International social movements condemn the political persecution and threat of imprisonment against Lula

Samidoun is an endorser of the following statement, based at the website of the Friends of the MST:

Social movements and other allies from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe condemn the political persecution and threat of imprisonment against Lula, the leading candidate in Brazil’s October presidential election. Brazil’s weakened democracy is at stake.

The intensifying political persecution of former Brazilian president Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva escalated to a full-scale crisis yesterday following a high court decision that likely disqualifies his candidacy in the fall presidential contest, and clears the path for his imprisonment on trumped up corruption charges. Lula’s candidacy is supported by mass based support movements, labor and progressive organizations and public figures, and tens of millions of Brazilians. If Lula is sent to jail, his popular candidacy will be derailed.

This political prosecution against President Lula da Silva further weakens Brazil’s already fragile democracy. Recent electoral polls show that Lula da SIlva is the leading candidate in the next presidential election, scheduled for October. Brazil’s right wing and neoliberal political class seek to prevent the popular ex-president from recapturing the presidency, which would threaten their current repressive, pro-corporate policies. This agenda includes privatization of energy and Brazil’s strategic resources, elimination of the federal government’s civil rights divisions, and the upward transfer of wealth to Brazil’s elite and foreign investors. Under these policies, Brazil is suffering dramatic increases in poverty and violence and the loss of national sovereignty.

Yesterday, we witnessed the Brazilian Supreme Court rule against the most basic of human and constitutional rights, the right to be treated as innocent unless proven guilty. President Lula da Silva is accused of crimes in absence of any hard evidence against him. Yet, a narrow majority of the Supreme Court denied his petition of Habeas Corpus, a decision that goes against the 1988 National Constitution. Lula now faces a twelve-year jail term and disqualification from the presidential contest.

The high court’s  decision follows a direct threat of military intervention by a retired general of the Brazilian Army, and an aggressive campaign  by Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest television network. The New York Times and other US corporate media suggest that Lula’s prosecution advances the anti-corruption cause.  However, Brazil’s unelected President Michel Temer and several of his political allies who are accused of graft and other crimes have received softer treatment from Brazilian prosecutors. Despite hard evidence against Temer, Senator Aecio Neves, and other supporters of the 2016 institutional coup against democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff, these politicians are not facing imminent incarceration. The prosecution of Lula is a politically driven intervention in the forthcoming presidential contest and a severe blow to Brazil’s already weakened democracy.

We stand alongside our brothers and sisters in defense of former President Lula da Silva’s right to justice under the law, against interference by the military, and in defense of free and fair elections. At stake is not only the freedom of a leading champion of democracy in Brazil, but the future of Brazilian democracy itself.


