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Brazil is still the home of social movements that are admired around the world, for example the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST, Landless Workers Movement; see Tarlau, forthcoming). Guilherme Boulos, the leader of the MST’s urban analog, the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST, Homeless Workers Movement), exhibited a charisma during the presidential campaign that far outpaced his electoral totals. And, despite being derided by its critics on the left as insufficiently militant, Brazil’s labor movement is still among the best organized in the world (see Evans, 2014). Finally, Bolsonaro’s repressive cadres will do their best to cut down future grassroots progressives, just as Marielle Franco, the black, openly gay city councilor was gunned down in Rio de Janeiro a few months before the election. But, more Marielles than they expect will slip through their nets — just as militants managed to survive during the military regime that waged the last round of repression a half century ago. Dilma Rousseff herself is an example of political resilience. Asked at the end of her address in Berkeley whether she continued to find grounds for optimism, she responded that having been engaged in politics since the age of 15 and having been imprisoned for three

years and tortured, her optimism was still grounded in her conviction that “we are not just social beings, we are cooperators. It is not competition that defines social relations. It is cooperation. This conviction makes me an ‘optimist of the will.’” Emerging from defeat in the 2018 Senate race, Rousseff remained as determined as ever, saying: “Now we must struggle to form a broad alliance in support of democracy and against inequality. We will go forward together against hate, reaction, and violence.” Acknowledgements, endnotes, and full references are online at clas.berkeley.edu. Peter Evans is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UC Berkeley. Dilma Rousseff served as the President of Brazil from 2011 to 2016. Her presentation in April 2018 was organized by the Center for Latin American Studies and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Charles & Louise Travers Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley.

Photo by Daniel Arrhakis.

“Colors and Dreams,” a tribute to Marielle Franco by Daniel Arrhakis (2018).

CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, UC BERKELEY

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Profile for Center for Latin American Studies

Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Fall 2018  

The Fall 2018 edition of the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, published by the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley.

Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Fall 2018  

The Fall 2018 edition of the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, published by the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley.