The Brazilian Legislature survived the civil war, and had actively met during the internal strife that the country faced in order to attempt to guide the republic through its darkest hour. Yet, no elections had taken place, and many delegates (mostly the communists) had been barred from participating in the legislative process. However, for the first time since the assassination of President Bernardes in 1924, the Congress in its entirety meets once again to administer the nation. Yet, it is not the same congress that it was five years ago. With the split of the republican movement and the slight increase in the left’s power, the legislature has seen radical change in its body, with the rise of new political parties, and the downfall of many others.
The new congress saw a surge of new bills, addressing everything from Foreign affairs to taxation. Curiously, the Communist Party, despite being one of the smallest parties in Congress, led an enthusiastic legislative campaign, issuing a number of bills, many that passed. Among those, there was the capoeira bill, that legalised the traditional african martial art, the jaguar bill, that greatly restricted the right to hunt and sell jaguar pelts, especially for foreigners, and the Tiradentes bill, which made the day of the execution of the old Brazilian freedom fighter, Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier (more commonly known by his nickname of ‘Tiradentes’), a national holiday. Despite the ideological difference, all the 3 bills enjoyed a large amount of support in both chambers, being passed with ease.
Curiously, the Communist party also took a keen interest in reforming Brazil’s foreign policy, more so than any party. The bills issued by the communist party dealt with a variety of topics, such as the implementation of the League of Nations Stateless persons passport, the ratification of the Spitsbergen treaty,the official diplomatic recognition of the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd and, most importantly, a Bill that reformed many aspects of brazil’s immigration process. Most of the other parties supported the Communist bills, and unilaterally supported the motions. The only party that took a dubious stance on the matter was the Liberator Party, that at first were against most matters of foreign policy citing lack of need or interest in the matter, only to later support the implementation of the Stateless persons passport but later abstaining on the other foreign policy bills. A curious action on behalf of that party indeed.
The session wasn't all suns and flowers for the Communists however, for the party suffered many defeats in both domestic and foreign bills.
The Bill that called for an investigation into the businesses owned by the american industrialist, Percival Farquhar, was killed while still in the chamber floor. The debate was heated between the parties, and even had some degree of participation from Mr Farquhar that issued an official communique to Congress, defending himself. Despite support from the other Socialist parties, the Liberator Party, the Social Democrats and the ANL, the bill was defeated by a joint PUF & PLD vote that, with the help of the Democratic Party, managed to outvote the votes in favour of such motion.
The bill that called for the recognition of the Soviet Union was also defeated in the congress floor, with only the left wing parties voting in favour. Curiously, the ANL abstained on this law project.
Another Communist bill that failed to reach the Federal Senate was the motion to ratify the Kellogg-Briand pact, which prohibited wars of aggression. Despite wide support along the left wing segments of the chamber, a joint vote of the PUF and the PLD, supported by the Liberators, defeated the bill.
Despite the ups and downs in the Communist Legislative campaign, the greatest victory was by far the bill to ratify the Hours of Work Convention of 1919, an effort of the League of Nations and the International Labour Organisation to establish an eight hour work day for many industries. The bill enjoyed a large degree of support from most parties, from the Socialist Revolutionaries to the PLD, yet the PUF, and curiously, the Integralist movement, remained staunchly opposed to the project, arguing that to enact such measure would bring more harm than good to the Brazilian economy. The bill was passed through both houses of Congress and was finally sent to the President for his approval, where it was promptly vetoed and archived. The Presidential veto sparked outrage, and the Communist delegates were quick to mobilise and make use of an old constitutional maneuver, that allowed a joint session of congress to override the executive veto by a simple majority. After many sessions of debating, an overwhelming amount of representatives voted in favour of the bill, and the veto was scrapped. Due to the President’s reluctance to accept such measure, the Vice President of the Republic had to sign the bill into law on his behalf.
In a similar way to their Communist colleagues, the Liberator Party also attempted to start a large scale legislative campaign in the National Congress, issuing a number of bills that dealt with a number of issues ranging from fighting hunger to addressing the lack of profit made by national-owned industry, yet all of the bills failed miserably, becoming confusing projects that showed themselves to be extremely flawed. In the end, even the Liberators themselves showed a reluctance to debate their own projects, thus, all the bills proposed by them were archived by the Congress Secretariat.
One bill that created large amounts of debate was the so called ‘Infrastructure Regeneration Bill’, a project issued by the members of the Liberal-Democratic Party that called for the establishment of an official budget to repair the damage caused during the civil war and for a separate budget to further improve national infrastructure as a whole. The bill saw large amounts of debate in the Chamber, and several amendments were made to the project in order to satisfy other parties. In the end, most parties, except, strangely, the Liberator Party, supported the Bill and evan began an official vote on the Project, yet the vote was put to a halt after the President of the Chamber received a request from Governor Vargas of Rio Grande do Sul to address the bill. After a long train trip from Porto Alegre, Governor Vargas arrived in the Federal capital and was quick to address the Deputies were he exposed many of the bill’s faults and made several suggestions of his own in how to improve the project. Following Vargas’ speech, the vote was cancelled in order to address the points and suggestions raised by the Governor.
