Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva attended a ceremony Saturday which named Adi dos Santos as the new president of the Worker's Party in the city of Diadema, Brazil, during which Lula spoke to a crowd of party members, workers and youth about his sentencing by Judge Sergio Moro.
“I never believed that they would absolve me. They're not judging Lula, they're judging our government and the good things that we did for this country,” he said.
Since Moro sentenced Lula to nine years and six months over passive corruption charges on July 12, Lula noted that television station Jornal Nacional, alone, had dedicated more than 20 hours of negative news coverage about him according to the Worker's Party website. While facing the crowd, Lula asked, “And why haven't they been able to break me? Because I'm not me, I'm you. They haven't broken me because the wings on which I fly aren't mine, they're the wings of the workers and youth of this country.”
Lula emphasized that if Moro hadn't found him guilty, then the coup against former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff wouldn't have made sense. “The coup wouldn't have been complete if I wasn't condemned,” said Lula, affirming that he takes comfort in knowing that the sole piece of evidence presented by his accusers “is proof of my innocence.”
Lula spared no expense in his criticism of Brazil's elite class, noting that they “appear hateful of the things that we're proud of for they don't want the people below them to rise even a step of the social inclusion staircase.”
Lula added that while he was and will continue to be “everybody's president, everybody knows whose side I'm on and who I'll govern for.” Unions, social movements, and political parties are organizing nationwide demonstrations condemning Lula's conviction for Thursday, July 20.
Protesters will also be calling for free, democratic elections; a reversal of labor reforms recently passed by Brazil's Senate; an end to pension reform proposals; and for current Brazilian President Michel Temer to resign or be removed.