he Workers' Party (PT - Partido dos Trabalhadores) government in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) is carrying out a witch hunt and raiding the homes and public premises of leftist organizations and social movements. On the afternoon of Tuesday 1 October 2013 the Ateneu Libertário A Batalha da Várzea, which is used for political and social purposes by the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG) was raided by the repressive forces of Tarso Genro's PT government for the second time. The door of the headquarters was broken down and the interior and equipment were overturned. On a table a note was left that read: "I came by and the door was open. I'd like to participate in the FAG". [Português]
The Workers' Party (PT - Partido dos Trabalhadores) government in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) is carrying out a witch hunt and raiding the homes and public premises of leftist organizations and social movements.
On the afternoon of Tuesday 1 October 2013 the Ateneu Libertário A Batalha da Várzea, which is used for political and social purposes by the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG) was raided by the repressive forces of Tarso Genro's PT government for the second time. The door of the headquarters was broken down and interior and equipment were overturned. On a table a note was left that read: "I came by and the door was open. I'd like to participate in the FAG".
Tuesday dawned with a strong crackdown unleashed by the state government and judiciary against activists of the Bloco de Lutas (Struggle Block) and leftist organizations. Raids on private homes, leftist public premises and premises of other comrades' campaigns were carried out throughout the day. It is believed that more than 70 warrants for searches and seizures have yet to be executed. Last Thursday, during the breakup of a public demonstration by the Bloco de Lutas, 5 comrades were arrested and charged.
The Tarso government wants to shut down social protest outsdie its control: do not be fooled by this rhetorical juggling, do not be cowed by the repressive measures.
The major operation that the Civil Police unleashed yesterday, affecting various comrades and leftist organizations who are campaigning with the Bloco de Lutas demonstrates that solidarity is an urgent task.
At this moment, we must urgently face the issue in its proper context. It was not a repression directed specifically against one organization, but a blow to all leftist militants. It is time to show solidarity to all the affected comrades and organizations as a duty that lies above any ideological or organizational ties, and not fall into the pettiness of affording solidarity according to political preferences.
After this whole sordid operation, Tarso had the coolness and chutzpah to release a statement in which he was keen to defend the mega-operation, stressing that it respected all the landmarks of the "democratic State". He omitted a whole list of raids on homes and places like the Moinho Negro libertarian social centre, the Utopia e Luta autonomous movement and the Ateneu Libertário, raided for the second time in less than 4 months. Tarso cited the cases of the comrades of the Socialism & Freedom Party [PSOL - Partido Socialismo e Liberdade] and the Unified Socialist Workers' Party [PSTU - Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado] and invited party leaders to an audience in order to report on what has happened.
Tarsio's invitation has all the hallmarks of a stupid game, because the reality is that he is seeking to arbitrate, without the agreement of the popular movement, who is prepared to talk to him and press for their collaboration. This becomes clear when, while neglecting the rest of the operation, he states that he does not believe that "criminal acts" are being carried out by "political activists", having just presented the bill to such a large number of other comrades and organizations affected. This is nothing new. In June, when we had our headquarters raided thanks to illegal subterfuge (even today we do not know of any court order), the same Tarso used the press to call us fascists and claim that these parties were revising their policy of alliances in the social movements.
Finally, we call attention to the serious case of the 3 comrade teachers arbitrarily arrested during the last Bloco de Lutas demonstration who were indicted today. These 3 comrades were loaded onto a bus belonging to the Military Brigade [state-based security force - tr.] and arrested shortly thereafter as they were heading to a snack bar in the Cidade Baixa area after the demonstration. The bait used to approach them was that one of these comrades was carrying a CPERS-Sindicato flag.
The arrest of these comrades soon revealed a painstaking police operation that had the intention of randomly hunting down protesters at the end of the demonstration, in order to make arrests and to plant evidence of "flagrant illegality" in order to present them as scapegoats in cases of pillaging. Without evidence, and summarizing all the testimony of unidentified Brigade officers, the comrades were charged with vandalism of public property, environmental offences for graffiti on protected buildings and assault against Brigade officers. The ultimate goal of the operation was to send the comrades to the Central Prison, given the exorbitant amount of the fine/blackmail that was applied to them: R$4,000 (€1,300) each.
As for the Civil Police respecting the "democratic State" by invading comrades' homes and organizations' premises, sheriff Paulo César Jardim, in charge of the "investigation" into prisons arising from the last demonstration, has concluded his noble task.
What is curious is the fact that the same sheriff Jardim is responsible for the investigation into neo-Nazi groups who are operating freely across the state, more specifically in Porto Alegre and in the Serra Gaúcha, carrying out numerous attacks, particularly of the homophobic and racist kind. We have yet to see the rapidity of the repression against leftists by this "great investigator" repeated in the investigations into these real criminals, nor any effective measures by the Tarso/PT government applied against them.
It is time to reach out your arms in solidarity to all the men and women who are fighting so that the social protest does not bend to the power and can resist the reactionary fusillade of the media monopolies. It is time to mobilize a common front of all those who seek the independence of the class, to break the siege and stop the repressive criminalization of social movements.
Against fear and repression. Struggle and Organization!
Those who struggle do not die. Because only direct action makes a people strong. Federação Anarquista Gaúcha
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