Eleven social activists convened in front of Brazil's Federal Supreme Court are preparing a hunger strike for the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his right to run as a presidential candidate in October's elections.
The hunger strike, which Lula may participate in, will begin this month and with the support of the Workers' Party, or PT.
The PT released a statement that said “after consecutive defeats in the STF and signs that the president of the court, Carmen Lucia, will not schedule hearings requesting the review of his imprisonment...11 militants from social movements linked to the PT will start a hunger strike appealing for the freedom of former president Lula...The extreme act is part of a series of measures the PT will promote in an attempt to revert Lula's imprisonment. The party will present a signed petition to high courts on Aug.15.”
The letter affirmed that there will be a demonstration to register Lula as a presidential candidate on the same day
Lula previously went on a hunger strike while imprisoned for 31 days in the 1980s, during the waning years of Brazil's military dictatorship. His detainment, undertaken by the notorious Department of Political and Social Order (DOPS) was due to his leadership of the Steelworkers Union of Sao Bernardo do Campo and a strike the group had organized. His initial sentencing was three and a half years, however, his appeal was accepted and his sentence reduced.
From jail, the former president says that over the last decade Latin American democracies have made tremendous gains, but elites across the region change the rules of the game when they are not winning to benefit their small minority, “which, of course, is not a democracy. So it is an attempt at democracy without the people.”
Having been detained at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba since April 7, for allegedly receiving an apartment as a kickback in the national Car Wash corruption scandal, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.
His two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.