As mass protests against neo-liberal policies continue in Brazil, the authorities are now trying to pin the blame for the unrest on the Gaucho Anarchist Federation (FAG), raiding its office on June 2o, 2013. Below, I reproduce an international statement of solidarity with the FAG. In Volume Three of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, I included excerpts from the FAG’s statement of principles, which advocates a form of “especifismo,” namely that the task for anarchists today is to participate in and be part of popular struggles against capitalism and authority. The massive protests in Brazil, and the many years of work of Brazilian anarchists within broad based social movements for change, illustrate how fruitful such a strategy can be.
Solidarity Against the Persecution of the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha in Brazil
In Porto Alegre, on June 20 last, about 15 officers from the Civil Police raided the Ateneo Batalha da Varzea, the political and social premises where the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha is located, without a warrant.
In this city where, since the beginning of the year, there have been massive demonstrations for popular demands concerning public transport, health, education, against corruption, with the aim of creating social change for their locality and their country.
This is a country where thousands of people are taking to the streets to denounce that everything is rotten and that it is necessary and urgent to change it. Faced with so much opulence of the powerful, with the stadiums being built for the Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup, faced with so much sustained repression, displacement and militarisation of working-class neighbourhoods, the almost total neglect of public health and education, the usury and theft that – as a corollary – is the cost and quality of transport.
And now they are seeking to criminalise the FAG, and make it responsible for all the anger and fury that the population of the whole country feels. They are seeking to accuse the FAG, saying that they came across anarchist literature in their premises. What did you think you would find in anarchist premises? The FAG is accused of being in collusion with the far right, when its work has been in places that the right rejects, such as the Popular Resistance committee, the waste collectors movement, trade unionism, the peasant movement, the student struggle, activities to involve more comrades in practices of a libertarian nature.
And there are more and more things that separate the FAG from that which has been its enemy in a historical constant, such as the raid that occurred in 2009 under the orders of governor Yeda Crusius, when the anarchist organisation held her responsible for the assassination of activist Elton Brum.
So, it has itself been against the powerful, those at the top and their allies in power. This raid is above all ideological, because it is the persecution of our ideas that is principal. It is this that they want to erase: all meaning of rebellion and liberation that our struggles can adopt; class independence, direct democracy, the building of people’s power.
We therefore express our greatest concern and alert on the issue and will follow up on the matter by responding where we find the stories of our struggles!
Down with the repression of the Brazilian people’s movement!