Revolutionary Movement 8th October

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The Revolutionary Movement 8th October (MR8) (in Portuguese: Movimento Revolucionário 8 de Outubro) was a Brazilian political movement, formerly an urban guerrilla group. During the military dictatorship in Brazil, the MR8 was formed by Brazilian Communist Party members who disagreed with the party's decision not to take part in the armed resistance against the military government - the so-called Dissidência da Guanabara (DI-GB). The name Movimento Revolucionário 8 de Outubro was taken from another organization, which had been recently destroyed by police repression: as the dictatorship's propaganda boasted about police efficiency in the suppression of "terrorists", the DI-GB started taking actions under the same name, as a way to demoralize the regime. The new organization defined itself as Marxist-Leninist. MR8 was the main force behind the kidnapping of American ambassador Charles Burke Elbrick in 1969, the basis of the film Four Days in September.

In the late 1970s, the MR8 conducted a thorough auto-criticism for their participation in the armed resistance against the dictatorship. Under the leadership of Daniel Terra, it defined the struggle for "democratic liberties" as the main task for the Brazilian left. As such, it became active inside the MDB, the party of the "allowed opposition", under the leadership of Orestes Quércia. It had an important role in the reawakening of the students' movement in 1976-77.

However, in 1978, the MR-8 again shifted its policies. It came to believe that the "national issue" was more important than the "democratic issue"; while it never abandoned the struggle against the dictatorship, it became increasingly aggressive against other leftist tendencies, particularly the Trotskyists, which were frequently seen as anti-national and supportive of "petty-bourgeois issues" like feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, etc. During this phase, the MR-8 became increasingly isolated within the left, prompting alliances among most other tendencies against their provocative actions.

While they had played an important role in the students' movement in 1977, when the working class and unionist movement came again into political play in 1978, MR8's role was at the best marginal, and frequently negative. At that point, they developed an intense political enmity towards the unionist leadership of the ABC Region, which later gave birth to the Workers' Party. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other leaders of the party, and its union branch CUT, were described as "social-democrats", "yellow unionists", "imperialist agents", and accused of dividing the opposition against the dictatorship - i.e. the MDB.

With the end of the dictatorship, they were the only significant part of the Brazilian left to remain within the PMDB, the continuation of the MDB. Most other tendencies joined the Workers' Party, while the Brazilian Communist Party and the Communist Party of Brazil re-launched themselves as independent political parties. As such, the MR8 is a bit of an oddity in Brazilian politics: while it considers itself "Marxist-Leninist", it is not organized under democratic centralism, and it operates within a bourgeois centre-to-left political party, in direct contradiction with Marxist-Leninist tenets of independence from bourgeois organizations.

MR8 maintained a high international profile, and developed close relations with the government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.[1] In the late 1990s, MR8 somewhat softened its violent opposition to the other leftist tendencies, and became a more common-sense socialist group, even supporting Lula's run for presidency in 2002 and his government, while at the same time increasing its nationalist streak.

MR8 publishes a twice-weekly newspaper titled Hora do Povo.

Famous Members[edit]

Famous MR8 members in the past include Fernando Gabeira, Carlos Lamarca, Stuart Angel, Franklin Martins and Dilma Rousseff.

Today[edit]

In 2008, MR8 decided that with the deep changes in Brazil, it was time to change itself, and in April 21, 2009 launched the Free Motherland Party (Partido Pátria Livre), which is now in process of registry.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], [2]
  2. ^ "Hora do Povo. April 24, 2009.

External links[edit]