April 8th, 2016.
In the beginning of December, the President of the Chamber of Deputies [the lower house of Congress], Eduardo Cunha accepted the impeachment request against President Dilma Rousseff on the grounds of a fiscal responsibility crime.
The accusation has no legal basis considering that the same Congress approved amendments to the budget in 2015. Given the complete absence of a legal basis, the impeachment request represents a coup d’état in institutional disguise.
Since December, a number of demonstrations have taken the Brazilian streets, both in favor of the impeachment, and against the coup and in defense of democracy. Protests in favor of removing the president have the support of traditional opposition parties and far right political sectors, with the decisive support of the national media oligopoly.
Over the last month, initiatives against the coup proliferated and were joined by many sectors of society, with the spontaneous participation of thousands of people from nearly all of Brazil’s social movements, and from intellectuals and artists. Even leftist sectors that oppose the government are in the streets in defense of democracy.  There was also a proliferation of decentralized initiatives as, for example, rallies and manifestos by movie and drama cultural collectives, intellectuals, and students from virtually every federal university in the country.
The status of the impeachment process:
–          On March 17th, the ad hoc impeachment committee was created in the Chamber of Deputies;
–          On Monday, April 4th, the Advocate-General of the Union, José Eduardo Cardozo, presented President Dilma’s defense before the Committee;
–           On Wednesday, April 7, the rapporteur of the ad hoc impeachment committee, opposition deputy Jovair Arantes, issued his report recommending that the process continue;
–          The report of the rapporteur is bound to be voted on Monday, April 11th, by the committee. To be approved, it needs the vote of 33 of the 65 members of the committee;
–          If approved by the committee, the report will be read on the floor of the Chamber. Forty-eight hours after its publication, it will be included in the order of the day of the following session;
–          However, the Advocate-General of the Union, José Eduardo Cardozo, stated that the report of the rapporteur was null and void because it violated the President’s right to defend herself by considering charges not included in the original petition. According to Cardozo, if the committee approves this report, the Office of the Advocacy General will appeal to the Supreme Federal Court.
According to the impeachment procedures, the next steps should be:
–          The report is discussed and voted on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies.  Approval requires a 2/3 majority of votes, or 342 deputies. Today the opposition does not have this number. It is estimated that the opposition would have about 265 votes. The expectation is that the lower house speaker will schedule the floor vote for Sunday, April 17th, so as to favor live transmission by the big media and to encourage government opponents to take to the streets;
–          If approved in the lower house, the impeachment process will be referred to the Senate;
–          Once accepted by the Senate, the President must stay away from her office for 180 days;
–          The process then follows a similar protocol in Senate, with a committee being formed with ¼ of the senators. The committee concludes its work by providing the articles of impeachment. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Federal Court presides over the Senate trial. A  2/3 majority of the votes (54 senators ) is required to approve a motion for impeachment;
Calendar of mobilizations against the coup:
Without prejudice of the various decentralized rallies that have been taking place on a daily basis, last Wednesday, April 6th, the Frente Brasil Popular front (http://frentebrasilpopular.com.br), which brings together political forces and social movements against the coup and for democracy, released a calendar of mobilizations with the following guidelines:

  1. Set up a National Camp for Democracy in Brasília from April 10th to the voting day, open to participation for delegations from all states.
  2. Foster all ongoing mobilization and struggle initiatives but, especially, on April 11th, when the Congress committee will take a vote.
  3. Promote on April 15th a National Mobilization Day against the Coup, closing highways, carrying out stoppages, and holding assemblies in factories.
  4. Vigil for Democracy on April 17th, the day the lower house of Congress votes, in every state capital city, plus a national concentration in Brasília and mobilizations in every possible city. Should there be any change in the Congress calendar, these dates will be adjusted.
  5. Ongoing communication actions and coordinated action on social media on the 11th, 15th, and 17th of April.

No to the coup! Yes to the struggle!
São Paulo, April 8th, 2016