No. 1

January 2023

In Memoriam

F. William Lawvere

February 9, 1937 – January 23, 2023

With profound sorrow we inform you of the death of the renowned mathematician Dr. William Lawvere on January 23, 2023. Professor Lawvere was a good friend of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), a fellow traveller who always took the high road of civilization, engaged in settling scores with the old conscience of society and removing the blocks in the way of progress and enlightenment.

Beginning in the early 1970s, he worked on several philosophical and other projects related to the Necessity for Change and dialectics with CPC(M-L)'s founder and leader Hardial Bains, a scientist and philosopher in his own right. From 1969 to 1971, he was a Killam Scholar at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, head of a prestigious international team of mathematicians who came there to study with him. But in 1971, when Professor Lawvere protested the War Measures Act and crimes committed with the suspension of civil liberties by the government of Pierre Trudeau, Dalhousie refused to renew his contract, despite the protestations of his own team of mathematicians. More than 1,000 students rallied in the lobby of the Dal Student Union Building to oppose the arbitrary dismissal of Professor Lawvere.

On many occasions, Professor Lawvere joined us in Canada to discuss important topics and contribute his thorough and extensive knowledge on them. In February 1996, he spoke at the Inter-Disciplinary Conference held at the University of Windsor on the theme The Origin of Consciousness and Social Change. Papers delivered on that occasion presented important insights into consciousness existing independent of us, the historiography of the Cold War, the emergence of the modern democratic personality and the like. Professor Lawvere presented a paper titled The History and Philosophy of Mathematic Reform which examined various aspects of a trend in pedagogy which restricted the knowledge of mathematical science showing, amongst other matters of concern, how this provided an effective basis for promoting mysticism and blind acceptance of authority.

Professor Lawvere addresses the
7th Congress of CPC(M-L).

In 1997, he attended the funeral of Comrade Bains along with scholars from various parts of the world. He also attended the 7th Congress of CPC(M-L) in 1998 where he expressed his appreciation for the work of Hardial Bains and contributed to the thesis under discussion. He attended the Party's 35th anniversary celebration in 2005 where he again expressed his appreciation for the work of the Party on theory and the need for modern definitions. He later wrote that the 35th anniversary "was a very rewarding occasion. [...] In particular, that occasion is leading to further advances in my work, especially the project to appropriately commemorate the centenary of Lenin's books on philosophy by detailing how they have been a useful guide in the study of 19th and 20th century philosophical developments, both from the point of view of natural science as well as from the point of view of the class struggle for enlightenment. Since Hardial pointed out the importance of those books 35 years ago, they have been my constant companions. [...]"

Hearing about the death of Professor Lawvere, his long-time associate Eric Hoffman had this to say in appreciation of the profound influence that both Hardial Bains and Bill Lawvere have had on his own life and work:

"Developing from their earliest seminal work done separately in the 1960s emerges the strongest evidence for a new and surprising connection. This connection forms a part of and is embedded in an ensemble of relations among humans and nature. Bill pointed out that the objectivity of this complex compels the relentless adherence to the needs of the study of space and quantity.

"In one of the interviews on his blog, Bill said, 'The core of mathematical theories is in the variation of quantity in space and in the emergence of quality within that.' Whether considerations are geometry, categories, logic, the transition of political forms, kinship relations or any other, Bill corroborated that the unity and identity of opposites, the dialectic, lives.

"Bill's work will endure as a contribution to expanding the space of enlightenment."

In the message of condolences the First Secretary of the Central Committee of CPC(M-L) sent to Professor Lawvere's family, she wrote:

"Bill contributed so much in his lifetime we have much to appreciate. His enthusiasm and dedication to the discovery of new things was always inspiring. His approach was always vigorous, dedicated, fresh in many ways. His patience as a teacher, the intelligence and coherence of his arguments, his enthusiasm for the younger generation and for their edification, and his courageous adherence to the high road of civilization were outstanding.

"Meeting with Bill was always a great pleasure. We will always treasure his friendship, generosity of spirit and dedication to our common cause for which he spoke out without trepidation. It showed he was made of special stuff."

