In Brazil, the months of May and June witnessed intense mobilizations against the neoliberal policies of Bolsonaro’s administration. The three main issues have been the defense of public education, the Free Lula Campaign, and the rejection of the Provisional Reform. The society has participated widely in the mobilizations, which have brought together thousands of people all over the country.
Women wanting to retire
On June 3, several women’s movements organized the National Day of Women’s Struggle Against the Provisional Reform. It was a day of going out to the streets to distribute flyers, dialogue with the population, and gather signatures in support of the Frente Brasil Popular’s request against the reform. The activities were organized above all in front of the buildings of the Social Security Institute, in public fairs and spaces, mainly in the country’s northeast—where there were activities in more than 15 cities, especially in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.
The Provisional Reform proposed by Bolsonaro’s administration is extremely dangerous for women. Women have the most precarious jobs, earn less, perform many informal jobs, and are more vulnerable. The reform, if passed, would reduce the pension to a big part of the population to less than one minimum salary, and would eliminate guarantees that are essential for living.
The administration’s threat of cutting one third of the public funds for research and education motivated organizations of students and professors, together with unions and other movements, to organize big strikes in the month of May. The threat of cuts is a way of harassing political movements and demotivating critical thinking, as well as of dismantling the State and fomenting neoliberalism. The mobilizations happened on May 15 and 30, in all the capitals and in several small cities. The militants of the WMW, especially the youth, students and professors were present in the marches in most of the country’s states with feminist blocs and percussion ensembles (batucadas). “We came to say that the knowledge we produce is fundamental for society. The knowledge we produce tell us that this administration’s orientation is wrong, as it serves the elites and not the working people,” stated Mariana Lacerda of Ceará’s WMW.
A general strike tumbles capital down
This was one of the calls of the feminist batucadasduring the march of June 14, a day of general strike. We participated in the marches in capitals such as Palmas,
São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Aracaju, and Porto Alegre, as well as in smaller cities like Parintins, Blumenau, and Garanhuns. In total, more than 360 cities had strikes, and workers from different sectors participated in them. The women of the WMW participated in strike activities in various worksites, and went out to the streets, together with other organizations, since the beginning of the day, resisting even police repression in some of the cities.