Finally, there was the ‘National Debt Stabilization Act of 1929’, a bill proposed by the Social Democrats that seeked to address Brazil’s growing foreign debt by issuing a standard debt payment per year. While the matter was discussed somewhat, the PUF assured the members that the debt was nothing to worry about, and that it could be better addressed at some later point. Afterwards, the discussion died out on the project, and hasn't been discussed further.
While never being proposed in an official constitutional amendment, the will to enfranchise the women of Brazil with the right to vote has been very strong within Congress. After the Liberator Party (wrongfully) attempted to enfranchise women through a simple bil, Governor Vargas was quick to author a letter of his own writing and address it to the President (the only person who can officially start constitutional amendments), with the objective of convincing him to start such measures immediately. The letter was widely praised by most members of Congress, especially the Liberal-Democrats and the Communists, who patiently awaited an answer from President Luis. After some wait, the President answered the Governor’s letter, where he claimed his party had for long studied the possibility, and promised that soon the PUF would propose such a motion to the legislature. Let us see if the promises of the President will be kept…
Even before the Presidential veto was retrieved and the 8 hour work day bill officially approved, the workers showed the strength of their will. As news spread that the matter was being discussed in the Legislature, Trade Unions in the big cities of Rio and São Paulo, acting under the guidance of the CBT, pressured local businesses to implement an eight hour work day before the bill was even passed, as a way to show support towards the project. The Syndicalists found some success in the smaller and more concentrated industries, but overall failed to make a big impact in the larger industries, that maintained their work schedules as normal throughout the whole of the process.
Due to that, or perhaps simply due to coincidence, the CBT staged massive demonstrations against the upper class of Brazil, denouncing their unjust ways and the treatment given by them towards the lower classes and the native population. While tame protests at first, the news of the Presidential Veto outraged and mobilised the working class, and soon, Syndicalists, Anarchists, Communists, Trade Unionists, Social Democrats and industrial workers unaffiliated with any political movement filled up the streets, as thousands in Rio, São Paulo, Salvador and other big cities marched for their rights. The situation calmed down after the announcement of the Communist Override, throwing the angered protesters into an ideological frenzy, as the Anarchists waved their Red and Black flags from the windows of their tenements and the communists marched down the avenues singing ‘Le Internationale’ and carrying large Photographs of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Not since the glorious days of the Civil War had the Brazilian left’s optimism been this high, with many thinking that the approval of the Eight Hour Work Day was the first step of a long march towards Proletarian Revolution in Brazil.
With the frenzy in the streets, the CBT also attempted to take a hit at Industries that had previously done business with Percival Farquhar by calling their workers to strike. While a certain range of businesses were affected, the ones that most suffered were the Steel-Making factories in São Paulo, that beforehand had provided Mr Farquhar with Steel and Iron to build his so esteemed Railways across the country. The strikers were successful at first, paralyzing large portions of the industry across the state, even influencing other Steel Mills to follow suit, but their period of glory came to a short end, as the strikes were violently put down, not by men under the command of the factory owners, but by members of the Integralist movement, that mercilessly and efficiently clamped down on the protesters and forced them to resume work.
The surge in activity also led to the CBT sponsoring the establishment of new unions across the country, this time mostly focused in cities lacking major union representation, such as Paraiba and Salvador, where Trade Unionism is still relatively small. The CBT representatives found success in a few areas, but found their largest amount of support along dock workers and teamsters.
During a meeting of Party members and associates, the National President of the Social Democratic Party, Mr Fernando Costa, announced the beginning of a new political campaign called ‘Social Democracia em Ação’, or Social Democracy in Action, that would aim for increasing the party’s political reach while assisting several areas of Brazilian society.
Mr Costa goes on to announce the establishment of a multitude of specialized agencies in the larger cities of Brazil, as official branches of their party offices in those same cities. The agencies would be primarily tasked with counseling the local residents on matters related to social services, such as how to apply and benefit from them, but would also grow to include employment offices and meeting rooms were seminars on worker’s rights were held daily.
He also details his plans for the creation of a new scholarship program to bring young and bright Brazilians from working class backgrounds into universities, with the final intent of bringing as many Brazilians from poverty into a more prosperous life. After several examinations, many applicants were accepted into the program, most of whom are expected to begin their selective university classes by the end of the year.
The Social Democrats also attempt to expand their political influence over the students already enrolled in universities by establishing and sponsoring student discussion groups in the biggest universities in Brazil. The groups would start after the classes and go on until late at night, where topics related to the Social Democratic Ideology, workers rights and the future of Brazil were constantly debated and argued over by its idealistic young members. Groups like these appeared in all the major universities across Brazil such as the Federal University of Rio, the Federal University of Manaus, the University of São Paulo, the University of Paraná and the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where a fiery speaker, a young medical school student called Juscelino Kubitschek, has dominated the discussions and made himself quite a well known figure among the political circles of the University.
