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Approximately 70,000 people demonstrated on Tuesday in Porto Alegre in defense of democracy and in support to former president Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, who will face a trial on Wednesday at the 4th Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF 4), in the framework of the Lava Jato operation.
An action was carried out, where Lula da Silva adressed the crowd, among other speakers, in a city sieged by police and military officers. Then the demonstrators marched to the banks of Guaíba River, where different Brazilian social movements which arrived to Porto Alegre to express their solidarity with Lula were camping. The campsite is located approximately 1 kilometer from the Tribunal where Lula will face his trial tomorrow.
The former president was sentenced in July 2017 by Judge Sergio Moro to nine and a half years in prison, on charges of passive corruption and money laundering. Moro argued that Lula da Silva was the hidden owner of a triplex apartment in Guarujá municipality, in São Paulo state, given by OAS construction company in exchange for work contracts with state company Petrobras.
Three judges will have to decide now at TRF4 if they revoke the first sentence and acquit Lula or if they ratify the sentence, decrease it or increase it.
Leaders from different Brazilian social movements, gathered against the coup government of Michel Temer, especially Brasil Popular and Povo Sem Medo, consider that there isn´t any evidence against Lula and that this is a "legal war", a political trial to prevent the leader of the Workers Party (PT) from being elected again in the national elections to take place in October.
Real World Radio was at the mobilization on Tuesday and interviewed several social activists.
Janaina Silva de Oliveira, of the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) of Brazil, of the "Porto Alegre People without Fear" occupation, said: "We are here to support Lula. It is not right that a person goes to trial without evidence". "I hope tomorrow the judges decide with justice, and do not incriminate a person without evidence", she added. She concluded adding that the MTST will continue occupying lands and struggling for their right to housing, health and basic sanitation, among others.
Meanwhile, Vilmar Francisco Bergmann, also from the MTST and the same occupation in Porto Alegre, explained that under the presidencies of Lula da Silva and Dilma Roussef (successor of the former president also by the PT and ousted by Temer), he was able to access a piece of land, but after the 2016 coup the struggle for housing is not moving forward.
Also, Tatiane Paulino, of the Rio Grande do Sul state and the national coordination of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) expressed in defense of democracy and the right of Lula to be candidate: "We see that our country is being given away to foreign capitals, with structural reforms by the coup government" which caused serious setbacks in terms of education, health and food, said the leader.
During the demonstration that closed the mobilization on Tuesday, Fernando Campos, of environmental organization Friends of the Earth Brazil, highlighted the unity of Brazilian popular movements, even with their different demands, because the situation experienced in the country requires the union of efforts to ensure the rights achieved by the popular struggle 30 years after the passing of the Brazilian constitution. "Porto Alegre is completely militarized, with police forces and the Army, to ensure a State coopted by corporations, an elite controlling the State", denounced Fernando.
Imagen: Douglas Freitas, Amigos da Terra Brasil. https://www.flickr.com/photos/154989916@N03/
María Selva Ortiz, integrante de REDES – Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay advirtió en Radio Mundo Real que las decisiones que se están tomando para esta iniciativa “violan la Constitución y la soberanía nacional”.
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