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Young unionists demanding justice for Lula

“We have been protesting for 417 days”, says a sign outside the federal police headquarters in Curitiba, where Lula da Silva is currently incarcerated. It is a permanent camp where hundreds of people meet every day to call for Lula’s release.

Lula turned himself in to the authorities on  7 April 2018. Since then, vigils have been organized to highlight the injustice over his imprisonment without evidence, as well as to greet Lula with music and ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ and ‘good night’.

Participants in an international youth exchange and training project run by IndustriALL and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) joined the vigil.

“It is extremely gratifying to see how an increasing number of people are joining the struggle for our President’s freedom. We are certain that it will become strong enough to get him released, as we will not achieve this through the Brazilian justice system, which is biased and corruptible. It is important to see international delegations here and that the #LulaLivre campaign is present around the world; this will help us obtain his freedom.”

Paulo Cayres, president of IndustriALL affiliate CNM/CUT

A round table discussion where speakers highlighted the fact that Lula’s arbitrary arrest undermines democracy and denies the people of Brazil their right to choose the person they want as a president, followed. According to all polling institutions, Lula would have won the past elections – even from jail – had he not been prevented from running and  deprived of his liberty.

IndustriALL is an active participant of the #LulaLivre campaign. On April 2018, the IndustriALL Executive Committee approved a resolution and held a demonstration at the Place des Nations across the United Nations in Geneva.

“Lula is currently the most important political prisoner worldwide. The campaign for his freedom embodies the workers’ struggle against the recent attacks on their rights, as many of these accomplishments were achieved during Lula’s administration.

International solidarity from young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and Germany participating in the exchange is crucial.”

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary

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