To illustrate the quality of his work as an educator in mathematics, his straightforward approach to explaining the matter at hand and discussing with those who showed an interest in his work, we give the example of the answer he gave to a request to provide "a broad justification of why category theory may be so useful." Here is what Bill had to say:

Everyday human activities such as building a house on a hill by a stream, laying a network of telephone conduits, navigating the solar system, require plans that can work. Planning any such undertaking requires the development of thinking about space. Each development involves many steps of thought and many related geometrical constructions on spaces. Because of the necessary multistep nature of thinking about space, uniquely mathematical measures must be taken to make it reliable. Only explicit principles of thinking (logic) and explicit principles of space (geometry) can guarantee reliability. The great advance made by the theory invented 60 years ago by Eilenberg and Mac Lane permitted making the principles of logic and geometry explicit; this was accomplished by discovering the common form of logic and geometry so that the principles of the relation between the two are also explicit. They solved a problem opened 2300 years earlier by Aristotle with his initial inroads into making explicit the Categories of Concepts. In the 21st century, their solution is applicable not only to plane geometry and to medieval syllogisms, but also to infinite-dimensional spaces of transformations, to "spaces" of data, and to other conceptual tools that are applied thousands of times a day. The form of the principles of both logic and geometry was discovered by categorists to rest on "naturality" of the transformations between spaces and the transformations within.

Below we provide the obituary published on the occasion of Professor Lawvere's death. We add a facsimile of the article from the Dalhousie Gazette of January 22, 1971 on his dismissal from the Dalhousie University. We also provide the paper titled The History and Philosophy of Mathematic Reform delivered by Dr. Lawvere at the Inter-Disciplinary Conference on the Origin of Consciousness and Social Change held at the University of Windsor, February 9-11, 1996. Finally, we provide an interview with Dr. Lawvere where he explains his work in his own words.

We express our deepest condolences to Bill's life partner and collaborator, his children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters and many many friends and colleagues. May they all find solace in the memories they created together.

Central Committee
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

• Obituary

• Article from Dalhousie Gazette on Dr. Lawvere's Dismissal 

- January 22, 1971 -

• History and Philosophy of Mathematic Reform
- Dr. William Lawvere, 1996 -

• An Interview with F. William Lawvere
- Maria Manuel Clementino and Jorge Picado -
 (Part 1, December 2007, Part 2, June 2008)

Answering the Call of History in 2023

Providing Democracy with a Modern Definition

Let the Working People Take Their Place in Determining the Character of the Present Period

– Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) –


Widespread February Strikes in Transportation,
Health Care and Education

– Workers' Weekly –


Two Million Demonstrate Against Government
Raising Age of Retirement

Israel and Occupied Territories

All Out to Support the Palestinian People and Their Right to Be!


Attempted Coup Fails Thanks to People's Defence of Democracy

– Margaret Villamizar –

Fully Support the Brazilian People! Hold All Those Responsible for the Coup Attempt in Brazil Accountable!

– ALBA Social Movements Ottawa –

January 2023

Important Dates and Anniversaries

Answering the Call of History in 2023

Providing Democracy with a Modern Definition

Today one of the greatest fronts on which the state and its agencies create the most disinformation is on the topic of democracy itself. On both the official left and right of the spectrum it is common to hear talk about democracy by relating it to how close or how far it is from authoritarianism, autocracy, totalitarianism or fascism and such things. They are not giving arguments as to whether the conceptions, rules, definitions, constitutions, institutions they claim to defend are suitable to the people.

The representatives of the ruling class do not recognize that it is the people who are the force for change. This is dismissed in the arguments proffered about democracy. So are their interests. For them, the broad mass movements for equality and rights, against the racist governments and practices, against police killings or killings of individuals in seniors' homes or health care facilities as a result of the enforced lack of personnel and so on, are not considered part of a rise of a people's democracy. So too are the movements dismissed of entire nations fighting for their right to be.

The question on the minds of millions worldwide when it comes to democracy is Who Decides? regarding all matters of concern related to peace, war, the economy, politics, culture. Any attempts to ask that question, answer that question or discuss matters of concern are blocked.

Modern definitions of democracy recognize the need to put individual and collective interests on a par and both in relation to the general interests of society and humanity in such a way that these many interests are harmonized -- are sorted out in a manner that benefits each and all. It is this constant and continuous work for modern definitions which includes discussing the needs of democracy today, that contributes to the advance of the battle of democracy.

The many battles peoples are waging for control over the decisions which affect their lives, for their right to make claims on society by putting their rights front and centre, reflect the urgent necessity to fashion a democracy where the people, the vast majority of those who have brought into being the advance of the productive powers beyond anything previously conceived, have the power to govern and decide.