This multitude of action bring a great deal of attention towards the Social Democrats, a small party until then, who now have the attention of university students and the loyalty of many urban workers, all who were adopted and assisted by the new Social Democratic policies.
Delegates of the Liberator Party leave the National Congress in RIo to undertake a tour of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, the party’s biggest foothold. As they travel from across the countryside they ask a series of questions to the local residents, asking them what they think of the party and what changes they want to see be made. Results were… not that good. The news of the recent failures of the Liberator Party in Congress had reached their voters in the rural areas, and they were not satisfied at all with the party’s performance in the Legislature. The tour helped somewhat with the party’s image, but was not able to mend together their once large popularity.
Members of the Liberator Party were also seen across the cafe’s and restaurants of Rio, inquiring what they wanted from the party in the future. Since the party never ran any candidates from Rio, and had no form of political presence in that state, the people didn't really have much to say.
While great deals of change takes place across the country, a crime shocks the nation. In the early hours of the 5th of september, a body was found in an alley in central Rio, shot twice in the stomach. After the police took hold of the situation and officially started investigations, the identity of the body was rapidly discovered; a young Lieutenant in the army called Emílio Garrastazu Medici. Medici had studied military doctrine in the Military School of Realengo in the Federal Capital, being prepared to join the loyalist ranks of the army during the civil war, but at some point defecting and joining the rebelling lieutenants. Following the end of the war, he had been readmitted into the army, but continued his Pro-Lieutenant stance, being an official member of the Movement for Popular Action and leading many of their activities among the army ranks stationed in the capital. The police had also found evidence that Medici might have been able to shoot his assailant before dying, possibly even wounding him in the process. There were few eyewitnesses to the crime, and the few that are, a small group of homeless men, have been disregarded as untrustworthy witnesses. With few good leads to start an investigation from, the Police officially attributed the murder as a possible robbery attempt gone wrong.
The death of Medici outraged the members of the MAP, both those found within the army and outside of it. Many say that the killing of Medici could not have been a simple robbery gone wrong, given that Medici was a trained soldier with battle experience that walked with his pistol at all time, with most thinking that the murder was a politically charged one. Many regiments in the capital have already shown their dissatisfaction through petitions and public rallies, calling for the opening of an official investigation into the matter. The soldiers councils that hold loyalty to Prestes and the lieutenants seem as strong as ever.
In a similar way to their land colleagues, there is also growing unrest in the Navy. Over the course of the last months, there is an increase of Marxist activity among the lower ranks of the Navy, with the formation of small Sailor’s Councils aboard the ships and their respective naval bases. Many of these sailors call for an increase of investment into the navy, as well as an improvement to their pay and to their general quality of life aboard. Despite the protests, they remain on duty, keeping a respectful attitude towards their commanders.
With Governor Vargas away on official business in Rio, the Integralist cells in Porto Alegre use the opportunity to carry out large scale attacks on communist installations in the city. On the night of the 10th of September, the communist party headquarters in the city is attacked by Integralist militants, who threw bricks into their windows and went on to invade the building complex, causing great damage. Most importantly, all the printing presses inside the headquarters were completely destroyed by the invaders. While a few members tried to organise a resistance to the attack, most were beaten down by the invaders, with a few being seriously wounded. The attack lasted for about an hour, before the Police came and dispersed the militants.
Seeking to grow their influence in the northeastern states, the Integralist party goes on to establish several soup kitchens in places like Ceará, Sergipe and Piauí, with the primary intent of feeding the homeless and the poor. The kitchens were, however, always guarded by armed militants, and quickly developed more into a place for political rallies rather than for feeding and eating, as seminaries were held almost everyday on Integralist ideology, recruiting many of the poor of the cities into the cause.
Members of the integralist party also tour some of the northeastern states offering protection to several prominent landlords against the growing communist threat. Due to the landlord’s successful incursions against the communists during the civil war, and the high price charged by the Integralists, most of them refuse the prospect.
During a large gala dinner held in the company’s headquarters in São Paulo, Mr Percival Farquhar announces to his high-ranking employees and shareholders that, for the first time since the breakout of violence in 1924, Farquhar unlimited shall invest in the construction of new railway lines in Brazil, this time focusing in the midwestern states, a region with relatively few lines. Besides the construction of new lines, other lines in the Northeastern and Southeastern regions are to be expanded. Curiously, the Southern Region was not included in this expansion plan. The announcement was met with great joy by the company shareholders, and the groundwork for the first new railway lines are already being set up, with the constructions expected to pick up in pace in the coming months.
