Archive | March, 2016

No to the Coup! U.S. Hands Off Brazil!

26 Mar

Solidarity Letter to CUT National President Vagner Freitas:
No to the Coup! U.S. Hands Off Brazil!
Solidarity with our Union Brothers and Sisters in Brazil
Dear Brother Freitas,
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the CUT:
Like millions of workers the world over, we have followed with great alarm the
coup that is being orchestrated against the Workers Party (PT) government and
against the Brazilian working class and its organizations — particularly against
the CUT trade union federation — by the right-wing forces which, having been
defeated at the ballot box, are using extra-legal means in an attempt to
dismantle the democratic, labor and social rights of the Brazilian people.
We are at your side in the struggle to stop the coup in its tracks and to prevent
the Brazilian oligarchy from being able to impose by decree the scores of anti-
labor bills already in the docket of the National Congress aimed at turning back
the clock to the dark days of the military dictatorship (1964-80).
We agree with you, Brother Freitas when you state — as you did in your
International Appeal of March 23 — that, “The current moment requires courage,
unity, strategy and a willingness to confront the coup against the working class.
The attempt to overthrow President Dilma is an assault on democracy. What
they want is to destroy all our rights.”
We, trade union activists and supporters of labor rights in the United States,
know full well the role of the U.S. government and of U.S.-based transnational
corporations in promoting the coup in Brazil in 1964 – just as we are aware of
the heinous role that they played in instigating the coups that overthrew the
democratically elected governments of Salvador Allende in Chile (September
1973), Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti (February 2004), and Manuel Zelaya in
Honduras (June 2009).
There is no doubt in our minds that powerful financial interests in the United
States are lining up behind the coup plotters in Brazil today to launch this assault
on the Brazilian people and nation. To all of them we say, “U.S. Hands Off
We are heartened to learn about the general assemblies being organized by the
CUT in factories across Brazil against the coup and in defense of labor rights,
and by the statements adopted by dwellers in the shantytowns (periferias) of
major cities, which affirm that:”We have nothing in common with those who have taken to the streets with their
hate speech: the fascists and their hangers-on, who in the name of the ‘fight
against corruption’ only want to weaken the public sector and the State to line
their own pockets, to break with legality and democracy, and to put down the
working class and the oppressed.” (Manifesto Das Periferias de Sao Paulo,
March 22)
We are at your side in this decisive fight for democracy and labor rights. Please
convey our solidarity to all your members and supporters, who are resisting this
coup and fighting to defend and expand their democratic and labor rights.
In solidarity,

Alan Benjamin
U.S. Hands Off Brazil campaign coordinator
Member, Executive Committee, San Francisco Labor Council (*)
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO)
San Francisco, California

Hermandad Mexicana Nacional
Los Angeles, California

Tim Paulson
Executive Director
San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO)
San Francisco, California

Nancy Wohlforth (*)
Secretary-Treasurer Emerita
Washington, D.C.

Baldemar Velasquez
Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)
Toledo, Ohio

Donna Dewitt (*)
Secretary-Treasurer Emerita
South Carolina AFL-CIO
Charleston, South Carolina

Colia Clark
Judicial Violence Symposium
Haiti-Guadeloupe Campaign Committee
New York, New York

Gene Bruskin
US Labor Against the War
Member, NWU/UAW
Washington, D.C.

Michael Eisenscher (*)
National Coordinator Emeritus
US Labor Against the War
Oakland, California

Carol Gay (*)
New Jersey State Industrial Union Council
Newark, N.J.

Fred Hirsch (*)
Delegate to South Bay Labor Council
and to Building and Construction Trades Council
of Santa Clara and San Benito Counties
San Jose, California

Jerry Gordon (*)
UFCW Retiree
Cleveland, Ohio

Maria Guillen (*)
SEIU Local 1021 Delegate to
San Francisco Labor Council
South San Francisco, California

Peter Olney (*)
Past Organizing Director
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
San Francisco, California

Allan Fisher (*)
Delegate to SF Labor Council, AFT 2121
San Francisco, California

Al Rojas
Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior
Sacramento, California

Jerry Levinsky (*)
Steering Committee member
Labor Fightback Network
Amherst, Massachusetts

Thomas Bias (*)
New Jersey State Industrial Union Council
Flanders, New Jersey

Eduardo Rosario (*)
NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
New York City
(*) titles and organizations listed for id. purposes only
* * * * * * * * * *
[ ] Please add my name to the list of endorsers of the Solidarity Letter to Brazilian
CUT Trade Union National President Vagner Freitas
TITLE/ORG (list if for id. only)
Fill out and return to:
U.S. Hands Off Brazilian Campaign
PO Box 40009
San Francisco, CA 94140