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News > Brazil

Thousands of Brazilians Join the 'Free Lula' Campaign

  • Portrait of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at an event to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 22, 2018.

    Portrait of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at an event to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the Workers' Party in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 22, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 May 2019

Brazilian workers and students go to the streets to dialogue with the people about lawfare against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Members of Brazil's "Free Lula" movement and the Workers' Party (PT) will kick off a nationwide campaign Saturday and Sunday, talking to the public about the lawfare taking place against former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a political prisoner since April 2018.

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Thousands of volunteers, many of whom are youth and students who have been protesting President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies against education over the past couple of weeks, are participating in online and in-person campaign to support of Lula taking place in dozens of Brazilian cities.

In Maceio in Alagoas state, campaigners will have an art car parade along with the LGBTQ Pride march. In Belem, former presidential candidate Fernando Haddad will join students’ caravans and sessions.

In the State of Sergipe, Free Lula activists will march along Barao Avenue to organize meetings in defense of public education. In Belo Horizonte, organizers to free Lula are painting murals in low-income neighborhoods.

“The ‘Free Lula’ festival will swing Sao Paulo on June 2! Check out the attractions and confirm your attendance at the event!” 

In the city of Porto Alegre, avenues, highways and other public places will be covered in 'Free Lula' banners. Across the State of Espirito Santo, campaign participants will inform people in public places about how right-wing officials in Brazil are using the nation's court system to indict Lula for allegedly accepting bribes during his presidency in the form of a luxury beach house, despite the lack of evidence against him.

In Sao Paulo, the “Free Lula, Free Heart” committee and other grassroots organizations are setting up at the Cohab Raposo fair to promote participation in the June 14th nationwide strike against social security privatization.

PT committees also scheduled artistic, educational and political events in dozens of Brazilian cities, including Campinas, Guaratingueta, Mogi das Cruzes, Tocantins, and Brasilia.

"Help to write letters for Lula. Put a desk in a square in your city. May 25 & 26: All Brazil to the streets to free Lula."

The Worker's Party founder, Lula da Silva, will have spent 413 days in prison by May 25. Earlier this month, the American Association of Jurists (AAJ) categorized him as a 'political prisoner.'

In a recent interview, Lula said that far-right factions are using the law along with illicit actions to keep him in jail and that this hurts not only him, but the entire country.

"The U.S. and Brazilian elites are against the use of 75 percent of [public] funds to be invested in education so that Brazil finally gets past a 200-year [developmental] delay," said the ex-head of state and explained that these funds would be enough to keep "research, technology and health" going in the South American country.

Lula remains in prison regarding a lawsuit against him for which the Odebrecht construction company allegedly gave him a luxurious apartment in exchange for contracts with Petrobras, a state-owned oil company. Lula and the PT deny the corruption charges. 

The AAJ says Lula's sentence "was issued as a consequence of an accusation produced by violating the due process of law, that prejudiced (his) right to a defense, and without evidence." 

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