuring of this country. We cannot talk about revolution or structural change without strengthening the anti-racist struggle worldwide.

The rise of the Black struggle has meant that the need for representation has taken up space in parliaments. The PSOL has grown its representation of Black people and needs to make even more progress in this direction, with the rise of Black candidates and parliamentarians. This should be reverted to within the PSOL as work to organise and win over Black militants, building the PSOL as a hub to amplify and stimulate the Black movement's struggle in the streets for its demands.

To confront racist state violence against the Black population, especially its youth, we denounce the war on drugs and advocate the legalisation of psychoactive substances, demilitarising the peripheries and building a public health approach to the issue.

The PSOL needs to prioritise the anti-racist struggle on all its fronts, be it through campaigns with social movements or parliamentary fronts, such as the draft laws on football based on the confrontation made by the player Viny Jr. The anti-racist struggle is a necessary and essential struggle.

PSOL must continue to be the reference point for feminist, LGBT and Black issues

If the far right disputed the meaning of anti-regime indignation around the world, so did the feminist, LGBTQIA+ and anti-racist movements. After 2013, Brazil experienced a true Feminist Spring that linked violence against women and the invisibility of care with the neoliberal advance and the precariousness of life. It was this movement that pointed out, more than any other, a way out of the social crisis. Similarly, elaborations have advanced on heteronormativity and the maintenance of families and their relationship to the privatisation of life, and on the historical markers of racial stratification of the working class. In Brazil, the PSOL has become a major reference for these movements, both in the active construction of the movements themselves and through the election of a parliamentary caucus that is organic to these struggles.

Today, these movements are heavily attacked by the extreme right, whose pillars include racism, LGBTphobia and masculinism. In addition, they are disputed by liberal views, which see the representativeness and financial rise of a few as answers to the structural problems of capitalism. The PSOL must continue organising and referencing these struggles and pointing out the need for an anti-capitalist vision.

Our experience

We believe that the PSOL’s task is to build its militant condition in the categories, neighbourhoods, settlements, schools, universities and territories. Our work is articulated among teachers, school and university employees, bank workers, underground workers, public servants from all three spheres, metalworkers, vigilantes, anti-fascist police officers, bus drivers, lawyers, workers and peasants. Another example that should be nationalised is the experience in Pará, led by Vivi Reis, with Casa Amazônia, a space for organising militants with a strategic horizon in ecosocialism.

In the workers’ struggle, we have built the Workers’ in Socialist Struggle (TLS) as a combative trade union tool throughout the country. In basic education, we are located in most of the country’s major unions and have become the largest opposition to the majority of the National Confederation of Education Workers (CNTE), the largest confederation of basic education workers in Latin America. We are also present in higher education, in the leadership of Andes/Sindicato, we lead the Rio Grande do Sul Subway Workers’ Union, we participate in the national leadership of Fasubra and the Porto Alegre Health Workers’ Union. We have rooted ourselves in the trade union movement as a political force that, in recent years, has consolidated itself through permanent grassroots work and in the structures of various union leaderships.

In the youth, we have been experimenting with Juntos defending the legacy of the streets, 10 years after the youth uprising. We're going to push forward the defence of political independence and the youth struggle at the National Union of Students (UNE) congress, fighting for a new direction, unifying the left based on the unity of PSOL Youth.

In the women's movement, we have promoted Juntas in several states as a tool for the self-organisation and action of the feminist movement, which has been on the rise since the feminist spring, with the great EleNão demonstration, with the leading role of women parliamentarians.

As mentioned above, we have strengthened our presence in popular movements, whether in the countryside — with an articulation that today makes us active in seven different peasant movements in several states; in popular education, where we are betting on building the Emancipa Popular Education Network, together with hundreds of independent activists. And through Movimentomagazine, the Marx School and the EM Podcast, we are spreading ideas for building a “hot” Marxism, capable of guiding thousands of activists.

IV - Tasks, programme and proposals

The main task of the 8th PSOL Congress is to vote on an orientation that combines the fight against the extreme right with the need to build an independent alternative. At the same time, the congress must bring together efforts to make the PSOL a more militant project, present in the trenches of social struggles. To this end, we have constructed this thesis in order to expand the role of the anti-capitalist bloc within the party, incorporating other comrades such as RS’s Construção pela Base (Building from Below) and SP's Enfrente (Confront).

We advocate the approval of an urgent programme with five banners:

1) Against the far right, de-bolsonise Brazil! We need to take advantage of the far right's defensive moment to attack it at its critical points, exposing the links between the attacks on schools, hate attacks, misogynistic movements and similar with this ideological strand. Likewise, the forceful action against slave labour and child labour, issues that are systematically relativised by Bolsonaro parliamentarians, must be fought without truce or amnesty for those responsible;

2) The defence of the banners of the working class, support for their struggles and the rejection of the fiscal rule, Haddad’s adjustment and the bankers. From this position, we will develop our line of defence of the public debt audit, non-payment and reduction of interest rates — returning to the terms of the 1988 Constitution, which made it a crime to pay rates above 12%. In addition, we must focus our agitation on taxing large fortunes, corporate profits and dividends and luxury goods, demonstrating to the people the need to make the rich pay for the crisis;

3) Indicate the centrality of socio-environmental demands in the face of the climate crisis. To this end, it is essential to fight for urban reform that acts against the interests of the big property markets, as well as the concrete confrontation of environmental racism that affects the most vulnerable oppressed sectors of the working class, in addition to the creation of a special fund against climate disasters. In this sense, the strengthening of policies in defence of native peoples, the fight against predatory extractivism and mining in the Amazon, the fight against new dams and infrastructure works that degrade the environment, among other examples, must be at the centre of an action plan built with the protagonism of the social movements and organisations of the populations directly affected;

4) Radical agrarian reform to combat latifundia and predatory agro-export monoculture, guaranteeing the right to land and work for millions of rural families and the supply of healthy and affordable food for working families in the city. To this end, we are confronting the grabbing of public, indigenous and quilombola lands, the militias of thugs and the persecution of rural fighters;

5) Feminism, anti-racism and the LGBTQIA+ movement are essential for defeating the far right and building socialism: Justice for Marielle Franco and Anderson Gomes! Against gender violence and LGBTphobic violence! For legal, safe and free abortion! For the socialisation of care work, with more nurseries, schools and public health services! Against the precariousness of social assistance services! Against police violence and the extermination of Black youth! Nationalise the debate on combating religious racism! Nationalise the Vini Jr. law, authored by deputy Prof. Josemar! Against job insecurity and for the rights of application workers! Against the temporal framework thesis! Land demarcation now!

For a new direction for PSOL

The current PSOL leadership was incapable of putting the party at the service of this orientation. Seeking a theoretical confusion (based on the elaborations of left-wing populism) between the necessary unity of action and the dilution into permanent fronts with Lulism, PSOL Popular's line was to vote for full integration into Lula and Geraldo Alckmin’s government. The framework of pragmatism leads to greater integration into the regime, depoliticisation and a party that is increasingly made up of members, reducing the weight of its militant capacity.

A new direction for the PSOL is needed. We want to unify all the party’s anti-capitalists in a single camp, materialising in a democratic slate that prevents a majority that changes the nature of the Party.

We have various proposals for party building, such as holding an international anti-fascist meeting, the PSOL's national conference on agrarian work, organising the party's grassroots bodies, permanent leadership training, holding monthly virtual debates with members of the executive and caucus to discuss the party line, among others.

We call for a MILITANT orientation at the 8th PSOL Congress.

The Socialist Left Movement (MES) is a founding political current of PSOL.