Union leaders have visited the Free Lula camp set up near the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, where Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is serving a 12-year prison sentence, and pointed out they are planning to stage a unified national rally on May Day. They will lead the march in the city, in southern Brazil.
For the first time, seven labor union federations will come together for May Day celebrations, in order to denounce that Brazil’s ex-president Lula is being held as a political prisoner. The rally will be organized by union federations Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), Intersindical, Força Sindical, Central dos Sindicatos Brasileiros (CSB), Nova Central, Central dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras do Brasil (CTB), and União Geral de Trabalhadores (UGT).
CUT chair Vagner Freitas de Moraes said the labor union federations and the Left must unite, even though they don’t necessarily agree on one agenda. “Although each union federation has its own different views, it’s important that we unite to fight for workers’ rights, for democracy, and for Lula’s right to run for president. Whether or not he will be elected, that’s up to voters to decide,” he said in Curitiba on Wednesday (18).
Despite being imprisoned, Lula is the clear front-runner in the polls on the country's presidential elections, scheduled for October. The latest poll published by Datafolha indicates that the former president has 30 to 31 percent of voter intention, double the rate of the candidate in second place.
Edited by: Júlia Rohden | Translated by: Aline Scátola and reviewed by Pedro Ribeiro Nogueira