Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Banner on Parkinson Building (Leeds) steps in solidarity with Brazil's protests

Boca | 22.10.2013 
Today a huge banner appeared on the steps of Parkinson Building (University of Leeds) proclaiming “Freedom for Political Prisoners.” The group “Solidarity and Action Mobilization with Brazil Activists - Leeds” (SAMBA_Leeds) prepared this action in order to bring to the public attention the current violation of human rights occurring in Brazil as well as the group’s support and solidarity with the occurring popular protests. In particular they are calling for the immediate release of the people unjustifiably arrested during the protest on the 15th of October (300 arrested, 12 still in jail on 21st October) and the end of the violent state repression of a genuine and heavily supported popular movement.

International solidarity with Brazil's people: Freedom to political prisoners! Stop the loss of civil rights!

We are shouting in support and solidarity to Brazil's people! Since June they are millions on the streets expressing their discontent with many historical social problems and injustices of the country. As an answer, on the 15th of October the state arrested around 300 brave political protesters all across the country. Brazilian government: the world is watching you! Brazilian activists: towards the construction of people's power! Freedom to the political prisoners! Stop the loss of civil rights!

The people of Brazil are under attack. Since last June dozens of demonstrations took millions to the streets. A new series of mass protests have taken place in the country after 30th September, when Rio de Janeiro’s military police violently beat peaceful teachers and supporters (many of them students). The biggest protests were on 7th (more than 50,000 on the streets) and 15th October (more than 70,000). Solidarity marches took place on these dates in other cities, such as São Paulo, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, and Recife. On the other hand, the government’s answer, has been criminalizing people's social struggle by implementing a state of exception. Between other things, we are seeing dozens of arbitrary arrests, restrictions of information freedom and right to public encounter, and massive and irresponsible use of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber and even real bullets against the protesters.

In this context, a huge increase of violent state repression is a symptom of a government that is trying to suppress the demands of the people. Firstly, the people are against the implementation of the profit logic and the apparently infinite scrapping of the public education system – that only increases the huge social gap in the country. Secondly, these are voices shouting for a deep social change. However, on 15th October more than 300 people were arrested all over the country, mostly in completely unjustified situations (seated on stairs, walking back to their homes, watching the demonstration). Among the arrested are elementary teachers, school and university students and researchers, independent and main stream journalists, and many other people that just believe in people's power to construct social change and justice. In Rio de Janeiro alone, 84 people were jailed, 20 of them under 18 years old. They are at risk of being charged with up to 8 years in prison, some under new terrorism legislation imposed on the people due to the forthcoming, widely criticized, mega-events (FIFA World Cup 2014, Olympic Games 2016).

Solidarity is needed! Letters and public statements of support to the movement and against the criminalisation of the social struggle, fund raising for those arrested, information sharing about what is happening, and any other kind of solidarity and public action are very important at this moment! Please document and publicise your actions as widely as possible to show the international support for this struggle towards the construction of people's power!

SAMBA_Leeds (UK)
Solidarity and Action Mobilization with Brazil Activists – Leeds

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