Free Lula: We are the Resistance

Free Lula: We are the Resistance

 “It’s no use trying to end my ideas, they are already hovering in the air and there is no way to arrest them. It’s no use stopping my dream, because whenever I stop dreaming, I will dream through your minds and your dreams.” (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva)

Lula’s arrest is an essential part of the coup that is under way against the Brazilian people. The conservative offensive that led to the impeachment against President Dilma also led to the murder of Marielle Franco, and manifests itself in the prison of President Lula. Lula is a political prisoner; his imprisonment inaugurates a new cycle of the coup and challenges us to expand our capacity for struggle and resistance.

For days, we resisted at the ABC Metalworkers’ Union, but we know that this is only the beginning of our mobilization in defense of Lula Free – the necessary resistance is not solely in São Bernardo: it must be made throughout Brazil. We need to prepare ourselves for a process of short, medium or long-term struggle. For this, the building of unitary actions in every country is crucial, expanding our capacity for dialogue with the society. This is reflected in the mobilization of all progressive forces, and especially in reinforcing the articulation between the Brazil Popular Front and Fearless People Front, that bring together all the popular movements in our country.

May the frustration and sadness that befall us at this moment be a source of energy to fight for the reconstruction of democracy in Brazil and the liberation of Lula. It is not time for discouragement and despair, it is time for organization and action. In this sense, the Brazil Popular Front and the Fearless People Front present here guidelines and a calendar of struggles for the next period.


Freedom for Lula!

All political pressure on the Supreme Court to rule on the suspension of his imprisonment! 

Three April 4ths and the same struggle 

The reverend of Baptist Church of the U.S. and Nobel Prize winner Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968 in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, at 6pm. This April 4th, 50 years have gone by since his assassination, which left a mark in humankind.

They wanted to silence the voice of those who defended the civil rights of their African-American brothers, in the face of the injustices and discrimination prevailing in the US, one of the most racist countries in the world. Today is necessary to remember their nonviolent struggle in defense of human dignity threatened by the racism and persecutory xenophobia of Trump’s government.  

As you read this note, the infamous wall  grows between the United States and Latin America. It is not the only border wall in the world nor will it be the last, as long as we do not learn that the most difficult walls to break down are those that are in the mind and heart. To knock them down is within the conscience and values of the human being, in knowing that we are all different, we come from different countries, cultures, languages, but we have the same rights which must be respected.

A few years ago I was at the Lorraine Motel to visit, meditate and pray in the room where Luther King was murdered. I had his spirit and faith in front of the drama of humanity, when he said: “If the world ends tomorrow, I will still plant my apple tree”.

Another April 4th, this time in 1977, I was returning from Ecuador and went to renew my passport at the Central Department of the Federal Police. There, I was arrested and taken to a torture center because non-violent activities of fighting against the Latin American dictatorships had placed me on a list of dangerous people for the Argentine dictatorship.

It was the Holy Week, I was locked in a “tube”, a small dark dungeon, smelly, with a mat on the floor, I did not know what could happen to me. A companion who went with me to the police was able to notify my family and national and international organizations.

Endless hours passed in the confinement. I knocked on the dungeon’s door to go to the restroom, a guard opened it, the light came in and I could see on the wall many writings, names of loved ones, insults, prayers. I was impressed by a large writing of blood from a prisoner on the wall … it said: “God does not kill.”

This April 4th, 41 years after my detention, which lasted two years and from which I lived the horror of the power of the military dictatorship that attacked my life on different occasions as well as against the life of our Argentine people, who said Never More and that continues fighting until today for there to be Memory, Truth and Justice.

This same April 4th also had as protagonist a non-violent fighter against injustice. A union worker who was imprisoned by the military dictatorship of his country, Brazil, then president twice and recently just suffered an attack on his life in the context of a political persecution that takes him back to prison by the action of castes of neo-coup mongers.

There was no crime when President Dilma Rousseff was ousted, removed by published decrees that had already been used by other presidents, there is no crime of Lula in the triplex case; however they invented it in order to block his presidential candidacy, because they know that he could win in the first round. It wouldn’t be in their interest to kill him, it wouldn’t be in their interest to let him free, they have to criminalize him and lock him up for the simple sin of having taken more than 30 million people out of poverty and putting at risk the privileges of power groups that believe they own Brazil.

The nonviolent struggle to regain the rights of the people continues, they will not be able to silence the voices of the resistance or the force of truth, that demolishes walls and that calls us to continue planting the seeds of hope.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Prize winner, 1980

 I invite you to join the campaign #NobelparaLula, to convince people with the possibility to apply according to the norms of the NobelCommittee:


Note published in the print edition of the Diário Perfil:

This is the letter I will present to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in September 2018, nominating Luiz Inácio “Lula” Da Silva to the Nobel Peace Prize. I invite you to join the campaign #NobelparaLula, to convince people with the possibility to apply according to the rules of the Nobel Committee:

Join the campaign!

Press contact
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Andrés + 54 9 (11) 6145-7388 (mobile)

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