Photo: The Committee to Support the People’s Struggle in Brazil held a commemoration for revolutionary and coordinator of the League of Poor Peasants in los Angeles on the 5th anniversary of his assassination.
By Audrey Hellenbrecht
On the evening of October 22, the Committee to Support the People’s Struggle in Brazil (CSPSB) in Los Angeles held a commemoration for Comrade Cleomar Rodrigues de Almeida at an apartment complex in South Central led by the 28th St. Barrio Committee of Serve the People-Los Angeles (STP-LA).
At the start of the event, supporters of the CSPSB informed attendees about Comrade Cleomar, the brave Brazilian revolutionary and coordinator of the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) who was assassinated on this date five years prior by big landlords for his activism. They then invited attendees to partake in Feijoada, a traditional Brazilian dish, cooked by a supporter. At the end of the serving table, jars of honey were sold to raise money for revolutionary activists facing legal charges, in remembrance of Cleomar’s beekeeping practice and how he would sell honey in order to raise funds for political prisoners.
After the showcasing of the ofrenda, the organizers gave a presentation on Comrade Cleomar, the LCP, and their inspiring and tireless struggle in Brazil. This presentation covered the history of the LCP and showcased their militant confrontations with landlords, security forces, police, and other class enemies. Attendees cheered as a video showed brave peasants chasing away police armed with only sticks and rocks. A supporter noted that even with the police firing on them, the peasants stood strong and overtook the police.
Continuing the presentation, supporters highlighted the inspiring actions carried out across Brazil, spanning from a national strike in over 200 cities to poor peasants resisting land reintegration by setting up roadblocks and chasing away officers. “It is a beautiful story but also [one of] great learning for us,” said one tenant.
“The best way to support [the LCP’s struggle] is to make revolution here in the US. To wipe imperialism off the face of the earth,” a supporter stated, calling for revolutionary internationalism. The presentation then ended by showing spray painted displays of solidarity that stated “Long Live Comrade Cleomar’s Life 1967-2014” and “Down with Bolsonaro and US Imperialism. Support the Struggle in Brazil!” A supporter urged attendees to stay up to date on developments in Brazil, to carry out propaganda in solidarity with the LCP, and to join the CSPSB, and other revolutionary mass orgs such as STP-LA and Defend Boyle Heights (DBH).
“We’re in this together,” Anna, an attendee stated in agreement, “no matter what front, here in LA or anywhere.”
Shortly after the presentation, supporters led tenants and their children over to a party game that featured blown up faces with targets drawn on them; one of Jair Bolsonaro, the fascist president of Brazil, and the other of Charles Quarles, the landlord who had raised the rent on and refused to do repairs for the tenants of the 28th Street Barrio Committee. Children bounced with joy as they fired toy guns at the greedy landlords head. Shirts from STP-LA and DBH were given out as prizes to participants along with stickers with the slogan “Gentrification brings destruction, but if we dare to struggle, we dare to win!”
Once the party game was finished, supporters of CSPSB gave a heartfelt speech in front of an ofrenda dedicated to Comrade Cleomar.
“Cleomar was an extraordinary revolutionary leader of the LCP. We can learn so much from Cleomar, especially the importance of courage. Cleomar had the courage to his life to the League of Poor Peasant and working towards revolution. . . Just like the peasants in the LCP, we can choose to let [Cleomar’s] assassination inspire us and let his life teach us . . . [Though] the LCP, the compasinos, and the proletariat of Brazil are far away in miles, they stand right next to us in the fight against those who exploit and oppress us!”
After this speech concluded, a piñata of a vampire with Bolsonaro’s face pasted on was rigged above the open area. Children took turns beating the vampiric fascist with bats until his body burst into candy. The entire party cheered at the destruction of Brazil’s crooked president. And with the beautiful and symbolic show of violence, the night concluded.
As the people of Brazil heroically combat and resist the domination of US Imperialism and their lackeys in the reactionary old state, as well as the growing fascism of Bolsonaro and his administration, their struggle intensifies. Here in the heart of imperialism, the struggle continues to grow as well. The popular movements in Brazil provide inspiration and a shining example to those in the US and the rest of the world who share their fight against oppression and exploitation.