Avenida Rio Branco... the busy heart of the capital...
This is the IC Roleplaying thread, you know the drill. If you wish to make newspaper posts, id advise you to make a separate thread just for it, yet in the end, it hardly matters.
By now, you will have noticed my absence from the seminary, only to find that I am miles away. For this, I must beg your forgiveness. As a boy, I would have starved on the caatinga, when the soldiers came to arrest my birth father. But you showed me a kindness then, and while I do not expect you to continue to do so, I ask that you do not repeat the contents of this letter, the last confession I will make in...well, God knows how long.
Over our Natal recess, as you know, I was traveling with Pai Palmeira to see my sister in Aracaju. As per his usual, our friend had chosen to stop at a small kingwood mill to perform the Eucharist for the locals. As per my usual, I assisted him, and found to my great surprise a dozen attendees in thick, plated leather decorated with ribbons, with strange perfumes and a disposition so calm as to be entirely unsettling when I knew, as I suspect you have already pieced together, who exactly they were.
I mean to say, of course, that they were cangaceiros, the knights and knaves of the caatinga. And with them was their king, the one we know as Lampião.
Pai Palmeira, equally discomforted, took his leave as soon as the afternoon came, the sun heating our makeshift chapel to a temperature even I found to be sweltering. I was left with the task of cleaning (again, to the surprise of nobody) when the bandit came upon me, cleaning his glasses before asking if I truly believed in God. I answered in the affirmative, knowing -or perhaps hoping- that the reputation of the man was true, and that I was in no danger. At this, he nodded once as a slight smile formed on his lips, continuing on in his soft-spoken voice.
“You have the look of the Sertão about you, but not the words. Where do you come from, boy, and why did you leave?”
I hesitated, unsure of whether to be offended or not, and decided within an instant that I couldn't chance the wrath of Lampião. “Maranhão,” came my cautious answer. “Southern Maranhão. The Church took me in when my father sided with the Tenentes.”
“Ah.” Lampião gave me another nod, more grave this time. “A not-unworthy upbringing, if you are fond of books, chores, and little else.”
Despite myself, I smiled back at him, thinking back to the boyhood routine you had assigned me to, and the ungrateful grumbling that I returned the favor with. Admitting that the seminary had its dull moments, I immediately followed up with a remark that I saw in it a chance to do right by those who had suffered as my own family had.
“And what about those that do wrong by those who suffered worse?” Lampião asked, completely innocuously.
“For those...” I tell you, Pai, words cannot accurately describe how dry my throat felt, how quickly I fell silent as any retort I could have offered got choked down by a rush of uncertainty. “For those...” I stammered out once more. “We must pray, and God will judge rightly.”
He gazed over me, then, eyes peering out from behind his round spectacles, and reached into his pocket with such alacrity that I flinched back, fearing for the worst, only for the bandit to show me a watch. But not simply any watch, Pai, but one engraved with the name of a Coronel whose lands in my youth sprawled across the caatinga until, like a boa, they choked the life out of the peasants. “Some of us, boy, would rather fight. And in the doing, live well.”
From where I got the courage to reply, I know not. Where I had faltered just moments ago, now the words came out before I even thought them. “Is that what you do, senhor? Live well?”
Lampião stared at me, handed me the pocketwatch, and pivoted on his feet, boots scuffing the floor that I had entirely forgotten about sweeping. Within an hour, I had chased after him, my horse startled at my haste, and asked if he needed learned men along his crusade, vicious though it might seem to the rest of us.
“No, boy. I need true men.” I cocked my head at this. To his back, I could hear men singing, and placed the song as Mulher Rendeira. “Now, find yourself a gun and change your clothes. The macacos will be here in an hour, and I don't intend to meet them.” His gaze drifted towards the horizon. “Not this time.”
And there you have it, Pai. I love you as I would my real father, for what you have done, but the deed has been done. Perhaps it is arrogant to think I can change the mind of such a brutal man, but I see a path ahead of me that I dare not abandon, and not simply because the price of treachery among the cangaceiros is paid in blood. I must speak for those who have no voice, and if I must take up the gun to do so...well, I believe Christ had a few words on peace and the sword.
Or so I hope. For if I am wrong, how can I ask for His forgiveness, when the man who taught me His love will certainly not be able to show me the same?