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Let the Working People Take Their Place in Determining the Character of the Present Period

– Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) –
January 1, 2023

On the occasion of the New Year, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends revolutionary greetings to all its members and supporters and to the working class and people from coast to coast to coast. We also greet our sister parties and the peoples the world over who are courageously fighting for their right to be, resisting the most vicious onslaught of the forces of darkest reaction on every continent.

To the people of Cuba, on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of their revolution, we send congratulations and best wishes for the coming year and demand the cruel U.S. blockade and sanctions against the island nation be ended. To the people of Haiti, on the occasion of the 219th anniversary of the revolution which overthrew both slavery and colonial rule, we send congratulations and best wishes in their courageous fight to safeguard the independence of their republic.

As we enter the New Year, the ruling class speaks of nothing but the difficulties which lie ahead in 2023. We encourage everyone to look instead at the successes they are achieving as they unite in action with co-workers, neighbours, friends and fellow-travellers to fight for what belongs to them by right as the producers of all the wealth society depends on for its living.

The question of who makes history is an age-old one. But the fact remains that without the people there can be no history. As long as there are people there will be history. There is no doubt that the present period which has appeared in history is a difficult one. The old forms have outlived their purpose while new ones based on mass democratic methods and aims have yet to come into being. But it is necessary to see that the people are bringing them into being by speaking in their own name and fighting for what belongs to them by virtue of being human. This is what is providing society with the only coherence it has at a time the ruling circles have imposed a state of anarchy and violence at home and abroad and seek to force everyone to either submit or face the use of force against them. What they cannot control, they seek to destroy but so long as the people take their place in determining the character of the present period, there will also be a new period and more history will be made.

Canada is assisting the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, Japan and others all of whom have their own aim to dominate the world and hide the system of brutal exploitation of their own working people at home and wars of destruction abroad. The euphoria they created 30 years ago that socialism was finished and the world would be rejuvenated by ushering in a new period of democracy has evaporated. The realities of stepped up state-organized racist attacks, privatization and pay-the-rich schemes have destroyed the systems of health care, education, social programs and welfare. They continue to spoil the natural environment and exacerbate the climate crisis by giving priority to military spending, war production and infrastructure in the service of narrow private interests. The militarization of culture and life itself are matters of serious concern as well.

As we enter 2023, it is necessary to counter propaganda and fearmongering that the dangers to peace, freedom and democracy come from China and Russia. The aim to foster the feeling that they should not be permitted to exist so that they can no longer pose a danger to the world must be countered with sound, rational arguments based on facts of life, not fiction or belief. It is also necessary to counter the conclusion imposed that so long as the people protect the current constitutional order – known as the King's democracy – and ignore that it gives rise to a racist, anti-people privileged elite which rules over the whole of society to its detriment, the world will see democracy and peace.

The role of the people in this entire calculation is missed altogether. The workers and middle strata are reduced to things which are disposable while the ruling class does not reckon that the people's resistance tells another story. The people who are at the receiving end of their man-eating system of exploitation of humans and nature are a greater force and provide the material for a far greater truth than all that is being uttered on the world scale by the propaganda machines of all the big powers put together. The people from all walks of life have learned that there is no end in sight on the basis of the promises that they can trust those with power and privileges to set things right. The resistance struggles tell us that our security lies in the fight for the rights of all, not in governments of police powers.

The rulers are increasingly taking the road of retrogression and presenting this as the solution to the problems which the peoples face. Similar situations have been created in other countries. However, even though the world is going through this period of retreat, the character of the entire era has not changed. People wish to create a new society which is fit for their existence. This remains the main content of this entire era.

The more the ruling class seeks to contain and crush the struggles of the workers to realize their claims on society, the struggles of the Indigenous Peoples to uphold their hereditary rights, and the struggles of people of all walks of life to affirm their claims on society, the more experience the workers acquire that the political process does not serve them and that the constitution is anachronistic and needs to be brought on par with the requirements of the 21st century.

The situation itself engenders proposals for changes which are required to turn things around in a manner which favours the people. It is the human factor/social consciousness which must be activated to oppose the anti-human factor/anti-social consciousness of the rulers who have caved in totally to U.S. demands for the integration of the Canadian economy and infrastructure into the U.S. war economy and infrastructure.

