Massive protests in Brazil demand ouster of president and direct elections

first_imgProtesters block highway during strike. The banner reads: ‘Out, Temer. Out, all corrupt. Elections now.’May 29 — In one of the largest demonstrations in decades in Brazil’s capital of Brasilia, some 150,000 workers, farmers, youth and members of social organizations protested on May 24 the attack on Brazil’s social security programs and laws protecting workers. They demanded that unelected president Michel Temer get out, and his ouster be followed by direct elections for that office.The mass response to ruling-class attacks continues to grow in Brazil. The ruling-class parties are all involved in a corruption scandal, and the economy is in free-fall. The possibility that this struggle will go far beyond replacing an individual — Temer — is a reality.The May 24 protest was immediately met by an attack from police, who injured 49 people and killed one, using rubber bullets, tear and pepper gas, and clubs. People fought back, occupying some government buildings.Temer took the drastic step of ordering 1,500 army and navy troops into the streets. Memories of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship aroused more resistance. The congressional opposition, even from his own party, forced Temer to withdraw the troops within hours.According to the May 26-30 issue of the newspaper Hora do Povo, the march was organized by the central unions and federations: “Metal workers, chemists, domestic workers, teachers, nurses, construction workers, security and service workers, students, women’s movements and party leaders came in caravans from all the states to Brasília to say in a loud and clear tone: ‘No’ to government attacks on welfare programs and labor rights.”The Brasilia protest was a follow-up to the very successful April 28 general strike involving some 35 million to 40 million workers. The strike called for defense of public welfare programs and of the CLT — the collection of laws that protect workers’ rights — and the ouster of the Temer government.A public meeting on May 28 led by musicians and other artists gathered 100,000 people in Rio de Janeiro and ended with people shouting what have become the unifying demands of the left and workers’ movements: “Temer out!” and “Direct elections now!” (Vermelho, May 28) The demand for direct elections is for the president to be elected by the people instead of by the Congress.Will Temer leave office?Temer, never a popular politician, has hit a new low. According to the May 27 New York Times, polls show that 88 percent of the people want him out; other polls show only 5 percent support him. Brazil’s economy shrank by nearly 8 percent in the last two years, and unemployment stands at 14 percent. (Al-Jazeera, May 28)Even sectors of the ruling class that had earlier backed Temer are beginning to desert him. They seek to replace him with someone who would defuse the growing popular revolt, while leaving a regime in place that continues his anti-poor, pro-imperialist austerity program.According to the May 5 Workers World: “The austerity measures include extension of the working day and the working week, reduction of the required lunch break time, raising the minimum retirement age to 65, pension reductions, lower pay for outsourced workers and lowering the restrictions on outsourcing, and no longer requiring bosses to extend benefits to workers hired for 240 days or less. These policies aim to further destabilize the precarious and low-wage workforce of Brazil. The workers, with good reason, are outraged.”The biggest of the powerful ruling-class media firms, O Globo, has called Temer “discardable.” But O Globo wants the Congress to name Temer’s successor. This would be an “indirect” election.Temer claimed on May 26 that he wouldn’t step down, which is no surprise since he faces corruption charges that could land him in jail if he’s no longer president. The longer he clings to the office, however, the longer a mass struggle can develop that unites the workers, landless peasants, farmers, women, youth and all the left political parties.Temer is president now because last August the Brazilian ruling oligarchy conspired to oust elected President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party and replace her with someone who would, without hesitation, cater to the interests of imperialism and Brazil’s super-rich. Their goal was an open attack on Brazilian workers and farmers, with freedom to pillage the natural resources of this vast country whatever the cost to the environment.Internationally, the parliamentary coup against Rousseff also strengthened U.S. imperialism in Brazil and all Latin America, where Brazil’s role is so important. This maneuver had the blessing of U.S. politicians and Wall Street — as could be seen in the many articles pro-capitalist Forbes magazine published in 2016 attacking Rousseff.Corruption and impeachmentLast year Congress impeached Rousseff, accusing her of corruption based on a technicality. She had made administrative adjustments to the national budget that were standard presidential practice and normally not legal grounds for impeachment. Rousseff had already made concessions to Brazilian capital, but they were insufficient to stop its assault. These concessions, however, did weaken mass support for her and for the Workers Party.More than 200 representatives in the Congress that impeached Rousseff were themselves facing investigation for their role in actual crimes. They impeached Rousseff to try to stop the investigations.The politician who led the impeachment battle, Eduardo Cunha, has subsequently been convicted of corruption and sentenced to 15 years in prison. A similar fate hangs over Temer.Former President Luis Ignacio da Silva (Lula) of the Workers Party is still a popular favorite for the regularly scheduled 2018 presidential elections. There is some discussion of arranging an agreement between Lula and another former president, a conservative, to replace Temer.If the ruling class is unable to arrange a smooth ouster of Temer, and instead mass action throws him out, this will open space for a bigger working-class struggle and victory.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Harvard comes out for City Run/Walk

