Bolsonaro by Orijit Sen, 2019
Bolsonaro says: We’ll Burn the Jungle Right There (an echo of a right-wing slogan in India, We’ll Build the Temple Right There, on top of a mosque).
|Bolsonaro, who is presently angry at Macron for his criticism of the Amazon fires, would have loved to have been there. Farmers in France, Finland, and Germany are eager to cut the export of Brazilian meat into Europe, as part of a campaign to cancel the recently signed trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur (the trade bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela). Brazil is eager to be part of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), the elite group of 36 states that claim to be the most highly developed countries, and that are therefore able to attract investment. It is likely that the OECD will no longer take Brazil’s application seriously, since there are now doubts about Brazil’s commitment to the OECD environmental standards. Bolsonaro is being forced to run backwards to keep the trade deals and the OECD hopes alive.|
Macron had not invited Bolsonaro, but he did invite India’s Narendra Modi. A few days before the G7, the two men met and discussed the corrupt arms deals that bring India and France together – thirty-six Rafale jets will soon arrive in India at a cost of € 7 billion. The recently released Global Hunger Index has India at 103 out of 116 countries (Brazil, thanks to the Fome Zero scheme of former President Lula, is at 31). The measure of modernity is no longer an end to hunger, but a better air force.
Macron raised the question of Kashmir – where seven million Kashmiris are imprisoned. Last week, twelve senior Indian opposition politicians flew into Kashmir’s capital – Srinagar. They were asked to come by the Governor to observe the situation, which the government has claimed is normal. The political leaders were detained in the airport and then sent back to Delhi. This is the second time that the leaders of the Communist parties (Sitaram Yechury and D. Raja) were refused entry into Kashmir (for more on Kashmir, see our Red Alert #1). Modi said nothing. Kashmir remains suffocated.
|A Greek poet – Jazra Khaleed – sings of the need for a new language in these ugly times, these days of austerity and bewilderment. ‘In need a new language, not pimping’, he says in Peter Constantine’s translation.|
I’m waiting for a revolution to invent me.
Hungering for the language of class war
A language that has tasted insurgency.
Impossible to remain within the lines drawn by the powerful, to accept the chatter about nuclear bombs fired at hurricanes and the reality of seven million Kashmiris silenced. Complicity is unacceptable, unthinkable.
Luis Ferreira da Costa and others, a vigil for their camp, now a monument to their tenacity
|A few weeks ago, I spent the day at the Camp Marielle Vive settlement outside Valinhos (Brazil). The Movement of Landless Workers (MST) organised a thousand families to live on this land named for the murdered socialist politician. These men and women work hard to maintain the world that benefits such a small population. Yet, they cannot even find a place to live. Their problem is landlessness and indignity, for which there seems to be no solution. So, they have become their own solution. At the camp, I met two young girls – Ketley Júlia and Fernanda Fernandes. They were so happy to tell me that on each Sunday they gathered at the schoolhouse at the Camp and studied English. ‘When you write the article about our Camp’, they said, ‘we will translate it into Portuguese’. My article on their camp can be read here.|
Ketley and Fernanda know this Camp to be their home. A local judge has called for their eviction. This is the world we live in, a world where ordinary people settle on land owned by a real estate speculator, they build a community on that land, they plan to do agro-ecological farming, and yet it is this community that must be torn apart. Their dignity is not relevant. In their bones, Ketley and Fernanda know what it must be like to be Palestinian or Kashmiri, or to be any one of those people who are thrown from their land so that speculators can build a parking lot or a mall. They can hear in their ears the language that has tasted insurgency. They hear the language of the class war as spoken by the elite: the hushed tones of the judge’s verdict, the roar of the bulldozer, the harrowing sound of the laser-guided bomb. What will their language of the class war sound like?