CPC(M-L) calls on all to answer the call of history in 2023. Go all out to bring about changes which oppose the widespread retrogression and lift the political process to the level of the demands of the people. All out to humanize the natural and social environment, support the just demands of the Indigenous Peoples and for equal status for all citizens and residents, migrant workers, refugees and undocumented workers. Oppose state-organized racist and other attacks as well as the blocks to the protection of women and children and all those who are vulnerable due to their age, gender, sexual orientation, or any other criteria.

The time to define our own being is now!

The world as is has no takers
The world as it should be has billions of makers

Best wishes for success in all your endeavours in the New Year!

New Year's celebration, Montreal, January 7, 2023.

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Widespread February Strikes in Transportation, Health Care and Education

 – Workers' Weekly  –

Workers across the UK from many walks of life are taking a stand that their dignity must not be undermined as in many sectors, particularly public services, the government and other authorities are refusing to negotiate, claiming that a pay rise in line with inflation is "unaffordable."

This is particularly the case in transport, health, and education, as the government introduces its anti-strike law, the Minimum Service Level Bill. This legislation is targeting front-line or key workers, which are defined by the government as such. These are specifically the nurses, paramedics, firefighters, rail workers and teachers and educators for which the government decrees that a "minimum service" must be maintained, and hence the right to strike must be made unlawful.

Now, with no resolution to talks with union representatives in sight across multiple crucial industries, February will begin on the first of the month with a massive national day of actions. These actions bring together professionals and workers from many sectors united by a common theme that they refuse to be counted as things, not human beings, and hence are considered disposable.

Workers and professionals, from train drivers and railway workers to nurses, emergency services staff, teachers and civil servants, point out that in taking action they are part of and at one with working people as a whole, and they refuse to be considered as in contradiction with the general interests of society.

Their struggle is without question justified, and the blame for any "disruption" or "inconvenience" lies with the government in these vital industries. Furthermore, the Minimum Service Level Bill is a means to legalize the dictate of those that wield power.

Working people are beginning to reach the conclusion that their struggle must in this context also focus on creating a society which affirms rights by virtue of being human. It can be said that such a society has social emancipation as its constant striving. If, in attempting to turn back the clock to before the struggles of the workers' movement won the right not to be criminalized for withdrawing their labour, those who hold political and economic power wish to wipe out the humanity of working people, they should also be reminded their system is one of wage-slavery which must be ended in order that the relations between humans and humans and humans and nature are humanized. This has been the conclusion of progressive thinkers and revolutionaries from the 19th century brought further up to date in the present.

Let the workers speak for themselves and work for that power to control their own lives which is so conspicuously absent at present!

Strike Dates Scheduled for February

Wednesday, February 1: Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) representing approximately 100,000 civil servants will stage a 24-hour demonstration, involving staff from government ministries, driving test centres, museums, ports and airports.

National Education Union (NEU) members in England and Wales will strike, as will around 70,000 staff from 150 universities joining a University and College Union (UCU) demonstration.

Train drivers belonging to the Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) unions will walk out. This will render 14 train operators without staff, and therefore bringing services to a standstill across more than a dozen railway lines.

Friday, February 3: Aslef and RMT train drivers will strike.

Monday, February 6: Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will strike for 12 hours.

Paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff belonging to the GMB union will stage a walkout, as will ambulance workers from Unite the union who work at the following trusts: West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, North East and Wales.

Tuesday, February 7: Royal College of Nursing members will strike for a further 12 hours.

Thursday, February 9: The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) Council strike places NHS physiotherapy staff on the picket line.

Tuesday, February 14: NEU members in Wales stop work once again.

Thursday, February 16: In northern Ireland, Unite members working in health and social care and as ambulance staff begin the first of two 48-hour strikes.

Friday, February 17: The Unite action continues in the north of Ireland.

Monday, February 20: Paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff from the GMB union stage a further walkout, as do Unite ambulance workers across trusts in the North East, East Midlands and Wales.

Wednesday, February 22: Unite ambulance workers strike in the North West of England.

Thursday, February 23: The second round of 48-hour strikes by health and social care workers and ambulance staff with Unite begins in northern Ireland.

Friday, February 24: The Unite action continues in northern Ireland.

Tuesday, February 28: NEU members in the Northern, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber regions of England are set to strike.

