To the international community, on behalf of the Brazilian people, we need your help:
We are #ResistBrasil Scotland, an antifascist resistance group organised by Brazilian women living in Scotland, and created as an immediate response to this year’s electoral mayhem that shook our home country and nearly took us all by surprise. Although the political outcomes of the elections are still uncertain, one thing we know for sure: Brazil is playing a dangerous game.
President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who’s started as an unlikely-to-win sort of joke for some people, has now over half of the Brazilian population under his spell. Offering easy way-outs to historically complex problems – staggering democracy, broken and corrupt political system, economic crises and endemic violence –, the ultra-right extremist end up elected by 55% of the votes.
His political campaign was extremely unethical: Bolsonaro used fake news, lots of them, displaying blatant lies dispersed by WhatsApp to cradle his voters. One of the main points of his campaign was saying that The Ministry of Education – under the past administration – was giving “seminars to teach children how to be homosexuals” in public schools, proving once again his backward views and dishonesty.
Known for his appalling remarks against women, LGBT+, black and native communities in Brazil, Bolsonaro’s brutal ideas thrived in a society already troubled by misogyny, homophobia, racism and classism, along with a generalised sentiment of hate for the so-called “leftists”. Over 100 cases of violence motivated by the elections were registered against minority social groups, during the voting period, including eight homicide cases, according to Folha de São Paulo newspaper. Meanwhile, first-hand testimonials, from women, LGBT+ and human rights activists in the country, are repeatedly confirming that a state of fear and insecurity has taken place since his victory.
Bolsonaro’s supporters, many of whom celebrated the triumph of the “Messiah” over the left-wing university teacher Fernando Haddad by shooting fire guns on the streets of Brazil, are a mixed crowd. Among them are self-proclaimed neo-nazis and white supremacists, evangelical fanatics, landowners, proudly anti-feminist housewives, bankers, media conglomerates and veterans longing for a military coup.
His promises to arm the population against “criminality”, through firearms regulation and legislation, and to expand the military power of police forces are particularly dangerous in major cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where violence rates are already at its peak. Only in Rio, over six thousand cases of violent homicides were registered, in 2017, according to ISP (Institute of Public Security). Reports suggested that over a thousand were killed by the police, during operations in the favelas and poor neighbourhoods. If left unchecked, the abuse of power by both militarised state forces and civil militias may lead to a bloodbath and endanger the lives of the most vulnerable even further.
Not only the lives of our people will be under threat during this administration but also our environment and economy. With constant talks of deforestation of the Amazon and the privatisation of Brazil’s oil reserves, every aspect of our country will be mutilated and all will be made to please foreigner corporations. Bolsonaro’s foreign affairs agenda is horrifying, as he’s already threatened of changing the location of Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, to extradite the political refugee Cesare Battisti to Italy and to leave the Mercosul and the UN, as well as the Paris Agreement for climate change.
The people of Scotland have a tradition of opposing authoritarian political regimes and we would like to appeal for your support. For the sake of democracy and peace for all Brazilians alike, we urge you to speak up.
If you want to help or get in touch with Resist Brasil Scotland then email: firstname.lastname@example.org