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Lula is free after 580 days of political imprisonment

Nov 13, 2019 11:28 AM

Photo: Ricardo Stuckert

Bulletin 626 – People’s Committee in Defense of Lula and Democracy

Straight from Curitiba –11/8/2019 – 580 days of resistance – 9:30 PM

1. Not even the most incredulous people would have believed that, when this day finally came, all eyes and ears would turn to a single representative of Brazil. Not even the most hopeful Brazilians could not have expected that, when this day finally came, its impact would be even greater than anticipated and would reverberate around the world as a cry of hope in the midst of barbarism. The fact is that this day has finally arrived and history will make it eternal: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is free after 580 days of political imprisonment.

2. Lula will address the nation in a speech at the ABC Metalworkers Union in São Bernardo de Campo, São Paulo on this Saturday, November 9th, but during his speech at the Lula Livre Vigil today, the former President took criticized the sponsors of the inquisitory process which led to his political imprisonment and helped Jair Bolsonaro win the 2018 election. Lula called the Lava Jato task force members - including the public prosecutors and federal police officers – and the judges from the 4th Federal Regional Court “liars”, for putting him in jail without proving guilt or showing any evidence. “They didn’t just try to arrest a man, they tried to kill an idea. The problem is that you can’t kill ideas – they don’t disapear,” he said.

3. The former President also said that he will travel around the country to speak with the people and thanked all of the activists who filled the streets next to the Curitiba federal police headquarters to welcome him out. “The doors of Brazil are open for me to travel around the country,” he said. “Thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart. I have no way to pay you for what you did, but please know that I will be faithful to your struggle. Thank you for the shouts of ‘Lula Livre’ that you have made for the last 580 days.”

4. It was 5:40 PM on Friday, November 8th, when confirmation came that Lula would leave his political imprisonment. Minutes later, came the visual proof. Accompanied by advisors, lawyers, allies and relatives, Lula walked with the serenity that only the innocent have, and put in practice the promise that he made for 580 days: to visit the Vigil which carried his name and thank the activists for their support during the entire time of his political imprisonment. “You were the fuel that I needed to resist,” he said, after nominally thanking all of those who transformed the Lula Livre Vigil into one of the most emblematic symbols of struggle for democracy in the country.

5. Peoples social movements intensified the pressure for freedom for Lula as soon as the Supreme Court ruling on imprisonment before appeals are completed was announced on Thursday, November 7th. Members of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST),  the Movement of People Hit by Dams (MAB) and other people’s organizations met with the expectation that the former President would be released. According to the Frente Brasil Popular of Paraná, 500 more people arrived in bus caravans from across the country to join the Vigil.

6. Jurists commemorated and noted that the Federal Supreme Court decision in defense of the Constitution re-establishes the presumption of innocent until proven guilty in the country. According to Fernando Hideo, criminal lawyer and PhD, the ruling marks a re-encounter with the Constitution. In a note, the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy praised the Supreme Court decision. “The ABJD approves of the Federal Supreme Court ruling, which symbolizes complying with constitutional guidelines,” it said.

7. The Lula Livre Vigil, a symbol of struggle and resistance, praised the Supreme Court ruling and spoke of the well-deserved release of the former President by issuing a statement saying, “after the historic Federal Supreme Court ruling, Lula has the right to freedom.”