The Labor Day was celebrated this year with several protests over President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment. In Brazil’s main cities, especially in the Northeast Region, most protesters are afraid of losing rights gained in the last decade.
In Fortaleza, workers’ unions and social movements celebrated the May Day on the city’s outskirts. The groups marched for about 6 kilometers along the East-West Avenue, in Pirambu neighborhood, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Ceará’s capital. This year, protesters directed their attention to a possible loss of rights, because of bills under deliberation in the National Congress.
A survey conducted by the Inter-Union Department of Parliamentary Advisory (DIAP) reports that 55 bills under deliberation in the Congress can directly and indirectly cause impact on the workers, like the bill to regulate outsourcing to all areas and the bill to exclude the terms “exhausting work hours” and “degrading labor” of the slave labor crime’s definition.
Under the rain, protesters marched along the Derby Square, where a camp against the impeachment has been pitched. Protesters marched to the Marco Zero in Recife Antigo (Old Recife, the historical section of central Recife). In the banners and in the activists’ speech, Vice-President Temer and Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ) were reffered to as coupists.
In the capital of Pernambuco, social movements were also afraid of losing the rights gained in the administration of Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in an eventual government of Temer. They defended a general strike in the country to stop the proceedings to oust the president, under deliberation in the Senate.
Beginning at 10 am, families and representatives from social movements and trade unions took part in a protest at the Farol da Barra, in Salvador, to celebrate the Labor Day and against President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment. The Workers’ Act Against the Coup began directed to the children who enjoyed their moment with capoeira, painting, and hula hoop at a space called Brincança (a word mixing play and children). A booklet was also distributed to them explaining Brazil’s current political situation and the impeachment proceedings in child language.
“We are a collective of mothers, fathers, friends, and relatives of children and we are concerned about how to respond to the children’s demands. My son Pietro, 6, wants to know what impeachment is and he asks other questions,” said Rosana Boullosa, university professor.
* With additional reporting by Edwirges Nogueira, Sumaia Villela and Sayonara Moreno
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta