“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” – Ursula Le Guin
When the outright fascist Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazilian presidency in October, it wasn’t just the poor, people of colour, LGBTQ, or indigenous peoples that lost. Indeed, the earth’s weakened biosphere and imperiled climate lost even bigger.
The president elect of the world’s 4th largest democracy has vowed to open up vast swaths of the iconic rainforest to multinational logging, cattle, mining and agricultural industries. With this one political victory the world’s ruling capitalist elite saw more dollar signs than in their wildest dreams, and the earth’s “lungs” were given a terminal prognosis.
Bolsonaro’s rise to power bears a strong resemblance to that of Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Rodrigo Duterte and Viktor Orban.
Students have now decided to occupy the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro against the PEC of Death Via CUCA da UNE:
: after a long assembly in the rectory building, 800 students who participated in the discussion decided to occupy the rectory building next Monday, 07 Nov. Other university campuses, such as the National Faculty of Law, Macaé and Praia Vermelha Are added to the occupation of the Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences, the IFCS.
It’s important to keep in mind that elected President Rousseff was not convicted or even formally charged with any concrete act of corruption, even though the pro-oligarchy mainstream Brazil media, led by O’Globo Group of the billionaire Roberto Irineu Marinho, ran a media defamation campaign creating the basis to railroad Rousseff into formal impeachment before the Senate.
The shift took place after the opposition PMDB party of Temer on March 29 broke their coalition with Rousseff’s Workers’ Party, as accusations of Petrobras-linked corruption were made against Rousseff and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
For years the strong far right rich farmers mafia have bought politicians and tabled laws to wipe out rights and already granted land titles for indigenous people in Brazil. Finally they have grabbed power and a whole series of laws already proposed are being pushed through now to destroy indigenous cultures and take back all the freedoms, womens rights and progressive measures won by the 95% workers in recent years.
Now as part of the general uprising indigenous peoples have Occupied over 25 buildings of the FUNAI indigenous dept across Brazil
Never in modern political history has it been so easy to “abolish the people” and simply erase 54 million votes cast in a free and fair presidential election.
Forget about hanging chads, as in Florida 2000. This is a day that will live in infamy all across the Global South – when what was one of its most dynamic democracies veered into a plutocratic regime, under a flimsy parliamentary/judicial veneer, with legal and constitutional guarantees now at the mercy of lowly comprador elites.
After the proverbial marathon, the Brazilian Senate voted 55-22 to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial for “crimes of responsibility” – related to alleged window dressing of the government’s budget.
This is the culmination of a drawn-out process that started even before Rousseff won re-election in late 2014 with over 54 million votes. I have described the bunch…
by Jan Rocha … via the ecologist with thanks.. Amidst the turmoil of the presidential impeachment, writes Jan Rocha, right wing members of Brazil’s Congress are set to pass new laws that would build new roads across the Amazon, open up indigenous reserves to industrial exploitation, and create a surge in carbon emissions from burning forests.
see also: US takes control of Brasil as Corrupt Left replaced by US Spies… Brazil’s new president is U.S. [+CIA?] informant http://wp.me/pIJl9-7UJ
The bill’s rapporteur is Senator Blairo Maggi, a soya magnate, who has cleared thousands of hectares of rainforest in his home state of Mato Grosso, and is tipped to be the minister of agriculture in the new government.
Taking advantage of Brazil’s present political turbulence, as the battle to impeach President Dilma Rousseff reaches its climax, reactionary politicians are quietly rolling back environmental and indigenous protection laws in defiance of the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Neoliberal Capitalist Ecocide
Environmentalists say that if the bill known as PEC 65/2012, now at the Senate committee stage, is approved, it means that major infrastructure projects will be able to go ahead regardless of their impacts on biodiversity, indigenous areas, traditional communities and conservation areas.
Instead of a careful if somewhat slow licensing process which involves scientific assessments including biological, botanical, anthropological and archaeological studies, developers will merely have to present a proposed study of environmental impact to be allowed to begin – without actually having to carry out the study.
And once a project is under way it cannot be cancelled or suspended by the environmental protection agencies.
A chorus of protest – but who’s listening?