(January 28, 2023. Photos: Workers' Weekly)

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Two Million Demonstrate Against Government Raising Age of Retirement

Paris, January 19, 2023

Anti-government rallies were held across France on January 19, to protest the Macron government proposal to reform the pension system including raising the age of retirement to 64 and increasing the payroll pension tax. State-television network France 24 reports the government interior ministry itself estimates the total attendance exceeded 1.2 million demonstrators at over 200 separate rallies. Mass strikes in transport, schools, refineries and utility sectors enhanced the rallies along with high school students who rallied to the cause with mass walkouts and discussions.

The government says not enough public funds are available to sustain the current system as is, and besides, the money is needed elsewhere especially to bolster the war economy. Estimates say pushing back the retirement age by two years and extending the pay-in period and pension premiums will expropriate an additional $17.7 billion annually from the new value workers produce. France 24 reports some of the government's own experts dispute the government claims of lack of funds and say the pension system is in relatively good shape and would likely eventually return to a balanced budget even without reforms.

Organizers of the nationwide protest estimate over 2 million people participated with 400,000 in Paris alone. Other large rallies were held in Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nantes and on the French island of Corsica. Police arrests of demonstrators were reported throughout the country in particular in the outskirts of Paris where police unleashed tear gas on the people. The organizers are calling for new mass strikes and protests on January 31, if the government does not withdraw the anti-people legislation and instead deal with pressing social problems including the cost of living crisis and growing poverty.

Media reporting from the protest march in Tours in western France quote banners reading, "It's salaries and pensions that must be increased, not the retirement age" and "No to the reform!" The media quote a demonstrator saying, "I'll have to prepare a walker immediately upon retirement if the reform goes through." A retired firefighter said society should be going forward not backwards as this government is proposing. He said children should not have to work longer than me, adding that the government should instead tackle what he called "real problems" including inflation and a health care sector in shambles.

President Macron abused the demonstrators from afar in Barcelona, Spain saying, "We must do that reform [...] with determination." The very next day he proposed a major boost to French war spending with plans to increase the military budget by a third. He said the government will push for a 413 billion euro increase for France's armed forces including for nuclear weapons. In a warmongering speech to officers gathered at an air base in southwestern France, Macron said, "We need to be ready for more brutal, more numerous and more ambiguous wars." The extra military funding of sixty per cent will go towards "a wide range of areas including boosting air-defence systems, drone fleets, nuclear dissuasion infrastructure and intelligence-gathering. We need to be one war ahead," Macron blustered.

France is the world's third biggest arms exporter and has participated in sending weapons to Ukraine to bolster the U.S./NATO war to destroy both Russia and Ukraine and seize their natural resources and industrial might.

(Photos: Confédération générale du travail)

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Israel and Occupied Territories

All Out to Support the Palestinian Resistance
and Right to Be!

Tel Aviv, anti-government protests, January 21, 2023.

Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories have been the scene of massive protests and strikes condemning the Netanyahu government's judicial reforms and the crimes the government and settlers are committing against the Palestinian people and their right to be. Wanton killings by the occupation forces, destruction and theft of Palestinian land and properties now has a green light and unprecedented crimes are being committed.

On January 14, thousands of people demonstrated in Tel Aviv to oppose the Netanyahu government's decision to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and a proposed law to override Israel's Supreme Court decisions with a simple majority vote in the Israeli Knesset. Following that demonstration, Israel's new Security Minister ordered the police to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces, saying that waving the Palestinian flag is an act "supporting terrorism" while this member of Netanyahu's Cabinet has declared that he seeks to grant legal immunity to Israeli soldiers who shoot Palestinians.

On Saturday, January 21 it is estimated that some 150,000 people took part in the anti-Netanyahu demonstration in Tel Aviv alone. Tens of thousand more attended rallies held in the occupied city of al-Quds, outside the prime minister's residence, in the city of Haifa in the northern part of the occupied territories, in Beersheba, Herzliya and Modiin.

A week prior saw some 80,000 protesters at Tel Aviv's Habima Square. Students in more than a dozen university and college campuses around the country coordinated a one-hour "strike" action.

A Committee of University Heads of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, Ariel University and the Open University expressed concern that Netanyahu's judicial reforms were so extreme they worried academics and students would leave the country. They also called on the government to abandon its direction, "to protect minority rights and the dignity of every human being."

