We publish this inofficial translation of a declaration of CEBRASPO regarding the sentence against 23 activists of the protests in Rio in 2013:
- This note is signed by 13 of the 23 activists convicted of the protests in Rio -
Yesterday, 7/17, Judge Flávio Itabaiana de Oliveira Nicolau finally fulfilled the service that he had been hired by Sérgio Cabral four years ago: he condemned all 23 activists involved in the protests against the FIFA spectacle to penalties ranging from 5 to 13 years in prison, without parole.
What crimes did we commit?
Did we dare to denounce the misdeeds of Sérgio Cabral, Pezão & CIA, covered all the time by the Judiciary and the Rio Public Prosecutor?
Did we dare to denounce the FIFA World Cup spectacle, whose only "legacy" left to the people was the remains of the communities removed and the breakdown of public services?
Did we dare to participate, as students and workers, shoulder to shoulder with millions of people in the largest mass demonstrations in the country's recent history?
Did we dare to act alongside independent popular movements, which do not bow down or sell themselves to the "sinister transactions" of the official politics that misgovern, whose major symbols are Pezão and Temer?
If they accuse us of this, we must accept with pride what our executioners say. Because that's what we did, that is, we struggle. Everyone needs to understand that it is our entire generation who they seek to condemn and intimidate by this sentence. But they will not succeed: we carry the stubbornness of those who insist on having faith in life, faith in struggle, faith in the people. The stubbornness of the thousands who marched at Saens Peña Square on the day of the World Cup final just hours after dozens of activists were arrested and sent to Bangu. We are on one side, and this is not the one of the Landowners. If they accuse us of this, thank you very much.
With this sentence, Mr. Itabaiana enters history through the back door. He will always be remembered as the one who relentlessly persecuted the youth of June 2013. Let it be recorded: what was done in Rio de Janeiro, regarding persecutory procedures, abusive prisons, invasions of residences, illegal infiltration, an "informal plea bargain" (that of Felipe Braz, whose testimony is practically the only "proof" presented to condemn us) had no peer anywhere else in Brazil. Perhaps executioners are proud of their service; this "pride" we find more coherent to call: SHAME!
Yes, because it is shameful that the protesters against the FIFA spectacle are condemned, when today most of the World Cup organizers themselves are imprisoned! When the ex-governor who savagely repressed us is detained! When the country is brought to the brink of hunger and social devastation by the same vampires who trembled with hatred as youth took to the streets! When Rede Globo, who pursued us, has not yet explained its negotiations around the mega-events!
Any word on the "misconduct" and "personality disorder" of these people, Mr. Judge?
We reaffirm what we have said over the years: FIGHTING IS NOT A CRIME! Crime is the state of calamity offered to the people in the line of hospitals, crime is the lack of space in day care centres, crime is expensive and overcrowded buses, crime is what is practiced daily in the favelas, bloodstained by the genocide against black and poor people. This is a crime! And these crimes, be sure, will not go unpunished forever.
In times of serious attacks on labour and social rights, it is fundamental to unfold the flag of freedom of expression and manifestation, without which no other right can be defended, much less conquered. This is even the more important when Rio sees itself under military intervention, and we watch officials on a daily basis, speaking openly about the possibility of a military coup in the country. We call on all fighters, workers, students, collectives, activists, intellectuals and Democrats to demonstrate in this campaign. It is not only for the 23: it is for all who fight!
Fighting is not a crime!
Fascists, today and always: no pasarán!
Long live the days of June 2013!
This message is signed by:
Bruno de Sousa Vieira Machado
Elisa Quadros Pinto Sanzi
Emerson Raphael Oliveira da Fonseca
Felipe Frieb de Carvalho
Filipe Proença de Carvalho Moraes
Igor Mendes da Silva
Joseane Maria Araújo de Freitas
Leonardo Fortini Baroni
Luiz Carlos Rendeiro Júnior
Pedro Guilherme Mascarenhas Freire
Rafael Rêgo Barros Caruso
Rebeca Martins de Souza
Shirlene Feitoza da Fonseca