Mr Farquhar also announces that his company shall be investing significantly in the state of São Paulo. The first aim of such investments would be to generally improve the textile industry, already one of the state’s largest industrial sectors, and expand it as much as possible. With the investment, the Industrial sector of São Paulo, greatly affected by the years of civil war, sees a boost in production and an increase in the general prosperity of many of the city’s residents. Mr Farquhar's investments end up helping a larger number of industries than originally predicted, with other sectors also reaping the benefits. Many who saw their prosperity be wiped out by war and unrest finally start to see some sort of return to economic normalcy. This action of goodwill greatly increases the already high standing of Mr Farquhar with the political class of the State.
Despite spending most of his time attending official business in the capital, Governor Vargas did not fail at any time to attend to the needs of the residents of his state of Rio Grande do Sul.
After scrutinizing the infrastructure bill in the legislature, Vargas was to begin his own reconstruction campaign in Rio Grande do Sul. The southern states, especifically Rio Grande do Sul, had seen the least of the fighting during the civil war, yet, it was not left unhurt, as the state’s infrastructure still sustained a fair amount of damage during the years of violence that had previously engulfed the nation.
Vargas orders for the creation of a Forum that was to lead the reconstruction of the south using input from the state’s residents, who sent extensive amounts of requests detailing what they believed should be the State’s Government priority in regards to reconstruction. Using the people’s input, the state authorities get to work. Old roads are repaved, damaged bridges are rebuilt, burnt-down houses are repaired and abandoned hydroelectric dams are put back to work. This action boosts Vargas’ popularity evermore in Rio Grande do Sul, with the people seeing him as the only person who cares about their well being while Congress wastes time and money, whilst being unable to reach any conclusion.
Vargas also takes greater action as the leader of the ANL. Under his request, branches of the ANL found on all states of Brazil, from North to South, hold large rallies and parades, even rivalling in size the demonstrations carried out by the left wing movements following the Eight Hour Work week affair. The ANL use this as a way to rally the popular vote and show to the people what their party stands for, emphasizing Governor Vargas’ work in the southern states and his participation in Congress as great examples of his dedication towards the nation. One topic greatly addressed during the rallies was the ANL’s desire to extend voting to all Brazilian Women, which was soon to be transformed into one of the party’s flagship policies. The demonstrations even received extensive support from the Brazilian Federation for the Advancement of Women, their leader Bertha Lutz and several other, smaller Feminine suffrage movements, who openly supported Vargas and the ANL. Other important figures such as Osvaldo Aranha, a prominent Federal Deputy, and João Pessoa, Governor of the state of Paraíba, also joined in, giving great speeches and openly supporting Vargas and the ANL’s cause.
In the depths of the state of Mato Grosso, the army of Paraguayan exiles under Commander Franco begins to reorganize itself. Firstly, Franco orders for the construction of makeshift wooden walls around the encampment, and the establishment of fixed patrols around their camp area, in order to prevent possible intruders. Besides a few indians attempting to steal food from the exiles, no invasions of the territory were reported. Commander Franco also establishes a clear but strict code of conduct for his soldiers, prohibiting the consumption of alcohol within encampment grounds and the selling of camp provisions.
Franco also orders his men to not interfere in any way with the life’s of the local farmers and residents, as a way to establish a healthy relationship between them. The only interactions between them allowed by the commander would be those of mutual assistance, where the Paraguayan exiles would assist the local farmers in their daily chores. This creates a good bond between the Paraguayan exiles and the locals, who now see them with kinder eyes than they did before.
Following an year of inactivity, Luis Carlos Prestes issues new orders for his famous column of revolutionaries.
The National Brigade is separated into two new columns, respectively called the 1st and 2nd Popular Action Brigades. The 1st Popular Brigade was marched to the border of Bolivia, where they were to wait for the arrival of apparent supplies, while the 2nd Popular Brigade was to remain at their posts, focusing in training and recruiting more members into the cause.
Alongside the reorganization, Prestes and his most trusted officers, inspired by the works of the Chinese Revolutionary Mao Zedong, publish a new set of rules, to better the efficiency and conduct of the Brigade’s members (See IC thread). The implementation of this new code of rules is successfully able to better the conduct of the Division’s soldiers, with its members being more efficient in the end.
After dealing with the administrative affairs of the movement, Prestes puts his old uniform back on and once again sets for the countryside. Followed by a small group of trusted guards, many who had followed Prestes since the first demonstration back in 1922, the Knight of Hope sets out to once again tour the route of the epic march he and his men undertook a few years before. Along the way, whilst visiting villages and towns that he had seen during the march, Prestes attempted to drum up support for his cause, with the intent of recruiting new members into the cause. There were places that admittedly were not big fans of Prestes, such as towns were pillaging and killings perpetrated by members of the column had taken place, but other places saw them in a different light, seeing them as heroes, and true patriots. In those places, with the help of a paphlçet distribution campaign that followed his travels, Prestes was able to recruit a decent amount of new members, ready to fight for a better nation than the one they currently have.
