Brazilians Abroad Fight for Democracy
photo: Lula receiving the event’s official T-shirt
By Wellington Calasans
Brazilians living abroad promoted the “1st Pro Democracy and Against the Coup Meeting”. It was organised and funded by the participants themselves, who also paid for their own travel and accommodation.
The event had some clear objectives: to bring together Brazilian activists across the globe, who were already in touch via social media, to define joint pro-democracy actions and strategies.
“Brazilians in the World against the Coup” has members in twenty countries and at the event 11 countries were represented, others took part via videoconference. The event was sponsored by FUP – The Brazilian Federation of Oil Workers, helping to pay for some of the speakers’ expenses and essential organisational support.
The meeting was opened on 27th January, by the Federal Deputy for Rio de Janeiro, Jean Wyllys, member of PSOL a left-wing party, who described how the coup was conceived and answered questions about his own political trajectory.
A photographic exhibition was launched during the cocktail reception, portraying the 2016 pro-democracy protests around the world.
A debate between the guest speakers and members of the different groups on the pre and post-coup contexts and future strategies for the democratic struggles took place on Saturday 28th. Speakers included eminent academics, lawyers and activists such as Emir Sader, Cristiano Zanin (President Lula’s lawyer in Brazil) and Geoffrey Robertson (President Lula’s representative at the UN), journalist Breno Altman, philosopher Marcia Tiburi who participated via videoconference and Tadeu Porto, representing FUP.
During the final session, on Sunday 29th, it was decided that the fight to keep PETROBRAS as a strong national company was vital for the protection of the Brazilian industry and Brazil itself. Furthermore, the “Justice for all and for Lula” campaign and the non-recognition of the Temer Government were considered essential for the fight against the criminalisation of progressive and democratic forces.
During the final debate – to be concluded via internet – it was agreed that the various groups are free to organise their own activities, which will be complemented by specific actions. It is also important to maintain an open and strong dialogue, monitor the work of the media and follow up human rights’ organisations in all the countries where Brazilian activists live.