Activists surround union office, Lula leaves by foot to turn himself in to police

For nearly six hours, thousands of people blocked the exits and tried to stop the ex-president from going to Curitiba

Curitiba |
Lula is carried by the people who stood outside the Metal Worker's Union
Lula is carried by the people who stood outside the Metal Worker's Union - Ricardo Stuckert

The ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva left the Metalworkers Union ABC for Curitiba around 19h this Saturday (7). In the morning, Lula participated in an ecumenical act in memory of the birthday of the First Lady Marisa Leticia, who passed away a year ago. Afterwards he made an emotional speech in front of thousands of activists where he reaffirmed that he would turn himself into the Federal Police in compliance with the arrest warrant issued by the first instance judge Sergio Moro.

“There is no point in thinking they will make me stop. I will not stop because I’m not a human being, I’m an idea, an idea that is mixed with all of your ideas. And I’m sure our comrades from the Landless and Homeless Workers’ Movements, the comrades from the CUT and union movements know that. And this is the evidence. This is the evidence. I will obey the warrant and all of you are going to have to go through a transformation: your names will no longer be Joey, Johnny, or Eddy… All of you, from now on, will become Lula and will walk through this country doing what you must do every day. Every day!”, said Lula.

Despite the words of Lula, between 13h, the time that the speech was over, and 19h, when the ex-president finally left the union office, thousands of people were surrounding the building to stop the cars from leaving that would bring Lula to the Congonhas airport. The people blocked the gates of the parking garage and Lula, who had tried to leave for the first time around 15h, had to go back inside the union office.

The National President of the PT, Gleisi Hoffmann, the ex-Mayor of São Bernardo, Luiz Marinho, the National Leader of the MST João Paulo Rodrigues, and the Federal Deputy Paulo Teixeira tried to convince the people to retreat from the exits, but they were unsuccessful. Under threats of intervention of the Riot Police of the Military Police force, announced over radio by the Secretary of Public Safety of São Paulo, Lula decided to leave the building by foot and walk through the multitude to reach the escort of the Federal Police.

Lula remained under the supervision of the Federal Police in Lapa, western zone of São Paulo, and then went towards the Congonhas airport, from where he went to Curitiba. In the capital of Paraná, thousands of people are already gathered, outside the supervision of the Federal Police, where a MST encampment is sheltering activists from diverse social movements in a permanent vigil for the liberty of the ex-president.

Edited by: Diego Sartorato