Demonstration January 14, 2023 against Israeli government

More than 130 corporations in Israel's high-tech sector also threatened strike action saying Netanyahu's agenda will undermine foreign investment in Israel.

The judicial reforms at issue will restrict the High Court capacity to strike down laws and government orders and give the Knesset the power to override any such court orders with a simple majority vote. The government will have unfettered authority over selection of judges. Ministers will no longer be required to seek counsel from the court as to "reasonableness" of legislation but will be able to appoint their own legal advisers.

Montreal Action in Solidarity with Palestinian People

On Sunday, January 22, close to 50 people, mostly youth, rallied for an hour at Lafontaine Park in Montreal to denounce the latest Israeli Zionist state's attack against the right to be of Palestinians living in Israel, Gaza and the Occupied territories of the West Bank.

The Montreal event was part of the worldwide Raise Your Flag action.

As participants in the car caravan exchanged greetings, the words of a popular Palestinian revolutionary song playing in Arabic from a car's speakers resonated in the park. To the words of "Red like our blood, green like our land, black for the hard days, and white for our hearts," and more, people sang along while others listened on. Besides the numerous Palestinian flags present, there were placards and flags with slogans such as "The Canadian Government must Condemn Israeli Crimes", "Resistance is a right", "Defend Palestinian Resistance" and "One humanity, One Struggle."

For the next two hours the car caravan made its way through the streets of Montreal with flags waving, heading towards the Israeli consulate. Pedestrians took pictures and videos, some raising their fist in support, with cars encountering the caravan also honking in support. The convoy ended outside the federal government offices at the Guy-Favreau Complex in downtown Montreal, where a picket was organized to denounce the Trudeau government's silence in face of crimes committed by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people.

(Photos: 972 Mag, Active Stills, TML)

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Attempted Coup Fails Thanks to People's
Defence of Democracy

– Margaret Villamizar –

The manner of the storming of government buildings in Brazil on Sunday, January 8 seems to have taken its cue from the events which took place in Washington, DC two years year ago, on January 6, 2021. In the early afternoon on January 8 in Brasília, the capital city of Brazil, several thousand supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro were instigated to march from the Army's headquarters, where many of them had camped out since the end of October when the presidential election took place, to the Three Powers Square which houses the National Assembly, Presidential Palace and Supreme Court buildings. Most of the rioters arrived in the capital in caravans from all regions of the country. At least 170 chartered buses travelled to Brasília starting on Friday, January 6.

Most of those taking part in the riot wore yellow jerseys, like that used by the national soccer team, and many had Brazilian flags draped over their shoulders. They demanded that the military "intervene." They could be heard on videos shouting what sounded like "God, Country, Family, Freedom" (in Portuguese) as they approached the government precinct. Videos also showed police vehicles at the head of the march and some others accompanying it. Once they reached the government buildings, the mass of protesters ran up to the Congress building and easily penetrated the flimsy barricades erected by the small number of police that were on site who basically moved aside. They then broke into the buildings, smashing windows and doors with projectiles and sticks, mounted the roof, and generally conducted themselves in the style of those who stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC two years earlier. Reports indicate a good number of them would have been armed since the right for almost anyone to carry guns was a Bolsonaro mantra. No shootings were reported, however.

Thanks to the response led by President of Brazil Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva of the Workers' Party (PT), and of Supreme Federal Court (STF) Justice Alexandre de Moraes, the coup attempt was ended on Sunday: 40 buses were seized and 260 terrorists were arrested in the act. In addition, Lula ordered an intervention in the public security of the Federal District (that includes Brasília) until January 31, while the STF ordered the removal of Ibaneis Rocha as Governor of the Federal District for 90 days. By the end of the day, some 400 people had been arrested.

Protest against the coup attempt, Brasília, January 9, 2023.

In addition to the arrests in flagrante delicto, 1,200 Bolsonarists were detained by the military on the morning of Monday, January 9 and taken into custody of the Federal Police, without the use of force. They may be charged with a series of crimes, such as aggravated damage, crimes against cultural heritage, criminal association, terrorism, attack against the democratic rule of law, and coup d'état. If there is evidence that the invasions were premeditated and deliberately anti-democratic, the penalty can reach 30 years in prison. Businessmen who financed the attacks are also under investigation. State and municipal governments also cleared out coup encampments located near military barracks in other parts of the country.