Environment organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, have protested strongly at the bill’s implications. For Marilene Ramos, the president of the official agency for the environment and renewable resources, IBAMA, (in Portuguese only) it means Brazil is going in the opposite direction to developed countries and will no longer be able to control infrastructure projects.
teleSUR EnglishIn just 24 hours, the senate-imposed government lead by Michel Temer has lead an assault on a decade of progressive policies. He has eliminated 9 ministries, and some 4,000 public sector jobs will be cut. https://www.facebook.com/telesure
Indigenous leader Nara Baré, of COIAB – the Coordination of Indian organisations in the Brazilian Amazon – said: “Brazil presented targets in Paris but doesn’t do its homework, protecting the forest and us who live in it.”
Carlos Bocuhy, the president of PROAM, an environmental NGO, says the effect of the bill will be to end environmental licensing: “It is completely absurd; it is as though the act of applying for a driving licence entitled you to drive a lorry.”
The Climate Observatory (in Portuguese only) sees the bill as “a bad joke”, even more so in a country that has just suffered the worst environmental disaster in its history, the bursting of a dam of toxic mud in Minas Gerais state on 5th November last year. The calamity destroyed all animal and plant life and a major river nearby, and could be the world’s worst disaster after Chernobyl.
Greenpeace director Marcio Astrini said of the bill that “if it becomes law, it will act as a factory of tragedies.”
Senators’ enormous personal stakes in environmental destruction
Its author, Senator Acir Gurgacz, has a personal interest: his family owns a transport company which would benefit hugely from the paving of the 900 km BR319 highway, linking two Amazon capitals, Porto Velho and Manaus.
At present the project cannot go ahead because IBAMA has embargoed the work, alleging environmental damage. The road runs through conservation areas, indigenous lands and areas of largely unspoiled rainforest.
The bill’s rapporteur is Senator Blairo Maggi, a soya magnate, who has cleared thousands of hectares of rainforest in his home state of Mato Grosso, and is tipped to be the minister of agriculture in the new government that will take over once President Rousseff is suspended from office this week.
Environmentalists are already expressing deep concern about the government planned by vice-president Michel Temer. They note that his policy paper, A bridge to the future, which laid out his plans for government, made no mention of the environment, climate change or the Amazon rainforest
Instead the big farmers’ and ranchers’ lobby, FPA, or Parliamentary Farming Front, presented the president-to-be with a ‘positive agenda’: a list of demands which included the abolition of the ministry of land reform, the halting and revision of the demarcations of indigenous reserves and quilombos (territories inhabited by the descendants of runaway slaves), and more funds for agribusiness, which already enjoys substantial subsidies.
Besides the bill to end environmental licensing, other damaging bills are in the pipeline.
Ignoring local wishes
One, known as PEC 215, has been doing the rounds in Congress for over 15 years, but with the imminent arrival of the new, pro-farmer government it is expected soon to be voted into law. If it is, it will mean that the power to decide further demarcations of indigenous areas – nearly 400 are under consideration – will pass from the executive to the Congress.
With both houses dominated by members of the rural lobby, this is regarded as tantamount to ending demarcations. Another 1,611 quilombo areas will also be affected. The importance of the indigenous and quilombo territories is that they tend to conserve forested areas, instead of clearing them for mechanised agriculture or cattle grazing.
By law certain areas contained within each rural property (which, especially in the Amazon, are often vast) must be left wild. But another measure on the table (bill 4508/16) will allow them to be used for cattle grazing.
Others will permit mining and hydroelectric dams in indigenous areas without any need for permission from their inhabitants. Reducing controls on pesticides – Brazil is the world’s biggest consumer – is yet another target.
The government of Dilma Rousseff has in no way been a model of protection for the environment and indigenous areas, but it seems that the government of Michel Temer is much much worse.
Jan Rocha is a freelance journalist living in Brazil and is a former correspondent there for the BBC World Service and The Guardian. She now writes for Climate News Network where this article was originally published (CC BY-ND).
The first day of the coup of Temer government is worse than any forecast: (rough translation)
A ministry of only men, white, rich, and the vast majority, over who weigh serious charges of corruption and / or attacks against human rights. Something not seen since the dictatorship;
Two initiatives already articulated: approval of outsourcing of labor relations and a constitutional amendment to repeal the earmarking of funds for social programs, health and education;
A minister of justice who considers protest actions to be “guerrilla attacks” who became the PM of Sao Paulo on a ticket to kill the poor and beat up students …..
To complete the symbol chosen for the government. United Order. He who does not march with the “order” to “progress” (as an investor, which is the explicit desire to Temer) will take ‘borrachada’. The symbol immediately evokes the “Brazil, love it or leave it” the dictatorship. ..