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Here in Brazil we’re in a dictatorship!

Saturday 5 July 2014, by Givanildo Manoel da Silva

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This was published on the site Insurgencia on the 2 July 2014.

I’ve been a militant for 32 years and started my activism during the re-democratization. I lived through many atrocities that period, primarily as a result of police violence, when the terrible ROTA (a group of the Military Police – an abbreviation for “Rondas Ostensivas Tobias de Aguiar”) started years of mass murder in São Paulo and frightened all the youth.

I thought those years were the worst, but I was wrong. Then came the "democracy", things got worse and there was much more evidence that democracy wouldn’t be as we wished. The New Constitution (1988) left the militarized police untouched and authorized the action of the Armed Forces to maintain the domestic order.

In 1994, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) was elected president and started to persecute the unions and attack recurrently workers’ organizations. The Army occupied Petrobras (the State oil company) and other factories. These were the first and most serious signs that something was very wrong. After the actions of FHC, we found that we would not experience the so-called liberal democracy, or bourgeois democracy conquered by the French Revolution.

We knew it for the simple fact that the basic democratic freedom wasn’t assured in the re-democratization process. In recent years, it came clear that in a class society even this democracy excludes us.

Every day we watched more violations, such as murders committed by State agents or mass incarceration. Brazil is the country with the third highest numer of prinsoners more imprisons (right after the U.S. and China) and the country with highest numbers of violent murders, 57,000 people die every year in Brazil (according to the official statistics, which are notoriously underestimated). According to the UN, in countries at war there are around 20,000 deaths per year.

But in a country that moves quickly towards the closure of its political system, murders, imprisonment and criminalization are not enough. The goal is to silence the voices that rise up against the impossibility of a life with so much oppression. In a State like this, it is necessary to silence consciousness; thus, is imperative to criminalize. That is what is happening in Brazil, especially after the uprisings in June and October 2013 by the Brazilian people, and mainly in the youth, the desire to fight for another world and not to be silent faced with so many atrocities.

Given this new scenario, the Brazilian State has armed itself and deepened its strategy to abolish civil rights, persecute our freedom and criminalize our consciousness, committing even more crimes against humanity.
In recent days, more protesters were arrested, increasing the number of political prisoners in our country, because each prisoner is really a political prisoner. The social movements in Brazil have reacted by organizing peaceful activity demanding the immediate release of those imprisoned for disagreeing with the brutal state in which we live.

On 1 July 2014 there was a debate at Roosevelt Square in São Paulo, with intellectuals, trade unionists, students, activists and supporters of autonomous movements, bringing together about 500 people. The Military Police of São Paulo sent a contingent of 1,000 police. They threatened, illegally searched, provoked, arrested and brutally repressed the people who were there to think and report on the incarceration of two comrades.

The stupidity of the military police wearing medieval armor, who were filming and humiliating us, reached the maximum of arrogance when they threw tear gas near the debate – which dispersed people – and arrested some of us.

At that moment I started to imagine and feel what the South Africans felt during apartheid, how the Colombians live a militarized life, I imagined the Palestinians of Gaza, the massacres in China, I thought of my and our powerlessness in the face of the atrocities that were committed there, we could not react as we wanted because, after all, we wanted to circulate our ideas so that the stupidity of the Brazilian government particularly, at that time, the governor of São Paulo, the fascist Alckmin, cease!

Right now in Brazil we live in a state a misrule for the people and a policy of public insecurity, as well as a sinister offensive against those who disturb the system, black people, LGBT, women, indigenous peoples, children and adolescents who are socially vulnerable, among others, which makes us todaythse who bear the worst marks of violation of Human Rights on the world!

Therefore it is not sensationalism assert, we are in a dictatorship, today it came clear! We are living a militarized life in a militarized country, which draws us all our rights and curtail our freedom!

Here in Brazil we live in a dictatorship.

Militant and hopeful for humanity, but not with capitalism!

P.S.: My feeling of powerlessness just increased when I got home. What I wanted the most was to write about what I lived through that night, but I received the sad news that in the state of Bahia, one more indigenous Tupinambá was murdered in a land kept by the State, which should protect them but, instead, protects only the interests of farmers.