It is rumoured that, while trekking through the northeastern path of his old travels, Prestes might have met by coincidence with the infamous bandit Lampião somewhere in the Caatinga. That is most likely just another sensationalist lie invented by the media, but no one can truly be sure.
The 1st Popular Brigade encamped themselves in the border town of Corumbá, close to the Bolivian border, and there they waited for many weeks. Many were suspicious as to why the lieutenants had marched all the way to the border of Bolivia, some even theorizing that they intended of launching a filibustering campaign against the Bolivian Government, but all their ideas were shattered when a train came from the capital, carrying several crates of arms, Czech arms. They had been ordered by Prestes, shipped across the atlantic, unloaded in Peruvian ports and railed to Brazil through Bolivia, crates and crates of Vz.24 rifles and Vz.26 light machine guns, totalling around 20,000 guns.
Several officials of the MAP were also spotted in towns found alongside the Argentine province of Misiones, where they were apparently buying large quantities of good-bred horses, as well as other animals such as mules and donkeys, to replace the old and the deceased army animals of the Tenente brigades.
Officials from the Tenentista Brigades have also been reported on ordering extremely large amounts of tinned foods and provisions from the larger general stores in cities such as Rio and São Paulo.
Several newspapers have spread alarming reports, claiming that Prestes is importing this large amount of equipment in order to depose the Government and establish a Tenentista Regime in Brazil. The real reason behind the importation of these weapons is still unknown.
Following their exchange of letters, and a promise to not interfere with the politics of Brazil, President Luis takes the controversial decision of allowing the exiled Soviet Leader, father of the Red Army, Leon Trotsky, official political exile in Brazil. After weeks of Travel from Istanbul, the old Revolutionary, followed by his wife Natalia and a few band of loyal followers, arrived in the port of Rio de Janeiro where they were greeted by an immense welcome party at the port organized by the PUP, were generous quantities of alcohol were served for the factory workers, stevedores and trade unionists from the proximities who were all invited to greet and welcome Trotsky as he arrived. The exile would then make a speech for all the hundreds who attended, thanking them for the hospitality (with special greetings dedicated to the President) but also taking the opportunity to once again denounce Joseph Stalin and his government, famously stating that “Stalin’s collectivized bureaucracy has set back the people's revolution by millennia, but it is never late enough to fight for the return of what was lost”. A few militants of the communist party carried out a small protest against the exile, but were unable to make too much of an impression.
Trotsky and his wife were then taken in a covered car to a large manor in Tijuca, that the couple was to call their home from now on. Trotsky immediately resumed to his writings while the house was guarded, at all times, by armed PUP militants. Several times Trotsky left his house to visit the city and its residents, constantly followed by a well armed escort of party members.
Trotsky’s arrival, alongside an increased propaganda campaign in the cities, have boosted the image of the PUP, whose party membership has seen its first moment of somewhat significant growth since the party’s establishment.
In direct contrast of Mr Farquhar's investment into the sector, we see the rapid unionisation of São Paulo’s textile industry. Following several meetings with the city’s PUP leadership, several high ranking union leaders of the Textile Industry announced the creation of the ‘Sindicato Estadual dos Operarios Textis’ (the State Union of Textile Workers), a powerful union under the influence of the PUP. There were widespread rumours that the union’s first action would have been a major strike, but nothing happened so far.
The PUP also attempted to increase their influence among the teamsters and stevedores in the larger cities of the south-east. Party members would hold rallies, where long speeches were given and marxist literature, both traditional works by Marx (and other theorists) and more modern essays and treatises written by Lenin and Trotsky, were handed out to the workers. While no larger union has yet been formed, several smaller cooperatives, all swearing fealty to the PUP, were established and are rapidly growing in the cities.
Following the Communist Immigration reform (and special presidential consent) the Government of the State of São Paulo starts a new immigration program in the state, subsidizing the travel and settling of educated, mostly european immigrants, wanting to use their help and their labour as a tool to assist in the rapid modernization of the state. Following the announcement, several immigrants, many who were already going to settle in Brazil but in different areas, change their course and travel to the state, where they are welcomed by good amounts of government support.
In order to accommodate the increase in immigration to the state, Governor Prestes authorizes for a massive expansion of the city’s residential areas, followed by a large construction operation, that paved roads, built new bridges, constructed new tram lines and put up new electricity cables, clearly showing to the rest of the country the efficiency of the nation’s richest and most industrialized state. Despite the good amount of immigrants that came in, the majority of the houses ended up being occupied by internal migrants coming from the north east, many who fled south to escape the harsh droughts and the violent rule of the coronels. The move was criticised by the opposition, especially the ANL and the Democratic Party, who claimed that Prestes was wasting public funds in building new houses while many parts of the countryside lied in ruin from the civil war.
