Red Guards Pittsburgh extends solidarity to Igor Mendes and the 23 others facing convictions. We also condemn the Brazilian states attempt to criminalize revolutionaries.
Who is Igor Mendes?
Comrade Igor Mendes is a student revolutionary and Communist Leader from Brazil.
The reactionary Brazilian state locked Igor Mendes in their dungeons for helping to organize and mobilize the masses of people – facing having their homes torn down and brutalization by the police – against the FIFA World Cup back in 2013. Igor and 23 other political prisoners were rounded up and given sentences between 5 and 13 years. People have died, and many more in the favellas lost their homes then. Igor was an activist in MEPR (Popular Revolutionary Student Movement), which has faced significant criminalization in recent years as a revolutionary mass organization for their role in anti-FIFA events. Igor explained his crime as so:
“I answer for a single “crime”: criminal association, article 288 of the Penal Code. Draconian law, whose new wording was approved in 2013 and used increasingly to persecute popular movements, especially those that do not lend themselves to being mere conveyors of projects of class conciliation.”
Above: Igor speaks! To his right are some of the 23 arrested.
Like in Pittsburgh with the PPG Arena in the Hill District, there in Brazil, the “socialist” Dilma government sold off public land and bulldozed residential areas that working class and the poorest sectors of the people lived in, for FIFA facilities as well as luxury condos and hotels. It was a process that unleashed murder on an untold number of people. This is what some call gentrification, a form of class war where real estate developers and landlords with the help of the police remove people from the places that they have grown up and lived in.
Igor and his comrades could not stand by idly as the revisionists and reformists backed Dilma and her deathsquads’ plans to displace the people. Igor and others instead filled the streets to fight the police for the people. After going to prison, Comrade Igor was unafraid. Wherever a Communist goes, even if it is to the annihilation zones of prisons where the state hopes to break and isolate us, we plan to fight. Igor stressed the same, iterating this:
“I will leave here more convinced that Brazil needs a great revolution!”
What Does the Brazilian Revolutionary Communist Movement Stand For?
The Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction) is a Marxist-Leninist Maoist organization who come from a revolutionary tradition of the Araguaia Guerrilla, an armed struggle that took place in the 60s and 70s. Conditions for revolution have always been ripe in Brazil, as the police murder the poor youth of the favellas with impunity and the landlords relentlessly exploit the peasants in the countryside. CPB(RF) represents some of the most advanced Maoist led movements not only in Brazil but in all the Americas.
The League of Poor Peasants (LCP) is a revolutionary mass organization that organizes the landless of the Brazilian countryside, around the struggle of New Democratic Revolution against the landlords and imperialism. In waging their agrarian revolution, up to 500,000 hectares of land have been liberated, where they have been operated as cooperatives. These are creative acts of experimentation by the masses, new forms of power that will come with the New State. Igor, as an important worker-intellectual within the Brazilian movement, wrote his first book on the LCP.
Above: League of Poor Peasants (LCP) rallying to defend Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru
The Popular Revolutionary Student Movement (MEPR) has likewise been at the forefront of many struggles. Today the MEPR is calling out the bankruptcy of revisionism and reformism, which in spite of being ousted by coup, still demands people follow electoral procedure and collaborate with the class enemy. Today campuses bustle with activity that MEPR has started.
Just as in Brazil, Comrade Dallas in Austin is facing FBI persecution and a possible longtime conviction for fabricated charges. In Kansas City Maoists and members of a revolutionary youth organization there are harassed and faced with threats by the FBI and Police Anti-Terrorism Taskforce. Everywhere the state must brand revolutionaries and the organizations they support to be “terrorist” in hopes of liquidating them under the weight of repression. But with proletarian internationalism and the recognition that all of these struggles are our own, regardless of borders, we as the forces of the international proletariat will light the sky with a great fire that transcends time zones and continents.
Internationalism To Defeat Repression: Needed Now More Than Ever!
Today, unlike in the more closed past, there is an ever greater material basis for internationalism than ever before. It is rooted in the extreme and intensifying innerconnectedness of human society through both the Internet and the structural reforms and sweatshopization of Latin America through the latest rounds of imperialist globalization. A global reserve army of labor created by such processes of displacement enter the imperialist centers to work in labor intensive industries that must import third world conditions to remain profitable, such as in meat production, agriculture, fisheries, and construction, these workers status being kept illegal to preserve the superexploitation that ruthlessly extract surplus value from them. These all represent huge objective openings for the development of strong revolutionary links – which the US imperialist bourgeoisie undoubtedly sees as a threat.
The Maoist-led movements in Latin America and specifically in Brazil are vitally important to follow and support as so. Its horrifying to the imperialist establishment, which sends its political police out and uses charges of “materially supporting terrorism” to attack those who do solidarity work, that such a seeding machine of world revolution is developing in the region, because they are conscious enough to know what it means.
They know it is impossible to understand the Bolshevik revolution without understanding the profoundly attractive force represented there of the German social democratic movement (authors note: these were the “communists” before World War 1). And it is even more impossible to understand the Chinese revolution without seeing the huge impact of the Soviet revolution, because as Mao said: “it is the salvoes of the Russian revolution that brought us Marxism-Leninism.” The Cultural Revolution in China also generated what would become the People’s war in Peru as well as the New Communist Movement in the United States.
This living revolutionary movement, which is the most advanced in this hemisphere, remain (symbolically, politically, visually) the monster that hides under the beds of the ruling class enemy at night. The Brazilian Communist movements’ growth, spread, survival, maturation and defense is important in the now. For as it develops, representing the banners of the red flag and Maoism, it will become a large, open flapping tear in the fabric of deadly normal/official politics, in its language, allignment and assumptions, becoming a powerful inspiration “from the outside” that crushes the ideological hegemony of the triumphalist liberal capitalism and the resurgent social democracy of our time here in the USA. Those who wish to capture and cage revolutionaries are now declaring war on the international proletariat.
Opinion makers and oppressors in Brazil will come to fear that those who are in the police and army’s murderous crosshairs, like Igor Mendes and the 23, are being supported internationally. We call on all collectives in the USA, all Maoist parties internationally, and all revolutionary and progressive minded people to defend Igor Mendes and demand his freedom from Brazil’s horrific jails.
We will be there to protest and disrupt any event the Brazilian government – or similarly public or private bodies tied the Brazilian state – sponsors in Pittsburgh. We call upon others to do the same.
Igor Mendes, presente en la lucha!
Freedom for Igor Mendes and his 23 comrades!
Long live the revolutionary youth of the international proletariat!
Long live international solidarity!