left activists want distance from the act today

Important names on the left, such as federal deputy Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP) and state deputy Isa Penna (PSOL-SP), declared that they will adhere to the “Outside, Bolsonaro” acts scheduled for today. But the bulk of the left militancy wants to distance itself from the mobilization called by the MBL (Movimento Brasil Livre) and by Vem pra Rua.

PT and PSOL issued notes stating that they do not call or participate in the demonstration. The CUT (Single Workers Center) also chose not to join.

PT and PSOL are part of the Frente Fora Bolsonaro, which includes other parties such as the PDT — presidential candidate Ciro Gomes has even said he will be at the protest today. In all, they have already mobilized six acts against the government this year alone.

The question is not going to the street, but the reasons for getting there. That is why they justify their absence on grounds of ideological differences and suspicions about the purpose of the mobilization.

“I think the MBL wants to take advantage of the political capital of the left and our democratic flags to re-establish itself”, says chef and businesswoman Bel Coelho, 42, from São Paulo.

They marched side by side with those who defend military intervention, they always spread fake news and are among those responsible for this anti-democratic scenario that we see in Brazil today.
Bel Coelho, chef

“They even spoke ill of our movement, to which they could have added from the beginning. So, now that it matters and they need people to make volume, do they decide to call? I don’t trust”, he adds.

The acts of this 12th are reportedly only for the impeachment of the president, but the first product to appear on the MBL’s online store is a T-shirt with the words “Neither Lula nor Bolsonaro”.

João Amoêdo, former president of Novo, who also confirmed his presence at the event, is acting as a model for the play.

“We need to remove Bolsonaro: this is the first stage to be won. This is what we are meeting. It is not a demonstration to launch a third way, for party propaganda,” said the former president to the UOL. But the militants of the progressive camp do not seem convinced.

“go in white [cor sugerida para destoar do verde e amarelo e do vermelho das demais manifestações] it is already a third way”, says the geologist from São Paulo Marcelo Bárbara, 52.

“Going to the streets now and strengthening the third way doesn’t make sense for the left, with Lula leading all voting intention polls,” he adds.

Nor does he believe that this weekend’s acts should favor democracy.

“MBL is a think-tank [gabinete estratégico] American who surfed the wave of anti-politics and later became a political group,” he says.

The MBL brings together a field of people who used to be a pocket fighter until yesterday, until they felt that Bolsonaro is the extreme of the extreme. Now they are looking for someone less fascist to elect. They want to take the vote of the root pocketnarista who doesn’t vote for Lula at all.
Marcelo Bárbara, geologist

“The left has much more capillarity in society, they are more seasoned parties. Going to the streets is already in the vein, while the demonstration on Sunday seems opportunistic to me. do not want.”

Militants do not forget episodes involving MBL leaders, such as the criticism by Congressman Kim Kataguiri (DEM-SP) of the memory of Marielle Franco (PSOL councilor murdered in 2018); the invasions by councilor Fernando Holiday (Novo, who left the MBL in January) on schools to inspect teachers; the threats by state deputy Arthur do Val (Patriota-SP) to Father Júlio Lancellotti and even a photo of ‘Mamã Falei’ with a shotgun beside Eduardo Bolsonaro.

“It’s not that we can’t go out on the street with differences, but this broad act depends on a joint construction, with clashes, debates, things that are part of putting a great movement on its feet. I don’t feel safe to go to an act that I don’t know what’s behind it,” says screenwriter Jo Hallack, 51. “The act is clearly against Lula too.”

“I know that politics is not done with sorrow. Last month, Lula met with Eunício de Oliveira [DEM-CE, ex-presidente do Senado], who voted for Dilma’s impeachment. That’s how politics is done. Now you can’t join an ideological movement so close to Bolsonaro and expect them to be different,” says filmmaker Paulo Colares, 41, from Ceará.

“A movement that claims to be against Bolsonaro, but which in practice is his ally in Congress and votes in his favor on a daily basis, is of no use.”

Among the similarities, Colares highlights issues related to customs. In 2017, the MBL criticized the LGBTQI+-themed exhibition “Queermuseu”, in Porto Alegre, and led Santander Cultural to close it. The movement also fueled conservative persecution of the Rouanet Law.

“The MBL is a bunch of kids who just make noise. It’s like marching with a fascist to overthrow another fascist”, says the filmmaker.

“You can’t participate in a demonstration that puts Bolsonaro and Lula on an equal footing. If it’s for democracy, the Democrats must be valued. I really want to participate in a broad movement against Bolsonaro, like the Diretas Já were. The MBL can participate, since who is not a protagonist.”