The PLD begins a huge propaganda campaign, aiming as pitching Julio Prestes as the ideal candidate for the presidency in the upcoming elections of 1930. In the impressive campaign that quickly spread itself out of São Paulo and into the neighbouring states, the PLD attempted to present Prestes as the most skilled and progressive candidate to run the nation, with widespread promises of liberalization of the political system, most especially the granting of women the vote.
The PLD as a party itself also grew tremendously over the course of these months. Prestes saw the establishment of several new party headquarters in most of the larger cities across Brazil, from Curitiba in the south to Belem in the North, whose openings were followed by large rallies, with party members of the PLD giving speeches and pasionately defending the party’s agenda as well as heavily focusing in the figure of Prestes, which seems to be a growing trend among the PLD’s political campaigns across the country. The party’s reach grows, quite a lot, all across the nation.
Back in the capital, Prestes tries to win the heart and support of the groups of high ranking army officers stationed in São Paulo by inviting them to several gala diners in the Governmental Palace, claiming to be a loyal man who respects military tradition. The Generals seems mostly neutral about this, not really seeming to support Prestes more or less than before, but only time will tell who they really want to see as president.
In the lawless lands of the north-east, members of the BLOC are spotted crossing the caatinga. They attempt to infiltrate the large properties owned by the powerful coronels in order to continue their quest of spreading Marxism to the poor and miserable of the brazilian sertão. In secret meetings under the moonlight, they hold seminars and meetings, teaching the peasants (most of them illiterates) about Marx, Lenin and the Communist ideal, attempting to in any way or form give them some sort of hope for the bleak future that most of them are destined to have. While managing to stir some sort of peasants support, most are unable to stay long, for they are mercilessly persecuted by the Coronels and their Jagunços, who after getting their hands on them, torture them, beat them and in the end, kill them, in the most horrible ways imaginable. A large number of BLOC agents stop reporting back, yet a good amout of them remain undercover, preaching the revolutions for the masses.
Many BLOC militants are also dispatched to the large city of Recife, one of the richest and most important cities in the northeast, with the objective of strengthening the power of the unions in the city, something which they are able to do. Shortly after, the Recife unions, still mostly small and relatively powerless, start to grow in membership, as more men join their ranks.
Following the rocky and mixed results of the legislative season, the Federal Union Party begins a new and large-scale propaganda campaign, preparing the party for the upcoming elections. Several rallies were held across Brazil, with the participation of illustrious members of the PUF ranks, such as J.J Seabra, the old Governor of Bahia, Firmiano Pinto, the old mayor of São Paulo, Francisco Vianna, the Vice President of the Republic, and extensive participation by the President himself. In such rallies, highly attended by the rich and high society of the country (and foreign businessmen), the great deeds of President Luis were proclaimed in bombastic speeches, where he was lauded as the saviour who protected Brazil and guided it through the worst period of civil unrest in its history. In these rallies, the party members also credited the President and the Party with most of the bills passed in Congress. Such rallies lead to an increase in Party membership, mostly in the cities among the higher classes and in the rich landowning families in the countryside. There is also an increase in middle class members of the party, albeit not a significant one.
Using his constitutional powers as the main director of the nation’s foreign policy, President Luis directs the Ministry of Foreign affairs (also known informally as the Itamaraty) to contact the government of the French Republic in order to procure for the replenishment of the outdated and exhausted supplies of the Brazilian Army. Due to the long history of military cooperation between both countries, the new French Government under Prime Minister Briand was extremely willing to assist, and after a payment of 3 government credits, very large amounts of ammunition were shipped to Brazil alongside several crates filled up with brand new Berthier rifles. Upon arrival to Brazil, the supplies were distributed across the country for several army regiments, improving the supply condition of the army.
Following the lack of progress in the Infrastructure Bill debate in Congress, President Luis takes a daring executive action. He authorizes the start of an immense operation carried out by the Federal Agencies and Ministries in order to repair the civil war era damaged infrastructure of Brazil, using a total of 5 government credits. Mostly carried out by the Ministry of Public Works, with substantial assistance from the Police Force, the works rapidly spread itself across Brazil, patching roads, railroads, bridges and hydroelectric dams. Many areas of Brazil that had been cut short of electricity since the outbreak of violence had their very awaited energy returned to them. Many smaller villages that had been devastated by war finally saw some sort of rejuvenation after so many years of wait. The abrupt action by the President left Congress dumbfounded, yet it did manage to cause a very good impression on the people, somewhat covering for the Eight Hour Work Week veto blunder, though not completely.
In the city of Rio de Janeiro, the trade union branch of the Communist Party of Brazil (the General Labour Confederation of Brazil) announces the formation of the Brazilian Worker’s Bank, a cooperative run bank that is to serve both as a normal savings bank and as a distributor of agricultural development grants & mortgage lendings. The establishment proves to be a very popular action, with several grants being taken out in the first weeks, and many new branches of the Bank being opened in other towns across the country, all managed by members of the Communist Party.
