Brazil: Interview with the Coletivo Zumbi dos Palmares-Al
An interview with the Coletivo Zumbi dos Palmares-Al in northern Brazil, one of the member organizations of the Forum of Organized Anarchism.
Interview with the Coletivo Zumbi dos Palmares-Al
1) How and when was the CAZP formed?
Our collective was formed in mid-March 2002 by some students, some of whom were already militants in the student movement, and others who approached them. From the start the idea was to work within the social movements, though at the time most of us had read little. Today, we are much surer with regard to our aims.
2) What are the short-term prospects of the CAZP?
Given the composition of the group, by reason of circumstances, not principles, our short-term prospects are mainly within the student movement, but we are trying to develop our militancy in other areas. After the 3rd Forum of Organized Anarchism (FAO), we began a continual process of (re)discussion of our militancy and also of certain questions regarding the organization of our collective that reflects our conception of an anarchist organization, things that were missing from our Declaration of Principles, such as the unity of action, our decision-making methods and the criteria for joining the collective. We consider it of the utmost importance to work towards the construction of the FAO, especially in the north-east, so that more groups and/or individuals can get involved in this project.
3) How do the comrades view the political crisis that Brazil is going through at present?
It is proof that any connection of the struggle to the electoral path ends up in a progressive estrangement from socialist ideals and a subjection to the parliamentary game (corruption). From the moment that they set out to be different from "real socialism", but remain within the confines of "democratic socialism" without breaking with the paradigm of the State, most will end up taking a sharp and irreversible deviation to the right. That is the history of the Workers' Party (PT) and of so many others around the world. We anarchists need to strengthen our methods and ideas together with the popular, grassroots struggles because only this can improve the lot of the workers. Any concession to bourgeois politics (including the conception of elections as a question of tactics) is a step towards reformism. The right way should be to encourage revolutionary methods, the organized people in struggle guaranteeing their own direct involvement.
4) Tell us a little about the experiences of the CAZP in the social struggles.
As we already explained, our militancy is today centered around the student movement, more specifically in the "Comuna Estudantil" (Student Commune - a group of generally revolutionary socialists), and also in grassroots movements. We were involved at the Vila Emater, located beside the Maceió garbage dump where many work as "catadores", looking through the garbage for re-cyclable material. We began a youth and adult literacy project that lasted for just about 2 months, though our contact with the community has lasted at least a year. Unfortunately it ended as a result of a series of difficulties, ranging from a lack of structure to our own difficulty of holding our members together.
5) Any message for our comrades in other parts of Brazil?
Good health and good humour! Anarchism is struggle!!
Coletivo Anarquista Zumbi dos Palmares
Cx. Postal 136 CEP: 57020-970 Maceió-AL
Interview carried out by the Coletivo pró organização Anarquista em Goiás
Translation by A-Infos