Solidarity Against Censorship
After an organized mass reporting by supporters of the newly elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, YouTube has taken down the music video "Primavera Fascista" (Fascist Spring) produced by the channel Setor Prohibido. The music video combines audio recordings of some of the worst statements by Bolsonaro with lyrics by rappers who condemn fascism and exhault resistance to the coming regime.
"Idolizing a fascist, supporting torture
And the people, manipulated, want to put you in power
I'm the civil war, I'm not afraid of your dictatorship
And if someone has to die, than let it be you"
The song stands in the best traditions of Brazil's "Rap Nacional" which has traditionally stood out as the cultural voice of the favelas and peripheries throughout Brazil. Bolsonaro's unprecedented statements against Black Brazilians, the poor, the lgbt community and leftists of all stripes have created a necessary unity of the oppressed reflected by the song.
"Your homophobia doesn't make you more of a man
Your heterosexuality is fragile
Your ignorance contaminates
This sickness results in massacres
Fascism is a spreading virus
Information is the cure and Rap is the vaccine"
Brazilian Rap has remained largely independent from the suffocating commercialization of much of the industry in the US. It's firm association with the poor and oppressed has seen it take on explicitly revolutionary objectives.
"The resistance is still alive here in the ghetto
If you want my freedom come here to take it!
Rap is a weapon, if it depended on me Bolsonaro wouldn't live
Revolt is coming, I don't even have to look ahead to see it
Don't say I didn't tell you this false messiah isn't salvation
Don't say I didn't tell you when the situation becomes revolutionary"
In a political scenario where most of the formal left has long since abandoned open revolutionary agitation "Primavera Fascista" like many of the great products of Brazilian hip hop stands out as an open revolutionary call to the poor and oppressed. Mary Jane, one of the women rappers, makes an explicit reference defending the legacy of Carlos Marighella - author of the Mini-Manual of the Urban Guerilla and one of the great communist figures of resistance to the Military Dictatorship.
A campaign has been launched against the censorship of the song with the hashtag
#VoltaPrimaveraFascista on Twitter. It is absolutely essential that revolutionaries around the world and particularly within the United States work to campaign against this censorship by YouTube and Google. While it is clear which side the executives will always be on, the recent movement of Google tech works in solidarity with MeToo shows the potential for resistance by workers within the tech industry.
The formal ascension of Bolsonaro to power and the possibility of mass persecution of the far-left in the new Brazil makes it an urgent task to struggle against the censorship of the Brazilian left. The terrifying consequences that could emerge if companies like Google and Facebook actively aid Bolsonaro's government in identifying and targeting activists are horrifying. We must seize every chance we can to fight censorship, protect the identities and privacy of activists, and struggle to force non-collaboration with the new regime.