The demonstrations on 2 October for Bolsonaro Out were called well in advance. There was no improvisation. The Military Police estimated 10 blocks occupied by protesters on Avenida Paulista, in Sao Paulo. There were about 100,000 people. Cinelândia, in Rio de Janeiro, was crowded. In Belo Horizonte, no fewer than 80,000 marched. In the far south, in the cities of the Rio Grande do Sul countryside, the cry of Bolsonaro Out was also heard. It was also like this in all the capitals of the north, the northeast and in major cities across the country. In the world, several capitals were the stage for actions of solidarity with the struggle in Brazil.
The October 2nd had become a fundamental force. Without this unifying action, the relationship of forces on the streets could begin to shift in favour of the government, despite Bolsonaro’s falling popularity and his growing isolation, which has made his re-election increasingly unlikely. Without the October 2nd in the memory of the masses, it would be recorded September 7nd instead, when Bolsonarism showed its street strength, as the main thermometer of the streets. And the streets, in Brazil, since 2013, have become indicators of deep social and political trends, tensing institutional changes. On September 7, it became apparent that the extreme right had lost much mobilisation capacity, but that, even so, its street weight exists and, if it has no response, its strength has the conditions to be resumed and, above all, it can radicalise more effectively. The truckers’ actions the following day, with open support from business sectors, indicated the potential to produce a crisis and influence the course of events, either to put pressure on the institutions of a rarefied liberal democracy or even to paralyse them.
On that same day, the democratic movement Bolsonaro Out gathered a much smaller number compared to Bolsonarism. The timid convening of the movement’s coordination allowed fear to gain more weight, even though the vanguard actions were dignified and did not allow the streets to become exclusively Bolsonarist on Independence Day. Today, the streets were exclusive to the movement Bolsonaro Out. This is a great victory. We should celebrate it. It is proof that in the streets the opposition has more strength, not only in the opinion polls. It must be said that they were smaller than other days of struggle of the movement Bolsonaro. Out They gathered more than the Bolsonarist September 7, and were undoubtedly more national. However less symbolic and lacking in explosiveness. And Bolsonarism gathered more people in Sao Paulo. But the Bolsonarist day of action was its maximum demonstration of strength and concentrated in Sao Paulo and Federal District. October 2nd was not the maximum action. This is due to at least two factors: on the one hand, the PT leadership and Lula have already adopted as their main strategy the electoral dispute with Bolsonarism. Lula’s absence from the demonstrations is an indication that his political work is focused on sewing alliances to win the elections, not on the street demonstrations. The streets play a complementary role in the politics of the petist leadership, to keep its social base warm, but already beginning to attract the spirits to take the vote as the weapon that will really remove Bolsonaro from power. On the other hand, the liberal bourgeoisie has not found a candidate capable of having more strength than Bolsonaro. Without this, it will not risk impeachment. Meanwhile, the Center is using the government for its own corrupt ends, and the business corporations are cheering and pushing for Bolsonaro to apply more neoliberal adjustments. Although part of the bourgeoisie has already embarked on Lula’s alliance, whose greatest intellectual expression is Delfin Neto, the majority still seeks a candidate to call their own. In his absence, there is no point in proceeding with impeachment. In addition, Bolsonaro showed strength on the 7th and warned that he does not accept impeachment without resistance, much less the imprisonment of him and his followers. The letter written by Temer and signed by Bolsonaro was an armistice. It remains to be seen if it lasts until the elections. But the sign that the liberal bourgeoisie has decided to distance itself from impeachment has also cooled the confidence of the millions who have taken to the streets to demand Bolsonaro out.
Thus, the 2nd, despite the victory represented by the shout of Bolsonaro Out taking the streets again after many weeks without unified national actions, opened an impasse. It may have meant the last real mass mobilisation to put Bolsonaro out by the force of the streets and have been the first electoral mobilisation. Or it could be a revival, a new attempt at a street-driven Bolsonaro Out. The forces of the larger superstructure bet that the streets will not speak so loudly. They prefer a game dominated by traditional institutions and electoral channels. The revolutionary drive has not, so far, overcome such forces. We can say that it is far from it. But that is our bet. It is a bet that may not succeed in changing the relation of forces and impose the fall of the government on the plans of the forces with more institutional and electoral weight. In any case, it is worth betting on. This is the only way to develop political and social forces which will give a basis to new institutions built in the struggles and which respond to the streets. This is the only way to build the social bases of an anti-capitalist programme.