With regrets, but fewer than I can truthfully admit,
I am sorry this letter is so late in reaching you, as has been an unfortunate habit of late. It has been a busy few months, and the journey through the sertão was hard. I lost a horse crossing the mountains, and nearly lost three more of our cattle as we drove them to the river. But - the Almighty be praised! - Fernando, the boys, and I made it back to the markets of our old home. The hills here are less scarred than the country beyond by the civil war; uniformed soldiers of the locals checked our baggage as we arrived. Lençóis is not as you remember it. Electricity, running water, and new buildings everywhere. But it was good to see our uncle again - that blasted black dog of his lost his teeth, but still inspires fear! But he showed off his new prized posession. More terrifying than even that dog to mama perhaps - a motorcar.
How is our mother? Tell her I send her my love, and to our beloved sister also. Tell me she is not with that scoundrel still, she could do much better. The monies from the cattle will do us all good. Sound prices! I returned to the old ranch on the outskirts of what is now a growing town, and it is for sale. Fernando and I ask if we bought it, would you, the eldest, return to the land of our birth also? Surely it is what papa would have wanted, and the money from the sales would answer to the cost.
I know you are wary, but Lençóis is as Salvador once was - there is an energy here, profits to be made, and security. I have seen jobs advertised by some gentlemen down in the valley to the west of this region that would suffice, and will make enquiries.
As for the man of the hour of the Chapada Diamantina - de Matos! - I have not been introduced. But I saw him at the main sales - he bought a fine stallion from some horse-traders, and a few young fillies. Wearing that fine uniform of the local battalion, he seemed most at ease when in the saddle of that tall beast. He even seemed intrigued by some of the finer specimens of cattle, but declined to make an offer. Some other scion of the de Matos clan is however buying much breeding stock - let those with good heifers send them this way.
Fernando is as terrible at his letters as always, but asks you send his love to his Maria and their daughters.
I await your reply here at our uncle's. He too is eager for us to return. I shall write once more if our cousins return from across the river.
Your loyal brother,
The Official Magazine of Comintern, July 1929
For the First Time Ever in Portuguese, Adapted for the Brazilian Public
[Translated and Edited by Comrade X of the Communist Party of Brazil]
Table of Contents
Speeches on the American Communist Party made on May 6th 1928 by Comrade J. V. Stalin ...................................... Page 1
Report of the Activities of the Delegates of the CPSU by Comrade V. Molotov [Speech Transcript] ...................................... Page 6
The German Situation by Comrade H. Remmele [Reprint from Communist International No. 23, 1926] ...................................... Page 8
The March 15 incident, and the Crimes of Hirohito's Government by Comrade S. Katayama ...................................... Page 14
On the Matters of Negro Liberation and the Confederate Memory by Comrade H. Haywood ...................................... Page 19
All Around the Cone --- Brief News from Comrades on the Continent by Comrade A. Pereira ...................................... Page 25
El Partido Comunista de la Argentina invita formalmente a los siguientes partidos políticos:
Partido Comunista de Brasil
Partido Comunista de Cuba
Partido Socialista Revolucionario de Colombia
Partido Socialista del Ecuador
Partido Comunista Mexicano
Partido Laborista de Panamá
Partido Comunista Paraguayo
Partido Socialista del Perú
Partido Comunista de Uruguay
Partido Revolucionario Venezolano
Partido Comunista de Chile
Partido Laborista Boliviano
Para participar en la Primera Conferencia de los Partidos Comunistas de América Latina sedeado en Buenos Aires en las primeras dos semanas de julio.
¡Trabajadores del mundo, únanse!
Partido Comunista de la ArgentinaHacia un mundo sin explotadores ni explotados
Lei do Cangaço
LET IT BE KNOWN to every man, woman, and child of the NORTHEAST,
That by solemn Christian vow of Captain Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, known as Lampião,
NO MAN shall bring harm to, nor violate the sanctity of, any woman, child, or priest, without fear of swift reprisal.
NO LANDOWNER, SOLDIER, OR CONSTABLE shall abuse a tenant or exploit their position in a manner that encourages harm to the common man, on pain of death.
THE COMMON MAN will not steal from his brothers and neighbors, and NONE who ride with Lampião shall unfairly take from the same, without losing a finger upon first offense.
NONE who bear the burden of the cangaceiro or coitero shall be exempt from this decree, and shall be punished by the women of their band or village accordingly.