In the late afternoon and evening of Monday, January 9, in response to a call given the day before by a number of social movements, including the Rural Landless Workers' Movement (MST), union centrals, the National Students' Union and others, large demonstrations attended by thousands were held in cities all around Brazil in repudiation of the attempted coup and its sponsors, against any of its perpetrators receiving amnesty, for the swift punishment of those who engaged in the criminal invasion and vandalization of the three government buildings, and in defence of democracy in Brazil. A high spirited rally was also held at noon inside the Faculty of Law at the University of São Paulo where the same demands were raised. Many more mobilizations have taken place internationally, including in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and other cities.

Porto Alegre (top) and Rio de Janeiro, January 9, 2023

There has been ample coverage on CBC and other international media of what took place in Brasilia, including the lack of resistance the coup forces met with from the police or military as they approached, swarmed and broke into the three government buildings where they proceeded to smash and trash everything in sight, destroying equipment, furniture, works of art and more. Water damage compounded the problem when the sprinkler system in one of the buildings was activated after someone apparently attempted to set a couch on fire. Participants in the mayhem and observers all seemed to be using cell phones to record what was taking place, with likely thousands of videos and photos posted on social media as proof.

Lethal and non-lethal weapons were reported to have been stolen from the Institutional Security Office of Planalto Palace. The Minister of Social Communication and a Justice Ministry official inspected the ransacked office and filmed what they found, saying someone surely knew there were weapons there and went for them.

As in the attempted coup in Washington, DC, there was an obvious lack of police presence or effort to prevent or stop what took place, especially given all that had been announced in advance by the Bolsonarists who had already spent two months calling for a military coup. Some of the police who were on duty when the buildings were stormed and trashed could be seen in videos just watching the action and even appearing sympathetic.

Lula was in São Paulo state assessing an emergency situation caused by heavy rains when the coup forces made their move. Those already camped out in Brasilia were reinforced by another few thousand bused in from other areas to be part of the action to press their case for the military to intervene against Lula's government, "get communism out of Brazil," and the like. Before flying back to Brasilia to deal with the situation, Lula held a press conference in São Paulo to denounce those he called fanatics and fascists who had invaded the government buildings, and to announce that he had ordered a "federal intervention" in the Federal District authorizing the mobilization of the special military National Security Force to take charge of security there until January 31, given the "lack of security" and "incompetence" of the district security forces and those in charge of them. The person he named as the federal intervenor, the current executive secretary of the Ministry of Justice, is answerable directly to the President of the Republic. He also said those responsible for what was taking place would be found and punished "in an exemplary way," adding everything was going to be investigated "very, very thoroughly and very quickly." He suggested that among those who backed the actions in Brasília were illegal miners, illegal loggers and agribusiness interests. He also said Bolsonaro would be held to account.

"Terrorists cannot be called protesters." "Another Brazil is possible -- imprison Bolsonaro."

Anderson Torres, the newly appointed chief of security for the Federal District was fired by the governor when on January 8, he was nowhere to be found, having left for a "family vacation" in Orlando, Florida, where Bolsonaro has also installed himself. His firing came a few hours before the governor, to whom he answers, was himself removed from his post for 90 days for dereliction of his duties by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes. Torres, a Bolsonaro loyalist who served as the former president's Minister of Justice and Public Safety, has since returned to Brazil and been detained, with investigations into his role ongoing. 

Moraes also headed the Superior Electoral Tribunal during the election and was responsible for several rulings against the Bolsonarists, including by throwing out as frivolous the case they brought before the tribunal calling for the annulment of the majority of votes cast in the runoff election, which their candidate lost, based on the unfounded claim that over half the voting machines had a software flaw that made the results unreliable. He slapped them with heavy fines for the frivolous case.

Gleisi Hoffman, President of the PT and Luciana Santos, President of Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and a Minister in Lula's cabinet and many other members of the new government, including the leaders of both houses of Congress, have said all those involved in the violent actions on January 8, and those who allowed it to happen, must be firmly dealt with and punished with the full force of the law. Hoffman tweeted that the actions of Bolsonaro supporters were not part of a mass movement or spontaneous, but were organized by "bandits, who have very clear interests: illegal mining, land grabbing, the release of weapons, militias and other things, all blessed by Bolsonaro."

