World Politics

Lula III: a new hope

Sao Paulo, October 30th. By Carlos N. 

Socio-environmentalist of the São Paulo Insurgency


Today, October 30, 2022, at forty-five minutes into the second half, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) was again elected President of the Republic of Brazil. After weeks of political tension and anxiety after the first round - as it could not be otherwise, because, since the 2016 legal-parliamentary coup, what we have seen is a succession of defeats for the progressive camp.

The victory was bitter, because the far right grew institutionally, electing parliamentarians and governors, in addition to Bolsonaro (PL) consolidated as the opposition leadership at the national level. Now, we must fight to guarantee Lula's inauguration, despite the Bolsonarist coup rage. An avenue of challenges and opportunities will then open up, of a size and quality unheard of since the June 2013 Journeys.

The greatest of these challenges will be facing the opposition, made up of professional politicians from the Centrão and by sectors of the far right, empowered and armed, at a level of provocation never seen in the history of the New Republic. Therefore, the first challenge for the left will be to guarantee Lula's presidency over the next few years, so that he is not impeded by a legal-parliamentary coup, like Dilma Rousseff (PT) in 2016, or the victim of a coup d'état, or even a physical attack.

The realization of this challenge is linked to the political space that we will be able to wrest from Lula throughout his government, and which, dialectically, will energize a social base that is hungry, tired, disillusioned and unemployed. Where can an anti-system mass movement on the left go?

In 2019 there was the student uprising against Bolsonaro's educational policies, and the mobilizations against the destruction of the Amazon. In 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the anti-fascist journeys of the Brazilian black movement, organized supporters, and app workers resulted in relatively successful electoral campaigns for the progressive camp. Now, in 2022, we had a diffuse electoral campaign, but it made it possible to raise guidelines in the career of Lula's good voting rate in the first and second rounds - in this last stage, enabling the construction of grassroots nuclei, given the urgency of barring Bolsonaro, and elect Lula.

The mobilization of the second round, in the “all or nothing” style, could offer the left to reorganize itself from demobilized sectors, but who saw in the campaign for Lula a moment to regroup, even if temporarily. Of these broad groups formed in support of the President-elect, only a part will remain active, but if we propose concrete work within the reality of the territories, it will be possible to organize these people. Collectives that can link Lula's most progressive proposals to local demands,

discussed during the campaign, and to oppose the governments of the right and extreme right that swarm throughout Brazil.

So the new President will need street mobilization to stay in office. However, Lula is, above all, a manager of Brazilian capitalism. How much he will be willing to enter into clashes with the bourgeoisie that supports Bolsonaro-or, did not openly oppose his government-is one of the neuralgic points of the short and medium-term conjuncture.

Meanwhile, the international situation plays both ways. In Latin America, through the election of the governments of Gustavo Petro, in Colombia, and of Gabriel Boric, in Chile, the left beckons with a greater understanding of the discussion around the climate emergency, with emphasis on the speech of the former, in the Assembly of the United Nations of September 2022. This may push Lula towards a more emphatic defense of the Amazon, and question not only illegal deforestation, but also that in legal theory, despite the proximity of the point of no return, that is, , from the point at which the Amazon will enter a spiral of destruction that will culminate in irreversible damage to human life on Earth.

On the other hand, even before Lula's inauguration, at the end of the present year 2022, Europe will know the possible lack of fuel for domestic heating in winter, in this case, gas, of Russian origin, in the context of the Russian attack on Ukraine, which can intensify tempers and boost the far-rights strengthened with the rise to power of the so-called “post-fascism” in Italy in the last elections.

In Brazil, then, there is a new breath for the Brazilian left, which will make up for lost time, because there will be no second chance. We need to be inspired by the best experiences of the grassroots organization of the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST), as well as solidarity campaigns in relation to hunger during and after the Covid-19 pandemic in Latin America, from movements linked to agroecology and poison-free food, youth for the climate, party and non-party base groups that organize themselves around territories – such as, for example, the experiences of the Frente Povo Sem Medo in the city of São Paulo.


Make no mistake: our space will not be offered on a platter. Any resistance by Lula and his government to the discussions around anti-racist, anti-LGBTQIA+phobic struggles, against the climate emergency, and the feminist movement, and to economic proposals that confront Brazil's historical organization, will be decisive. Centrão guarantees votes in parliament, but does not mobilize broad sectors - the extreme right does it, and we can do it again. Anyway, tonight is to commemorate the Lula III government, of a new hope for the Brazilian left.