Socorro Gomes: Against the judges’ and the media’s offensive and for democracy in Brazil, free Lula

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Brazil sails through rough waters. Facing the offensive of conservative forces which are supported by US imperialism and intensifying angry moods that give space for violence and fascism. The latest arbitrary episode, which was already condemned internationally, is the Supreme Federal Court’s denial of habeas corpus and subsequent arrest warrant of Lula, issued on the 5th of April by a judge who ran over the law.

The Brazilian people is currently mobilizing to defend the freedom of former President Lula, the country’s main popular leader. Lula is internationally recognized for promoting historical achievements in a country drowned in structural inequality, exploitation, submission to foreign agendas and oppression.

The Brazilian context is connected to the imperialist strategy that or decades the international peace movement has been denouncing. The so-called regime change, through direct or indirect interference, is part and parcel of the push for world domination against which the peoples resist and which the progressive forces oppose.

Conservative forces in Brazil have been defeated in four successive presidential elections and could not regain their positions in government through the ballot box. In 2016, with the impeachment of the legitimate President Dilma Rousseff, they effected a coup d’état, counting on the support of the Judiciary, the Legislative majority and the oligopoly media. Lula’s arrest is part of a new phase in the coup. The reactionaries aim to prevent him from running in the elections and to stigmatize his image. They do everything to draw Lula and the people apart, because they know how much he represents in the process of struggle for democracy, social rights and national sovereignty.

The struggle against neoliberalism in Latin America was always fierce, and this is demonstrated in the aggressiveness of the coup attempts in various countries, either of those which were successful or those who were repelled, such as in brave Bolivarian Venezuela, thanks to resistance and the people’s support to Maduro’s progressive government – since it is from the people that the Revolution draws its legitimacy.

In Brazil, the offensive is intensifying, the coup regime attacks democracy, strikes the people’s rights and offends the national sovereignty. It surrenders the nation’s most strategic resources to foreign capital. Fascism finds fertile ground in the spectacle of moral, political and judicial lynching presented by media corporations aligned with that which is most conservative and backward.

An environment of antagonisms and blood-thirsty expressions is cultivated by the headlines in papers run by the monopolist bourgeoisie and by the political speeches of judges long exposed. Popular and party leaders are harassed or murdered and, most recently, in a trip inside Brazil, in which Lula got massive popular support, the bus in which he rode was targeted by attacks with stones and also gun shots, by a fascist mob—against which “justice” did nothing. There are also already serious denunciations of expressions of violent individuals who could even make attempts against the former President’s life.

Lula was persecuted, condemned with no evidences and illegitimately incarcerated. He is a victim of the hatred coming from the decaying oligarchy, whose most visible characters, in the Judiciary, express the cynicism and complete disregard for the Constitution of which they are the guardians. This is the case of Lula’s incarceration, effected even before the conclusion of the judicial process and the exhaustion of every recourse, which is the right of every citizen. Such characters turn the sessions in which they read their votes and define sentences in actual rallies, in which they try, through pompous language, to dissimulate the shameful persecution of the main popular leader in Brazil.

Recently, the Army’s commander, general Eduardo Villas Bôas, believed to have the right to issue a veiled ultimatum to the democratic institutions, suggesting that the Armed Forces are watching over and could possibly intervene. A threat to democracy that deserves the most vehement repudiation.

In their turn, right-wing parliamentarians and the elite in general use the biggest instrument at their disposal in Brazil, the media, to try and destroy completely such a popular opponent such as Lula, with hours and hours of defamation, a real and unprecedented offensive. Despite all the aggression against Lula, his political party, against all progressive and democratic forces, the social organizations that defend the country and democracy, and dozens of millions of voters, these are the ones accused of being violent, when they express their revolt and indignation.

The moment is of great challenges and of a huge necessity of struggle to face the aggressiveness of the reactionary forces, who promote Brazil’s return to a past of submission, privileges, exploitation and oppression. But the Brazilian people’s resistance is deepening.

National and international solidarity with Lula shows conviction about the importance of a process of social and political emancipation in our country and the former president’s huge contribution to build a project for a sovereign, unsubmissive, democratic country of social justice, one that makes Brazil and its people move forward.

This project and the emblematic figure of the steelworker are the target of the most backward elites, enemies of everything resembling wealth distribution and the democratization of power. They are targeted by the heralds of neoliberalism, neocolonialism and their national, anti-patriot promoters. Therefore, all that is left to the Brazilian people is to strengthen the resistance, the struggle, the unity and hope.

The democratic forces, workers, the youth, students, and more, all social movements and citizens concerned with the country’s future return to the streets and squares determined to stay there, in constant struggle for Lula’s freedom. Every school, house, workplace, union, corner, village, neighborhood and town will be a trench in this struggle!

We are Lula!
Down with the coup d’état! For the return of the rule of law!

Free Lula!

*Socorro Gomes was a parliamentarian and the president of the Brazilian Center for Solidarity with the Peoples and Struggle for Peace (Cebrapaz). She is currently the president of the World Peace Council.