ALL who ride with Lampião swear to defend the women and children of the Northeast from the predatory advances of the Coronels and their supporters, and pledge to attend Mass and give to the Church with regularity.
ALL who ride with Lampião or shelter their fellow Christians shall be entitled to a share of food, horses, gold, and glory, according to their contribution.
SO PLEDGES CAPTAIN VIRGULINO FERREIRA DA SILVA. VIVA LAMPIÃO! VIVE O NORDESTE!
O CORREIO ALAGOANAPadre Cícero,
An Open Letter to Padre Cícero
I address you in the manner of the people who follow you -the Farmer, Pauper, and Laborer of the Northeast- for I now believe myself to follow in their Christian example rather than that of the Church, despite my upbringing and position among the diaconate. The common man addresses you in this manner, because you are, to us, our Father. Indeed, it is to you that Our Lord referred to whilst castigating the rabbis of Israel, you who remembers your responsibility to the family that is our Christian faith.
Indeed, it is in the spirit of Saint Dismas, the repentant thief who died next to our Father on the Cross that I write to you, for surely those of us who speak against the rule of the Coronels shall be crucified together - some, of course, already have. And indeed, I am a deacon no longer, but a cangaceiro, albeit one who retains his faith in the Trinity and the Resurrection. I am, as my peers are, on the proverbial cross – if not now, then eventually, for you know as well as I that repression has a long and bloody history, one that repeats itself every time the people of the Sertão -of Brazil as a whole!- voice their discontent, and call out for their sacred rights of Christians.
And so I must tell you, Padre Cícero, of the men who share their faith as freely as they share they blood with the people of the Northeast. The macacos, often men of similar backgrounds, label us thugs and bandits, while the Coronels line their pockets with Judas's thirty pieces. True, many cangaceiros have taken un-Christian actions, and reacted with violence, wrongful theft, and violation of the sanctity of the poor, but I tell you, Padre, some now repent! My Captain, the one you know as Lampião, attends Mass with regularity, and bids his men to do the same. He has even taken a young woman, who we have endearingly named Maria Bonita, under his wing, and speaks of the sacred institution of marriage to her in tones worthy of the most Catholic gentlemen. We have instituted rules to better defend the people from the predatory macacos and Coronels, and yet we are labeled outlaws, bandidos, targets for the bounty hunters who love lucre more than their soul.
You, I suspect, are familiar with this tale. Our Lord came to you in a dream, it is true, and since then, you have fought tirelessly for the poor. Indeed, nearly forty years to this day, the Holy Spirit imbued you with the ability to work true miracles, and the good Maria de Arajuao bore witness to the power of your mission! But this was disavowed by the Church of Rome, and we of the true Church -the Church of the Christ who overturned the tables of the moneylenders, who promised to bring a sword of truth to the impure- have suffered since. Is it not true that Our Lord said that He is free from all men, but a slave to all?
Is that not how we should live our lives, and yet so few do?
But there is hope yet! We continue the fight in the Sertão, maligned as we may be by the existing powers. However, the countryside continues to organize, the Knight of Hope remains strong, and even the Communists -whose atheistic ideology we disavow as much as you do, Padre- have shown themselves to be, as Dante would put, righteous infidels. Ah, but even that is an opportunity! We long for you, Padre Cicero, to follow in the example you promised long ago: abandon the parliamentary politics of the new regime, and lay your holy hands upon the people on the Northeast itself.
Heal us, Padre. Heal us and forgive, for without your cry, we must resort to the only weapons available to the voiceless.
Yours in God, Hope, and Reverence,
Raimundo de Castro
Tenete of the Banda de Lampião
Letters to the editor are reviewed and published by Senhor Romeu de Avelar. Opinions belong to the author only.
O CORREIO ALAGOANA
To His Excellency the President, esteemed members of both Chambers of Government, and the Government of Pernambuco:
As Governor of the Sertão and a Christian man, it is my sacred duty to inform you of the well-being and sanctity of the Honorable Honório Santana, Mayor of Petrolina. At a location I cannot disclose, he is safe, and surrounded by the sturdiest men that the Cangaço has seen fit to bless. This generosity is despite his numerous crimes against the people of the Sertão, Pernambuco, and the refusal of his ostensibly-loyal constituency to pay the dues owed for these and other travesties, affronts that mandate swift and irrevocable punishment.