  1. US Friends of the MST  (Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement), United States
  2. Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice, Washington DC, United States
  3. Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter, United States
  4. Defend Democracy in Brazil – New York, United States
  5. Climate Justice Alliance, United States
  6. Friends of the ATC (Nicaragua’s Rural Workers Association), United States
  7. Sociedad Cientifica Latino Americana de Agroecologia (SOCLA) – Section North America, United States
  8. Organic Consumers Association, United States
  9. Forum of Sao Paulo of Washington DC – Maryland – Virginia, United States
  10. Community to Community, United States
  11. US Food Sovereignty Alliance, United States
  12. Hidden Acres Farm, United States
  13. Alliance for Global Justice, United States
  14. Sustainable Agriculture Louisville, United States
  15. Food Chain Workers Alliance, United States
  16. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, United States
  17. Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), United States
  18. Labor Network for Sustainability, United States
  19. Pesticide Action Network, North America, United States
  20. Community Global Justice Alliance, United States
  21. Latin America Solidarity Committee, United States
  22. Quixote Center
  23. National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women (ANAMURI), Chile
  24. Coletivo Boston Contra o Golpe, United States
  25. National Lawyers Guild – International Committee, United States
  26. Cooperation Jackson, United States
  27. Political Education Project, United States
  28. Centre Paysan, Canada
  29. Soul Fire Farm, United States
  30. Community Services Unlimited, United States
  31. Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, United States
  32. Laundry Workers Center, United States
  33. Union Paysanne, Canada
  34. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, United States
  35. Party for Socialism and Liberation, United States
  36. Carlos Marentes Sr., Border Agricultural Workers Project, United States-Mexico
  37. Alastair Iles, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California at Berkeley, USA.
  38. Maywa Montenegro, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, USA
  39. M. Jahi Chappell, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, Washington State University, United States
  40. Johanna Jacobi, Project Coordinator, Project Towards Food Sustainability in Africa and South America, Switzerland
  41. Hannah Wittman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Canada
  42. Antonio Roman-Alcalá, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands.
  43. Rafter Sass Ferguson, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Studies, Haverford College, Haverford PA, United States
  44. Rebecca Tarlau, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, United States
  45. Nikhil Aziz, Human Rights activist, United States
  46. Claudia Tamsky, Partido dos Trabalhadores – Boston, United States
  47. Molly D. Anderson, Professor of Food Studies, MIddlebury College, United States
  48. Anni Bellows, Professor Food Studies, Syracuse University, United States
  49. Magha García Medina, Pachamama Bosque Jardìn, Puerto Rico
  50. Dorinda Moreno, Fuerza Mundial, United States
  51. Michael Leon Guerrero, United States
  52. Aline Piva, Deputy Assistant Director, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, United States
  53. Saulo Araujo, WhyHunger, United States
  54. Diana Bell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  55. Tarso Ramos, United States
  56. Jovanna Garcia Soto, United States
  57. Omar Angel Perez, United States
  58. Lydia Joels Simas, United States
  59. Catherine Badgley, Professor, University of Michigan, United States
  60. Luciana Coelho, Coletivo Boston Contra o Golpe, United States
  61. David Crump, United States
  62. Betania Ramos Schroder, Germany
  63. Elsa Nunes-Ueno, United States
  64. Paulo Nunes-Ueno, United States
  65. Maria Luisa Mendonca, Network for Social Justice and Human Rights, Brazil-United States
  66. Otoniel Figueroa-Duran, United States
  67. Alexander Main, Senior Associate of International Policy, Center for Economic and Policy Research.
  68. Laura Valdes, United States
  69. Cheryl LaBash, retired City of Detroit inspector, United States
  70. Roger D. Harris, Task Force on the Americas, United States
  71. Dawn Belkin Martinez, United States
  72. Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin CODEPINK: Women for Peace, United States
  73. Melissa Cox, grassroots organizer, United States
  74. Charlotte Casey, United States
  75. Jose Bravo, Just Transition Alliance, United States
  76. Hayat Imam, United States
  77. Soya Jung, United States
  78. Tammy Bang Luu, United States
  79. Kathleen McAfee, Professor of International Relations, San Francisco State University, United States
  80. Carmen Vega-Rivera, United States.
  81. Banbose Shango, National Network on Cuba, (USA); All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC), United States
  82. Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE, United States
  83. Suren Modliar, Encuentro 5, United States
  84. Rob Wallace, Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota, United States
  85. Joan Ramos, United States
  86. Cindy Domingo, United States
  87. Scot Nakawaga, United States
  88. Juliana Moraes, American University, United States
  89. Kathia Aviles-Vazquez, Organizacion Boricua de Agricultura Ecologica, Puerto Rico
  90. Jean Entine, United States
  91. Ayla Fenton, National Farmers Union, Canada
  92. Steve Williams, Left Roots, United States
  93. Patricia Rodriguez, Associate Professor, Ithaca College, United States
  94. Cornelia Butler Flora, Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Iowa State University and Research Professor, Kansas State University, United States
  95. Dr. Jan L. Flora, Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University,  United States
  96. Linda Farthing, writer, Bolivia
  97. Vanessa Castañeda, PhD Candidate, Tulane University, United States
  98. Karen Miller, LaGuardia Community College, United States
  99. William W. Goldsmith, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, United States
  100. Brenda Biddle, Adjunct Instructor, Queens College, United States
  101. Frances Fox Piven, United States
  102. Amy Chazkel. City University of New York, United States
  103. Jon Steinberg, United States
  104. Sara Koopman, Assistant Professor, School of Peace and Conflict Studies, Kent State University, Kent, United States
  105. Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development, Cornell University, United States
  106. Ann H. Peters, United States
  107.  Scott Alves Barton, Assistant Adjunct professor, New York University and Queens College, United States
  108.  Roger Keil, York Research Chair in Global Sub/Urban Studies, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Canada
  109. Professor Michael Edwards, UCL Bartlett School of Planning, United Kingdom
  110. Ute Lehrer, York University, Canada
  111. Kanishka Goonewardena, Associate Professor, Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Canada
  112. Stefan Kipfer, York University, Canada
  113. Enrique Gonzalez-Conty, Puerto Rico
  114. Pamela Sertzen, Perú/United States
  115. Max Ajl, Jadaliyya/International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, United States
  116. Liliana Cordova, United States
  117. Helena Falcon Ramos, United States
  118. Ines Beron, United States
  119. Anthony Pahnke, United States
  120. Michael Croft, Australia
  121. Laura Carlsen, CIP Americas Program, Mexico
  122. Kathia Ramirez, United States
  123. Jeff Juis, United States
  124. Sean T. Mitchell, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University, United States
  125. Tim Shenk, Coordinator, Committee on US-Latin American Relations, Cornell University, United States
  126. Frederico Jayme Jr., Professor, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
  127. Carlyn Kazdin, United Steelworkers, United States
  128. Stanley A. Gazek, Senior Advisor for Global Strategies, United Food and Commercial
  129. Workers International Union, United States
  130. Adrienne Pine, Associate Professor of Anthropology, American University, United States
  131. Marco Castro, Pro-Honduras Nework, United States
  132. Joanna Beltran Giron, University of Texas at Austin, United States
  133. Mike Golash, ANSWER Coalition, United States
  134. Gloria La Riva, Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee, United States
  135. Jeffrey Frank, Attorney, United States
  136. National Lawyers Guild, United States
  137. Miguel Pickard, Mexico
  138. Mary Taylor, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, City University of New York, United States
  139. Jovelino Ramos, United States