The General Confederation of Labour also establishes a new cooperative in Manaus. This cooperative, called the Boto Boat League, was to focus in the local dockworkers and sailors that operate in the Amazon river.
Also in Manaus, the Communist Party and the GCL stage a large protest in the ‘Floating City’, the name given to the large slums built on top of the water by the unemployed migrants who came to the Amazon fleeing violence and poverty, mostly in the North-east. They protested the inhumane conditions in the floating city, and called for good quality, state financed housing to be built for the residents. In response, the Mayor of Manaus made a public announcement, promising to look into the matter alongside the Governor and the rest of the local government. So far, nothing has been done.
The Communist Party supporters and personally sponsors the creation of a Brazilian branch of the Organization for Jewish Colonization in Russia, an American communist group that seeks to incentivize Jewish immigration to the Birobidzhan Jewish National Raion, a Proto-Israelite Autonomous state found within the Soviet Union, where ancient jewish traditions are enacted alongside the Soviet Socialist ideals. Offices are set up in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre, the cities with the largest Jewish populations in Brazil,in order to look for applicants. A small amount of Jews has applied, but a small one.
The Party also takes other actions regarding its international stance. With the Party officially joining the Philatelic International (an organisation of Stamp Collectors in the Soviet Union) and starting the preparations of a football team, composed of mainly working class youngsters, to compete in the football trials of the upcoming Berlin Spartakiad Games, set to be held in 1931.
After being invited by the Communists to come to Brazil, the famous Comintern trained, american black-rights activist Harry Haywood, arrives in Rio de Janeiro. He is then taken by a large escort of Communist Party members to the state of São Paulo, to undertake a large speaking tour of the towns of Americana and Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, two municipalities extensively settled by Americans who seeked to continue with their tradition of slavery following the end of the American Civil War in 1865. Despite the large amounts of tension between the residents and the communist convoy featuring Haywood, the interactions between both remain peaceful. Haywood makes several speeches, lecturing the locals behind the socio-political reasons and consequences behind the civil war, as well as calling them to discontinue their use of Confederate symbolism. He is unable to change the stance of most of the locals, who seem reluctant to budge on the matter. Comrade Haywood then travels to the Northern state of Pará, where the Communist militants were about to strike.
In the early hours of the morning of the 17th of september, militants of the Communist Party under the command of the famous militant Gregório Bezerra, who had for many weeks scouted and infiltrated the place, lead an occupation of the infamous ‘Fordlândia’, a town envisioned by the famed American industrialist, Mr Henry Ford, that had the objective of dedicating itself to the cultivation of rubber, that was to be strictly used by the Ford Motor Company for the construction of their automobiles back home in the United States. Afraid of the heavily armed communists, and the amount of support from the workers within the complex, most of the town’s administrators (most of them American) fled on first sight. There, the Communists establish a commune, called the ‘Quilombo dos Fordlandia’, that elects its own workers council to manage the town for the time being. They telegraph a list of demands to the Ford headquarters in Manaus and Belem, which are already surrounded and constantly harassed by protesting members of the Communist Party, demanding a series of changes to the living conditions of the workers. Following many tense days of standoff, the Company responds, saying that in order to avoid violence, they are willing to accept those concessions.
In the far away territory of Acre, a new League, the so called ‘Acre Suffrage League’, is formed in the territorial capital of Rio Branco. They call for the elevation of Acre from a territory to an official state, with its citizens being given all the rights that other Brazilian citizens have such as (and most importantly) the right to vote.
Members of the PCB also stage a peaceful rally at the newly founded Museum of the State of Pernambuco in Recife. In the rally, the members uphold some of the values brought forth by Recife’s well known revolutionary history (being the birthplace of many revolts such as Praieira Revolt, the Pernambucan revolt and the Equatorial Confederation) and call for a wider inclusion of the heroes of those movements into Brazilian historical heritage.
Beyond the borders of Brazil, a delegation of PCB members headed by the Party’s International Secretary Antônio Canellas leaves Rio de Janeiro and heads to Buenos Aires, the capital of the Argentine Republic, to meet with communist & socialist parties from across the Americas in the 1st Conference of Communist Parties of Latin America. Many topics are discussed, including the development of Socialism in Latin America as well as the rising tide of fascism in Europe and abroad. At the end of the Conference, it was announced by the Argentine Communist Party that the Communist Party of Brazil had been invited to host the next congress, scheduled to take place around the same time in the coming year. Canellas graciously accepted the honours and was quick to deliver the final remarks of the conference, where he thanked the Argentine Communist Party for their hospitality and pleaded all the other parties present to continue their fight for the rights of the proletariat in their respective countries. He was met by a standing ovation.
It is also said that during the conference, Canellas as well as other members of the Brazilian delegation had long discussions with most of the parties present and with COMINTERN observers sent by Moscow to attend the meeting. What exactly was discussed in these off meetings? No one but the Delegation members know for certain.
While the political machinations take over the nation, there is trouble in the Sertão.
