Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva warned against the serious setbacks to human rights in the country since coup-imposed Michel Temer and his government took power, as Brazil labor unions and social movements took to the streets Friday in several cities around the country to protest the coup.
Recalling that the 1964 coup was similarly followed by massive mobilizations, the former head of state praised the social organizations that took to the streets in defense of their rights obtained after more than half of a century of struggle.
“There is violence against human rights, against women, against the poor sectors, and there is a campaign against organizations that defend human rights,” said Lula, referring to the recent policies implemented under Temer's administration in education, sports and culture among others.
The Coup That Ousted Brazilian Democracy
Forty cities around Brazil participated in protests, with solidarity actions also taking place in 16 cities in Europe and North America.
The protest in Sao Paulo was led by Lula, and was organized by the Workers’ Party and the Brazil Popular Front.
The protesters denounced the coup against President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached by the Senate, removed from her position for 180 days, and now faces a trial despite not facing any of the personal corruption allegations faced by her opponents.
The city of Rio de Janeiro saw a strike by workers of the state-run oil company Petrobras, the same company involved in the corruption scheme that implicates many politicians in the new interim government.
Since the Petrobras scandal was revealed, the opposition has tried to link Rousseff to it while also seeking to prevent an investigation of their own allies, according to a recent leaked conversation involving prominent opposition members.
Rousseff has said former Senate Speaker Eduardo Cunha was the main promoter of the parliamentary coup against her that will seek his ouster .
"The government of Michel Temer clearly expresses what Eduardo Cunha wants for Brazil: hegemonic power," said Rousseff.