"With Lula, Brazil becomes a better place for all"

To promote solidarity with President Lula, who is facing politicised charges of corruption to prevent him from contesting the next election.

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Geoffrey Robertson

The campaign "With Lula, Brazil becomes a better place for all" is part of a national and international effort to defend democracy and the rule of law in Brazil, as well as support former President Lula. Its first great act was held on November 10, in Sao Paulo, at Casa de Portugal, when a Manifesto was issued, containing the signature of over 17,000 people from the political, cultural, artistic, academic, economic, legal and religious fields as well as members of social movements.

Among the subscribers are well-known figures of the Brazilian national life: Antonio Candido, Anna Muylaert, Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Beth Carvalho, Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, Laura Carvalho, Sebastiao Salgado, Maria Rita Kehl, Dalmo Dallari, Heloisa Starling, Dom Angelico Sandal, Lais Bodansky.

The accusations and legal proceedings against former President Lula synthesize the (increasingly frequent) attacks against students, landless workers, trade unionists and leaders of social movements fighting for democracy and social rights.

In the case of former President Lula, what is evidence agains him? What illegality did he and his family and other associated with him committed?  Today, there are frequent cases of arbitrary arrests, illegal collection of evidence and condemnation of the innocent people, even after their acquittal in second instance courts.

The fight agains corruption does not justify violations of individual rights and constitutional guarantees. We stand for democracy.

Who is involved in the project?

"With Lula, Brazil becomes a better place for all" is an initiative of Brazilians men and women from the most diverse sectors of society, with the co-operation of the TUC to promote solidarity with President Lula, who is facing highly politicised charges of corruption designed to prevent him from contesting (and probably winning) the next Presidential election next year. We all strongly condemn corruption. However, we cannot accept that fighting this great evil should be used as an excuse for other serious misdeeds.

We reject the criminalisation of social movements, the excesses and abuses of parts of the Judiciary, the institutionalisation of press releases of testinomies that should be confidential, pre-trials detentions that have become permanent practice, violent actions by the Military Police against demonstrations and young people in the periphery, and many other actions that frighten those who believe in democracy.

Some of the people involved in this campaign are Altamiro Borges (President of the Alternative Media Sudies Barao de Itarare Centre), Carina Vitral (President of the UNE - National Union of Students), Carlos Tiburcio (journalist, former Coordinator of the President's speech writer's team), Eleonora Menicucci (former Secretary for Women's Policies), Fernando Morais (journalist and writer), Gilberto Leal (National Director of CONEN, National Coordination of Black Organisations), Guilherme Boulos (National Coordinator of the MTST, National Movement of the Homeless), Joao Pedro Stedile (National Coordinator of the MST, National Landless Movement), Vagner Freitas (National President of CUT, Brazil's TUC).

The campaign has also gained the support of the International Trade Union Confederarion (ITUC), based in Brussels and the Trade Union Congress - TUC - United Kingdom.

Sharan Burrow  - ITUC General Secretary

 Owen Tudor - Head of the TUC European and International Relations

Goal 

To bring together as many political and social forces, carry out activities on a continuous basis and promote the organisation of support committes and structures at all levels of society, in order to:

  • Resist the wave of setbacks at all levels that have engulfed the Brazilian nation, fight for a fair and just Brazil, for All, for Lula and stand for the rule of law and democracy.
  • Contribute to the development of effective policies that lead to the resurgence of economic development and to the imminent realisation of direct and free presidential elections.
  • Help break the existing judicial-media siege, strengthen the role of the blogosphere and alternative media, as a first step towards the democratisation of the media. 

Motivations

Levels of inequality are rising once again and conflicts are escalating. Brazil is on the path to a dangerous institutional crisis. Brazilians are becoming increasingly frustrated and there is a perception that the current governement is agravating the political, social and economic crisis, contrary to what it had promised.

The violation of the constitutional rights of Lula and others, who are investigated on the pretext of fighting corruption, is compounded by the prospects of a substantial loss of rights for the population. A broad political campaign is essential, therefore, to bring back democractic normality and ensure that the country's economy is back on the path of growth and the government returns to tackling inequality.

The current illegitimate government is already implementing a series of legislative reforms that severely  reduce workers' rights. It pursues a neoliberal agenda while cancelling some of the debts of big private corporations. This government is planning to significantly reduce labour and social rights, among which are:

  • Maternity leave
  • Annual holiday leave entitlement
  • Year-end bonus payments
  • Double payment for overtime
  • FGTS redundancy payments (Guarantee Fund for Lengh of Service)
  • Increase the age of retirement to 70
  • Reduce benefits paid by social security to below the minimum wage levels
  • Arbitrarily reduce working hours and implement corresponding reductions in wages
  • End the slavery-prevention workplace inspection system
  • Discontinue employers' fines in case of unfair dismissal
  • Discontinue workers' rights to claim compensation in labour courts
  • Increase sub-contracting of core activities so as to reduce wages and workers' rights.

Do your part - please contribute

It is important to bring more and more people to this cause. We make an appeal to the worldwide community to contribute so that the democratic resistance advances and there are effetive alternatives in Brazil.

The Campaign "With Lula, Brazil becomes a better place for all" needs to grow, spread across Brazil and gain further support abroad to achieve its goals. This must be done in a transparet manner and with the direct support of the people, organisations and social movements. Do your bit. Join in and participate in spreading the word. Join the campaign's activities. Your engagement and help are indispensable.

Rewards

We welcome everyone's contribution, no matter how small. When making donation you will join the campaign register and will periodically receive an e-newsletter with our activities.

Donations

Only donations of natural persons and social  organisations are accepted.

Frances O'Grady - TUC General Secretary

BUDGET

The contributions will serve to maintain the following campaign activities during the first half of 2017:

  • Mobilisation and events 20%
  • Communication: website, social networks, radio and web TV (Radio Democracy in the Air): 10%
  • Publicity and information (creation, production and distribution of materials): 5%
  • Activities outside Brazil: 40%
  • Administration: 10%
  • Crowdfunding costs: 15%

The campaign will inform monthly for expenses incurred by posting it on the site and through newsletters.