About the interior towns, man riding gallant and well bred horses travel through the dry backcountry roads on a mission: Spreading the Law of the Cangaço. These man make large speeches to the locals, denouncing the rule of the coroneis and the actions of their soldiers (the so called Jagunços), labelling them as inhuman savages who do nothing but exploit the peasant and praising the actions of the famous Bandit Lampião, calling him and the other cangaçeiros as the true heroes of the land. The speeches do not please the local police, who attempt to catch these riders at all costs, but as fast as they come, they vanish into the wilds, leaving the macacos in the dust. The talks by these mysterious riders rallies the populations of many towns and villages, leading to several reports of violence against the police and the local jagunços. There were even reports that a Sugarcane plantation in Sergipe was set on fire by its disgruntled workers. Despite the resistance, any sign of local resistance was mercilessly put down by the Coronels, who used their might to crush any dissidents.
While the Police attempted to chase down the riders, news came of more activity of Lampião’s band. Apparently, at some point, the bandit group had split itself into two smaller groups, with one marching north and the other south, confusing the already inefficient police. There were also widespread rumours that the Cangaçeiros had somehow bribed many police departments in the surroundings in order to make such movements easier. Due to the nature of things in that region, this rumour is most likely true.
The band that marched north, said to be commanded by one of Lampião’s most trusted commander, Angelo Roque, found itself in the town of Petrolina, a small but growing city in the state of Pernambuco, close to the border with Bahia. Encamped outside the town, the Cangeçeiros infiltrated the settlement and came to contact with the local prostitutes, who became true and loyal informants to the bandits, helping them to pull off their long awaited scheme. The Prostitutes managed, with their charm and the help of the Madames, to lure the Mayor of Petrolina, the Honourable Honório Santana, to the brothel for some personal time. While he was in there, the Cangaçeiros laid a trap and captured the Mayor, tieing him up, throwing him over a horse and riding out of town. The police attempted to stop them, but the Cangaçeiros being on mount and armed with new Gewehr rifles managed to evade them and ride north, towards the border with Paraiba. Holded up in the hills, they no request a payment of ransom from the city government for the safe return of their mayor. No such payment has yet been paid.
The rest of the group, under the leadership of Lampião himself, is unleashed upon the sertão of Bahia, where several notable events take place. Firstly, the band comes to the area of Jeremoabo, where a new member is said to have joined the group, the first women to join the ranks of the Cangaçeiros. Word has it that the women, a certain Maria Déia, asked for Lampião to kill her husband, a local cobbler, and his permission to join her group. Lempião is said to have agreed, not only accepting her into the group, but shooting her husband in the middle of the street with his Luger pistol. Following that, the group marched southwards towards the town of Agua Fria, where they are said to have laid a successful ambush to the local police detachment, killing many of them, only to then rob the only bank found in the small town, disappearing into the night shortly thereafter. Before every attack, Lampião is said to live up to his namesake by lighting up a lamp as an ominous sign of his coming.
At some other point following the attack in Agua Fria, a third detachment of Cangaçeiros, led by the most violent member of the gang, a bandit by the name of Corisco, rode across the deep section of the Bahia Sertão, wreaking havoc among the local landlords. Many smaller landowners and locals known for their unjust acts against the peasantry are summarily executed by the Cangaçeiros, some even having their properties burnt down.
By the end of september, the Police, too confused (and probably bribed) with the situation, end up losing the track of the three groups, who can be anywhere in Bahia, or even beyond, at this moment.
In Lençois, the Coronel Horácio de Mattos orders a wide variety of brand news weapons from the warehouses in Salvador, outfitting both the members of the Patriotic Battalion and the local Police Department with a brand new batch of fresh supplies. Entire storehouses in and around the area are filled with ammunition and back-up weapons, constantly being guarded by Mattos’ men.
Mattos also orders for the establishment of Breeding ranch in the area that, with significant help of investment from outer sources, aims at assisting the local ranchers with raising stronger and larger cows. Significant investments were also made to the road systems around Lençois, and permanent patrols were set up to permanently oversee traffic in the São Francisco river area, which reduces bandit activity and improves the prosperity and trade of the town.
For last, Mattos holds an immense party in Lençois, inviting Police Officers, local Military Authorities, Politicians and of course neighbouring Coronels to come to drink to the prosperity of the region. During dinner, Mattos stands up and makes a passionate speech, thanking all the men present who fought and bleed for the Sertão’s protection during the years of Civil War, and expressing his urge to further improve the quality of life in the area. He then announces that he himself shall make a generous donation to the State of Bahia strictly in order to improve the quality of the railroad line that runs from the São Francisco river to the state capital of Salvador. He is widely applauded for the action, and soon starts a petition to ask the Government of Bahia for such an investment. A few days later, a telegram is received by the Lençois Telegraph station: The Government of Bahia had accepted the petition and the funds sent by Mattos, the effort to repair and improve the line would begin immediately.