In the UK, Brazilians are organising themselves to show solidarity to President Lula.
On the 13th January, the London International Committee for Solidarity with Lula will be launched and there will be an Act of Solidarity on 24th of January, date in which Former President Lula will have his appeal heard in Porto Alegre.
The Committee will bring together individuals and organisations in Britain that have for the past 2 years been fighting for democracy in Brazil.
There are three established groups formed by Brazilian activists in London: the PT Nucleus (members of the Workers’ Party), and two civil societies organisations, Democracy for Brazil and Arts for Democracy.
In addition, there is the Trades Union based “No Coup in Brazil” – which provides the support and solidarity of British Trade Unions, in particular to President Lula, who is still regarded as one of the most important men to come out of the world trade union movement – and the Labour Party’s “Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America”.
These organisations and individuals have also come together to urge people to sign the petition “Elections without Lula is Fraud”.
Your can read their contribution below:
Over 155k have signed the petition “Elections without Lula is fraud”, amongst them legal professionals, academics, politicians, artists and union leaders across the world.
On 24th January, the case against the former president of Brazil, Lula da Silva, will be tried on appeal.
Lula is currently well ahead in the polls for the presidential elections in October this year.
If the appellate court decides to uphold the conviction, which is very likely, Lula will not be able to stand for re-election.
There is something rotten in the Brazilian Judicial System…
An average appeal to this 2nd tier court, the TRF4 in Porto Alegre, takes at least 70 days to be assessed.
President Lula’s appeal was assessed in record time – 42 days – (the second judge only taking 6 days to make up his mind, though the sentence was over 250 pages long!).
In addition, other cases were put aside so it would be heard as quickly as possible, raising suspicions that the timing has more to do with stopping Lula becoming a candidate.
Expecting Lula’s conviction to be upheld, Brazil’s stock exchange is already commemorating in anticipation of 24th January!
But what about his original trial and why do we contest it?
Former President Lula was accused of illegally receiving an apartment in a popular beach resort.
The trial was not able to prove he is the owner.
Indeed, the flat is still in OAS’ (civil construction company) name and has been given as security to a bank in exchange for financial investment. This means that OAS was not free to give the flat to Lula!!
This apartment was meant to be the fruit of a kickback related to three Petrobrás contracts with construction company OAS.
No links were found between the fraudulent contracts and President Lula’s actions or the flat.
President Lula was convicted and sentenced for over 9 years.
There are other problems with the trial…
In Brazil’s inquisitive system, Judge Moro was the investigation judge AND also the trial judge
That’s why Geoffrey Robertson QC, the human rights lawyer, is taking Lula’s case to the UN.
That’s why we are calling it Lawfare. We believe that the law in Brazil is being used for political purposes.
Judge Moro did not convict Lula on the basis of the version provided by the Public Prosecutors.
He agreed that no links could be found between Lula’s actions and the Petrobrás contract.
Lula was convicted on the basis of ‘undetermined and unidentified’ illicit acts.
The judge ‘attributed’ the flat to Lula even though he did not specify what ‘attributing a property to someone’ involves and…
Once again, Lula does not own the flat.
Lula only visited the property once!
That is why many people across the world are defending Lula’s right to have a fair trial AND his right to stand in the next presidential elections!
On the 24th January there will be acts in support of President Lula in Porto Alegre, where the trial is taking place, and in many other cities in Brazil.
There will also be acts in many cities across the world when members of Brazil’s Workers’ Party, union members, politicians, jurists, artists, academics and people who just care about democracy, the rule of law and human rights will be standing in solidarity with president Lula.
Please help us by signing the petition Elections without Lula is fraud or supporting our acts on 24th January.
Let the Brazilian people decide if they want Lula as their president and not the judiciary on trumped up charges!