Several social movements have planned multiple events to show support for former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The activities, which will be held all over the country, are scheduled to run from April 8 to May 1. The Popular Brazil and People Without Fear (Povo Sem Medo) movements released a letter stating their intention to participate in demonstrations against the incarceration of the Lula.
Lula turned up a detention center in Curitiba in compliance with a federal warrant demanding his arrest to begin serving a 12-year sentence for corruption – a warrant both Lula and his lawyers insist is illegal.
During an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Joa Pedro Stedile, leader and co-founder of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) says the number of people taking part in the vigil outside the Federal Police headquarters will increase in the next hours.
Stedile said the group intends to maintain a presence at the are indefinite. He also added that mention another group of Lula supporters will establish a permanent vigil in Rio de Janeiro, to be followed by large demonstrations at Copa Cabana beach on Sunday as well as outside the Supreme Court in Brazilia on April 11.
The gathering, MST leader said, will pay homage to Lula and also honor the memory of Mariele Franco, recently murdered black feminist activist. Stedile urges international social movement to join the cause, asking the groups to organize demonstrations outside Brazilian embassies worldwide from April 11 to 14.
The slogan for the demonstrations will be “Mariele vive; Lula livre,” the social movement chief said, adding “we won't rest until our leader Lula is free again.”
Both Popular Brazil and People Without Fear social movements explained that the actions against Lula are similar to political coups, which started in 2015 with the ousting of ex-President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached.
“The detention of Lula is an essential part of the coup that is ongoing against the Brazilian people. The conservative offensive that led the impeachment against President Dilma, led to the murder of Marielle Franco, also manifested in the prison of President Lula.
“Lula is a political prisoner, his imprisonment inaugurates a new coup cycle and challenges us to expand our capacity for struggle and resistance,” the release said.
The planned activities of the social movements are:
April 8: Defend Lula Libre in Rio de Janeiro.
April 11: National Day of Mobilization in Defence of Lula Libre.
April 11: Demonstration at all Brazilian embassies abroad.
April 10 and 11: Act with jurists in Brasilia.
April 17: National Day of Mobilization against Red Globo.
April 26: Act in defence of Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro.
May 1: Day of the worker in defence of Rights and Freedom for Lula.