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15 Mar 2006

Interview with the "Vermelho e Negro" anarchist group

"Informe Anarquista", No. 4, quarterly journal of the Coletivo Pró Organização Anarquista em Goiás

Friday 17 March 2006, by ps

Translated by Anarkismo.net


How did the "Vermelho e Negro" [Red and Black] organized anarchist group come about?

"Vermelho e Negro" (VN) is an organized anarchist nucleus that is in the
process of building a group. It is the fruit of a process that we began in the
first half of 2005 and that took on a more consistent form in the second half
of the year, thanks to our participation in the 3° National Encounter of the
Forum of Organized Anarchism (FAO). VN was born out of the need for anarchist
militants here in this part of Bahia’s hinterlands to be organized politically
and to coordinate our militancy in various areas, in a way that we believe
anarchist group should do - with theoretical development, propaganda and
through involvement in the social movements.

What is the comrades’ analysis of the current political and economic situation
in Brazil?

In Brazil, like in the rest of Latin America and in Africa (places with a very
similar situation to ours), we are going through an extremely brutal moment,
with capitalism perfecting itself day by day, developing different methods of
domination and exclusion. However, we are also witnessing an advance by
combattive and revolutionary social movements. With particular reference to
Brazil, we see the PT government continuing the policies of neo-liberalism, a
task that up to now was the prerogative of the right-wing parties. They
represent big business, the white elite and foreign capital, even to the point
of rejecting reformism, managing capital, and maintaining the system of
bourgeois exploitation and white supremacy intact. The same PT (a scab party
which is the leading actor in the political crisis, or rather, in the Lula
government’s corruption scandals) is, in our analysis, evidence of the
uselessness of the "electoral strategy" for organizations of the "left" (even
if they are only left in theory, such as the old PT and the newly-born Partido
Socialismo e Liberdade/Party of Socialism and Liberty, P-SOL), reinforcing the
thesis of the revolutionary, libertarian approach, that seeks to strengthen the
social movements through class independence and popular direct action. It also
serves to affirm the position of anarchists with regard to the bourgeois State
and the "democracy of the rich". And it reinforces our slogans "Get rid of them
all!" and "Get rid of the whole Political Class!".

What are the principal social areas in which VN works at the moment in Feira de

Well, our most concrete work has been in the movement of secondary-school
students, where we are the main force in the city, as part of the Feira
Secondary School Students’ Association (AFES). Our main contribution to this
front is the demand for the improvement of state schools, however the struggle
for free transport against the public transport mafia has also been of great
importance. In the university, we do have a presence in the faculty of History,
though it is still in the early stages. Another important factor has been the
premises that we succeeding in occupying in the city centre, that serves as the
headquarters of the AFES, but also giving us the opportunity to have meetings
and carry out activities with the hip-hop and anarcho-punk movements, besides
being a cultural space with its own social library.

What hopes does VN have for 2006, with regard to anarchist struggle and the
social movements?

2006 is quite a special year for anarchists as there are a number of
anniversaries regarding the popular struggles and the libertarian movement. It
is the centenary of the founding of the Brazilian Labour Confederation
(Confederação Operária Brasileira - COB), led by revolutionary syndicalism, and
the 120th anniversary of May Day. This year we also intend to publicly launch
our collective and our Declaration of Principles, and to give a more organic
character to our group. We also intend to devote ourselves to the campaign
against the political class and the lie that is "bourgeois democracy", in sight
of the elections. On the social level, our idea is to strengthen our
involvement in the secondary-school students’ movement and to increase our
presence in the university. We will also be laying the foundations for creating
a community front, a process that will take a little longer.

Have you got a message for your anarchist comrades in Brazil?

To conclude, we would like to say to all our comrades that more than ever it is
our duty to build the anarchist alternative for the struggles ahead, a task
that it is not, nor ever will be, easy! But we must keep going because it is
the greatest struggle. Anarchism is Struggle! All power to the people, black
and indigenous! Racists out - there are Africans here!

Vermelho e Negro,

Feira de Santana - Bahia


Cx. Postal 280 Cep.: 44001-970 - Feira de Santana - Bahia