Bolsonaro has tried to wash his hands of the attack on the government buildings, just as he did when supporters riled up by four years of his toxic rhetoric and lies set up hundreds of illegal roadblocks upon learning of his defeat, and others were caught carrying out or admitted to planning terrorist acts of different types. This time he rejected accusations by Lula and others, that he was among those responsible for the criminal acts, saying that peaceful demonstrations are a part of democracy but that any invasion of public buildings crossed the line.

It is generally believed that Bolsonaro fled to the U.S. before his term expired so he could still commandeer a government plane to take him and whoever went with him there, and access a special visa the U.S. provides to sitting heads of state, to evade arrest and likely charges he expected to have to face in Brazil when his presidential immunity ended.

There are several investigations already underway related to allegations entered with the justice system, and others that would surely come when those he incited went into action like they did on January 8. Some U.S. Congress members are saying the U.S. should stop giving Bolsonaro refuge and extradite him  to Brazil. Latest news is that the former president has now applied for a tourist visa to remain in the U.S. for six more months.

Government leaders, personalities and organizations of different types from around Latin America and the world have condemned the violent, undemocratic actions of Bolsonaro's supporters. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden and the head of European Union diplomacy Josep Borell in condemning the assault on Brazil's government institutions.

(Photos: Media Ninja, M. Diego.)

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Fully Support the Brazilian People!
Hold All Those Responsible for the Coup Attempt in Brazil Accountable!

– ALBA Social Movements Ottawa –

The Ottawa Chapter of ALBA firmly stands with the Brazilian people in condemning the January 8 attack on Brazilian democratic institutions. We firmly support the Lula government in the measures it is taking to hold high-ranking officials accountable for the coup attempt in which calls were given for a military take-over. In the wake of these events, Brazilians massively took to the streets, demanding accountability at all levels and calling for "No amnesty!" Following the 1964-85 dictatorship, governments at the time opted not to punish members of the military who had participated in murder and torture, and this has been a bitter experience for the Brazilian people who want to end all conciliation with open abuses of human rights. All political ties and financial support -- both internal and external – for the attempted coup must be brought to light.

U.S. president Biden's statement within the framework of the Mexico-U.S.-Canada Summit in defence of Brazil's democratic institutions and "the will of the Brazilian people" can only be taken with a grain of salt. His own administration's support for Bolsonaro – who is presently in Florida and denies all involvement in the coup attempt – is well known. At the 9th Summit of the Americas, the Biden administration did not invite Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela, supposedly because they are ruled by undemocratic regimes. Yet, they invited Bolsonaro, a former military officer and firm supporter of the military dictatorship in Brazil as well as that of Pinochet in Chile, the same Bolsonaro who, in 1999, publicly declared: "Elections won't change anything in this country. It will only change on the day we break out in civil war here and do the job that the military regime didn't do, killing 30,000 people. If we kill some innocent people, that's fine, because in every war innocent people die."

Over the years, Bolsonaro has played a key role in organizing and inciting violence and hatred for Brazil's democratic institutions. Before the October 2022 elections won by Lula, Bolsonaro asked his supporters to buy arms so as to "be prepared" in case of a defeat. During his term in office, he included several thousand military officers at various levels of civil government. His Minister of Defense at the time openly challenged and attacked the authority of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal. American intelligence and spy agencies worked with Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro in the Lava Joto corruption scandal in order to put Lula in jail and prevent him from running in the 2018 election, charges which were eventually proven fraudulent. For his reward, Moro was named Justice Minister. On his trip to the U.S. in 2019, Bolsonaro visited CIA headquarters, followed in July 2021 by a visit to Brazil by the head of the CIA who held talks with Bolsonaro. The latter has always considered himself a staunch defender of U.S. interests in Brazil, in Latin America and within the international community.

Though it is positive that Canada and the U.S. have seen fit to express an interest in working with President Lula, we must remain vigilant and step up our opposition to all meddling in Latin-American and Caribbean affairs in all its forms, including financing and inciting criminal dissension as well as covert and open coups d'état.

Fully Support the Brazilian People's Struggle for Democratic Rights!
Stop all Foreign Interference in Brazil and in Latin America and the Caribbean!
No Amnesty for Enemies of the People and Human Rights Abusers!

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January 2023

Important Dates and Anniversaries

We invite readers to visit the home page of the CPC(M-L) website (, where articles on important dates and anniversaries are regularly posted in the carousel, in addition to notable coming events in support of the struggles of working people at home and abroad. For the January dates and anniversaries, click the image below. We encourage you to share them widely.

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