However, the protection of the Banda de Lampião can only secure so much. While I do not expect the politicians of Rio to understand, or even acknowledge, the harshness of life in the Sertão, I can assure the Government that it is not an easy life we lead. We are the sons of the landless, the laborer and the farmer, at the mercy of the elements and God Himself.
But we are organizing! The Sertão yearns for the justice it has been (and continues to be) deprived by the despicable forces of the godless landowners and the cowards of Rio. Even now parties of the Republic make in-roads with the people of the Northeast, only to find themselves murdered by the Coronels and driven away by their dogs. And yet again the God-fearing sons and daughters of the Sertão are under threat.
It is therefore that I announce to the public that the Honorable Mayor of Petrolina's safety can only be secured for so long, before my Christian charity becomes foolishness. I will return to my people this Natal, to pray to the Lord and seek the guidance of the saints during that Most Holy season. If the repression of the political organization within my territory does not cease, and we are not provided [three credits] sent through this newspaper to safeguard the release of Senhor Santana, his safe return will be a matter of what protection God chooses to afford him through His servants.
This I swear, on the Blessed Virgin and my honor as a man of the Northeast.
Terra e Conceição Aparecida! Vive o Nordeste!
Yours in faith and service,
Captain Virgulino Ferreira da Silva
Manifesto of the Quilombo dos Fordlândia
We, the labourers of the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil in the settlement of Fordlândia, have jointly elected to form the Quilombo dos Fordlândia. This is an example of every Brazilian's right to organize, to bargain collectively, to strike, and to assemble peacefully, rights which we as patriots shall make use of. The Quilombo will represent the labourers of Fordlândia until our requests have been met, after which it shall become simply a forum for organizing the needs of our community, and for communicating with the CFIB and the foremen in regards to the day-to-day operations of the plantation and town services.
We, as employees of an American corporation, declare our solidarity with all labourers in the United States of America and those working under American bosses abroad. Above all, with the recently, brutally murdered Ella May Wiggins, and the other strikers of Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina. With the family of the miner John Barkoski, who was beaten to death by the Coal and Iron Police in Pennsylvania on 9 February 1929. With the Union of United Workers of the Imperial Valley who went on strike in California for better conditions in May 1928 and were faced with anti-Mexican discrimination. With the eighty massacred workers of the United Fruit Company killed by Colombian troops in December 1928. And of course, with those Brazilian steel workers who stood up against Farquhar Unlimited. "Don't mourn, organize"!
The Quilombo dos Fordlândia has democratically agreed to the following requests, made to the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil, as is our legal right in accordance with the Laws and Constitution of the Republic of the United States of Brazil, to improve our living conditions, to allow us our full rights as citizens, and to ensure the sustainable economic survival of the plantation. Work shall not resume until said requests have been accepted by the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil, and the Quilombo shall continue to peacefully assemble on the premises of Fordlândia until that time.
- 1. That there be an end to the forced diet of American food (such as highly processed canned food and the "hambúrguer", with the town cafeteria instead serving nutritious and healthy food to which the indigenous Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil workers are accustomed to.
- 2. That the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil workers be allowed to decorate their designated company-provided homes as they wish, provided that no permanent damages be made, so that some deviations from the strict American design rules are allowed.
- 3. That the presence of women be allowed in Fordlandia, so that the workers of Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil may reunite with their daughters, spouses and other next of kin and partners.
- 4. That the moderate consumption of alcohol beverages by the workers of the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil be allowed within the confines of private establishments and private homes in Fordlandia, outside of work hours.
- 5. That the smoking, chewing or other types or consumption of tobacco for personal usage by the workers of Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil be allowed within the confines of Fordlandia, during and after work hours alike, provided that it caused no risk of fires or personal discomfort to others.
- 6. That the workers of Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil be allowed to, during their free time and in designated areas, partake in the noble Brazilian sport of football.
- 7. That workers of Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil no longer be forced to display identification cards at any given time without due reason, although they shall continue to carry those cards.
- 8. That the homes of the workers of Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil no longer be subjected to random and intrusive searches by company inspectors. Any and all company inspections shall only be carried out if due notice has been given.
- 9. That the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil takes measures to hire a Brazilian-trained botanist or other type of expert on tropical agriculture, to stop the endemic rubber tree blights in the plantations, rather than solely employ Americans lacking the proper training.
- 10. That the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil allows its workers to, in accordance with the Laws of Brazil, legally organise, bargain collectively, and so on, and that no measures be taken to punish the workers who participated in the Quilombo.
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.
To: Getúlio Dornelles Vargas
Dear Mr. Governor.
Although I am not a resident of your state, I have visited it many times, and — although you and I frequently disagree on theoretical and practical grounds — must admit an admiration of the way you have managed it since the tragic civil war, during which I came to respect your ability as a commander. That is why I write to you today, Governor Vargas, as I believe you are a pragmatic man.
Recently, the legal offices of the PCB in Porto Alegre were attacked by members of the Brazilian Integralist Action/Integralist Force of Brazil. Vandalism, breaking and entering, destruction of property, aggravated assault, attempted murder. Serious acts of violence intended to restart the war.
We put none of the blame on you, Governor, as being away at the time you clearly had no influence on the events. The police, which you have had significantly less time to discipline than your own Public Force, is a separate matter. As one man to another, I would like to ask that you — just as the national government has promised a full investigation into the tragic murder of Lieutenant Emílio Garrastazu Medici — order a full inquiry into this attack, so that, if nothing else, the AIB can be fined for the destruction of our belongings, and for the hospital bills of our comrades, and justice be done. We hope to gain a restored faith in the legal community's ability to protect our democratic society, unless we be forced to defend ourselves in their place.
Thank you, Mr. Governor.
O CORREIO ALAGOANAAn Response From Padre Cícero
My dearest child,
Like you, I have come to know the plight of the poorest in our society. Like yourself, I too hold dear to the words of Christ: "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40). Truly these words should ring throughout our nation, now in its hour of deepest need, as the poor cry out to the Heavens in agony, for it is not the Will of the Father that his children should suffer, but rather that they be happy and free, so that they may fulfill that ancient mandate: "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28).
And yet despite the fact that this land is fruitful, with water and riches unlike any other on Earth, our people cannot multiply but their suffering, for the toil of the many serves only to line the pockets of the few, and the city and the country are filled with the miserable visages of impoverished men, locked in an earthly damnation that betrays the Rich's intentions and their true master, not our loving Father up in Heaven but rather someone below much darker and more sinister. These are strong words, my son, but every man that holds true to the teachings of Scripture can know them to be true.
And yet that knowledge is not enough, for God has come to Earth through his son and made clear that Faith requires action, that Salvation is a matter of deeds, not of knowledge or feelings. Truth and Love for our brothers are merely the guiding principles, but they alone fall woefully short of the Heavenly Mandate, for it is Written: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (2 James 2:14-18)
So then, we as Christians know well that Action is as central a part of our Faith as is Belief, but how can we go about it? The parties in Rio spend the money of the Poor in mass rallies, upholding the image of vain leaders as if they were saints, insulting everyone who hears these news as they suffer and toil with their families barely surviving in abject poverty. These new pagans worship their idols, as if their brothers weren't still out there, wanting for the resources so lavishly spent in glorifying a man. I know and understand the difficulty in loving these men, and yet, as a priest (but most importantly, as a Christian) I deplore that the situation has reached the point where throughout history the Poor have risen up, tired of being used as cattle, in rage and hatred of who is in the final analysis their fellow man.
I counsel you to take heed of the fact that the soldiers and policemen you fight are, for the most part, sons of poor mothers as much as you, and that God has instructed us to show them Love. I cannot condemn your violent actions, as long as they are carried out with discipline and respect for those not involved in combat, for I know the difficulties of life in the Sertao, but I cannot in good conscience advocate for them either. I am beholden to my Faith, and so it behooves me to be a soldier in the war for Peace. I recommend that you revisit the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans, especially chapter twelve, which deals with the manner in which Christians should fight evil through Love, and ends with this most wonderful of phrases, that should very well become the marching slogan of anyone seeking to join the fight for a better world: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
As for your leader, I have followed his actions intently, and while I commend his efforts to steer his soldiers towards the Christian Faith, I recommend that he remember that even Lampiao, like the Caesars, is nothing but another man. If he should seek counsel tell him this: "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." These words are in the Gospel of Matthew, and I should hope that he reflects on them with seriousness.
As always, you and anyone else can count on me for spiritual guidance, and I shall do my best to administer it, through this medium or in the next.
Your Loving Father,
Padre Cícero Romão Batista.
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19)
Letters to the editor are reviewed and published by Senhor Romeu de Avelar. Opinions belong to the author only.
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