Activists from people’s movements and other demonstrators gathered again in the plaza outside the Supreme Court in Brasília on Tuesday night to increase the pressure on Brazil’s top court.
They are constantly coordinating political efforts to demand the country’s top court chief justice, Cármen Lúcia, to place on the docket the petitions – called ADCs – that question the legality of imprisoning defendants after their conviction is upheld by an appeals court, but while their cases are still appealable in higher courts.
The matter directly impacts the situation of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison since Apr. 7 in Curitiba, southern Brazil, even though his case is still pending appeal. Approximately 150,000 Brazilians are also affected by this situation.
“The moment we are living in history right now is critical. It’s a crucial moment of the coup, which, in addition to removing our rights, also wants to remove Lula from the [election] race, because they know what he represents,” said college student Ada Luísa de Melo Souza, a member of the Levante Popular da Juventude (Youth Uprising), during the protest.
Colombian demonstrator Jimmy Alexander Moreno is visiting Brasília with a delegation of 30 people from Latin American countries and said the group came to Brazil to express their solidarity with the people who are fighting to free Lula.
A member of the Congreso de los Pueblos, Moreno points out Lula’s imprisonment is internationally relevant and is related to the struggle for democracy, with consequences for different areas.
“This is not a struggle just in Brazil. It’s a Latin American struggle, a struggle for the integration of our peoples and the union and sovereignty of our entire Latin America,” he added.
The seven activists who have been fasting since Jul. 31, as well as members of parliament and supporters, took part in the protest, followed by an interreligious rally to demand the Supreme Court review the ADCs.
According to the medical team taking care of the hunger strikers, the activists are now experiencing extreme physical weakness. They have been taking only water and salt for the past 23 days, and are now experiencing blood pressure and body temperature variations.
Hunger striker Zonália dos Santos Ferreira, from the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), fainted during the demonstration outside the Supreme Court building last night and had to be taken to the hospital, as protesters applauded her efforts.
The organizations reported they are waiting for her test results to disclose information about her condition.
“The strike will continue, every day posing more risk to their health and lives. We hold [justice] Cármen Lúcia and the Supreme Court responsible for this,” said Alexandre Conceição, from the MST national board.
Edition: Diego Sartorato