first_imgHarvard students, faculty, and staff were out in force Sunday to run or walk in the 27th annual Marathon Sports Cambridge City Run, a five-mile road race or three-mile walk past Fresh Pond and along Huron Avenue. More than 1,000 runners braved an unseasonably chilly day for the City Run/Walk event, which is a harbinger of spring for those who had been sidelined by snowy streets and icy sidewalks.Harvard University sponsored approximately 150 runners from Harvard On The Move, a running and walking group open to students, faculty, staff, and community residents, as well as interested Harvard affiliates. Proceeds from the race benefit the Friends of Cambridge Athletics and the Andrea Harvey Memorial Fund. Harvard Public Affairs & Communications  also helped to support the race.last_img read more

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Cricket News 1st ODI: Kuldeep’s magic, Rohit’s grace take India to emphatic victory

first_imgNottingham: Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav bamboozled England batsmen with a mesmerizing spell before Rohit Sharma’s sublime century saw India cruise to a eight-wicket victory in the first ODI at Nottingham on Wednesday.Kuldeep’s career-best figures of 6 for 25 allowed England to only score a modest 268 on good batting conditions.The chase was a stroll in the park for as the runs were knocked off in only 40.1 overs courtesy Rohit’s (137 no off 114 balls). It was the opener’s 18th ODI hundred, which was beautifully complemented by skipper Virat Kohli (75, 82 balls) as he struck his first 50 plus score of the tour. The Kohli-Rohit duo added 177 runs in 25.1 overs to seal the issue.Once Kohli opted to field, the English script unfolded very much on similar lines with the T20 series, where things went downhill as soon as Kuldeep was introduced into the attack.None of the England batsmen were able to read him and a testimony to that was his brilliant figures of 10-0-25-6, the best ever by any chinaman bowler in the history of ODIs.He bowled an astounding 38 dot balls and not once was he hit for a boundary. This was Kuldeep’s first five-for in ODIs after he had recently achieved the same feat in T20Is during the Manchester encounter.The manner in which Kuldeep set up the match, there was no scoreboard pressure on the Indian batting line-up unlike the last ODI series, where England trampled Australia under a mountain of runs.Rohit, who always takes time to get off the blocks and then accelerate, hit 15 fours and four sixes. He completed his century with an effortless hit down the ground off leg-spinner Adil Rashid. As if to celebrate the hundred, he also hit a one-handed six off Moeen Ali.Kohli on his part hit eight boundaries and was ready to play the second fiddle during his 47th half century in ODI cricket.Earlier, Jos Buttler (53 off 51 balls) looked the most comfortable while Ben Stokes (50 off 103 balls) played a painstaking knock as Kuldeep blew away the top order after a good start. Together, they added 83 for the fifth wicket showing signs of recovery but he dismissed the two set batsmen in quick succession to bring about the home team’s downfall.Moeen Ali (24) and Adil Rashid (22) added a few quick runs ro help England cross the 250-run mark before they were all out in the final over with a delivery left.That Kuldeep was singularly responsible for England’s batting collapse was evident more so because the next best figures were 2 for 70 in 9.5 overs by Umesh Yadav.Even Kuldeep’s spin twin Yuzvendra Chahal (1/51 in 10 overs) was not exactly economical.The match started with both Jason Roy (38) and Jonny Bairstow (38) launching into Yadav and debutant Siddarth Kaul (0/62 in 10 overs) with a flurry of boundaries.They added 73 for the opening stand before a wrong execution of reverse sweep brought about Roy’s downfall.Kuldeep was not afraid to flight the ball and dipped viciously having the batsmen in two minds. Some played with the turn and some tried against the turn—both with dismal outcomes.At the start of the 13th over, Joe Root (3) was completely befuddled by a ripping leg break and was trapped lbw. Four balls later, Bairstow was trapped lbw via DRS, failing to read the googly.England had collapsed to 82 for 3, losing three wickets for nine runs in the space of 16 balls. Soon, it became 105-4 as Chahal got into the mix of things with Eoin Morgan (19) caught at cover.This brought Stokes and Buttler together at the crease, and they put on 93 runs for the fifth wicket. Losing too many wickets meant that they had to take time and rebuild the innings, with Stokes in particular scoring at a very low strike-rate.Buttler though continued his rich vein of form and smacked his 18th ODI half-century off 45 balls. In doing so, he put on 50 off 59 balls with Stokes, yet it was only a part-recovery for England.Throughout his innings, Buttler batted with most ease against both pace and spin, and hit five boundaries in all. It appeared as if he was preparing for an assault in the death overs, but Kuldeep sucked out any momentum that he had built. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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