Eddie Conway Interviews Brazilian Youth Militants
While visiting Brazil, TRNN’s executive producer spoke to members of several socialist organizations as they congregated for their annual movement building retreat in Brazil.
EDDIE CONWAY: Hi I’m Eddie Conway. I recently traveled to Brazil to talk to and interview youth from all over South America who was attending a camp in which they were sharing ideas and solutions on how to organize and change conditions in their community.
ESTELL: I’m Estell and I am part of the National Directive for MST.
CONWAY: The coup against Dilma just occurred and what’s MST’s position on it now that it has happened?
ESTELL: The Brazilian government is very authoritative. The bourgeoisie jails the working class when they are trying to organize.
CONWAY: One of the key things that the youth from South America, all over Brazil, and all other nations in South America are organizing and unifying together is to change the government, to put in place a socialist government, a government that’s going to be responsive to the conditions of the people on the ground.
JULIAN: My name is Julian, I am an organizer with the People’s Congress which is a coalition of Student, Black, Women’s, Field Workers, and Urban movements.
CONWAY: How long have you been doing this?
JULIAN: I have participated in the People’s Congress since its inception. The Congress now has 5 years since their foundation. Before the People’s Congress I mentored militants in the student movements. I have been a militant for 15 years.
CONWAY: Levante has been organizing for about 6 years or 2 years after they started, they had 1,500 youth who attended their camp.
ENRIQUE: My name is Enrique. I am a militant of the LGBT group of the organization in the agrarian part of the state of Ceara.
CONWAY: Is this organization very inclusive of LGBT community?
ENRIQUE: Yes, the collective is very inclusive of the LGBT community and works to address the questions of the LGBT community and works to build an ample movement and collective and there are a lot of LGBT people in the collective and we are also to transsexual and transgender people.
CONWAY: They’re organizing to save the benefits and the gains that were made under President Lula and President Dilma and they’re willing to fight to protect those changes, those programs.
DEBORAH: Hi my name is Deborah. I’m a militant for the [inaud.] It’s a youth organization for the working class. I’ve been part of the working class for the past 3 years and the reason why is really because the right alternative for the working class youth to organize themselves and change the society because the only way to change society is through massive mobilizations of organized people.
CONWAY: Well how is the treatment of women in the organization?
DEBORAH: I believe that from the organizations that I know, one of the most important organizations for women. We have Center for women here. So women build politics for feminism and we build feminism inside the organization to men and women so everyone’s responsible for fighting for the flag of feminism with other organizers. So I think [inaud.] has a lot to learn. She’s also very mature on the feminism organization.
CONWAY: What’s the ultimate goal of the organization?
DEBORAH: We call it the project [inaud.]. So popular project for Brazil and it means that we want to make structural changes in Brazilian society in a way that we can put people in power.
CONWAY: People meaning the masses.
DEBORAH: Yes, but people in Brazil we say [inaud.] it’s people but it means people with class with perspective. So it’s the working class people.
CONWAY: The President, Temer, in fact they’re organizing around getting rid of Temer or they’re organizing to try to reinstate Dilma. They thought that was a coup. They thought that the right wing has taken over the government and removed the elected officials through illegalities.
LUCAS: Yea my name is Lucas and I work in the [inaud.] secretary of [inaud.]. [inaud.] means Ovarian alternative for the people of our America. Our America is important to make this point, our America, to the people. This articulation, it’s a continental articulation and we work with some social movements, unions, organizations, since Argentina through Canada.
CONWAY: What do you do with those other movements in those other countries?
LUCAS: Our work is like a organize the circle beyond the continent because I like to think the idea to think the politics with fields. We work with the political movements of our fields. In Brazil we call popular field. The movement of all the continent who have agreement with our questions and our definitions can join OVA. It’s okay. If you agree with our project, you can be part of OVA. Our work to organize the struggle between the continent is something like think common actions information, organization and struggle. These three points between all the continent and coordinate this. Give one political line through the continent, through the movements, through the organizations, and everything else.
COWNAY: For the Real News Network, this is Eddie Conway.
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