‘Woe to those who decree unrighteous laws and the scribes who write wickedness,
to harm the poor in court, and to seize the right
of the afflicted of my people, and to strip
the widows, and to rob the orphans! “(Isaiah 10: 1-2)
In 2014, in activities that recalled the 50th anniversary of the military coup, we were saying without much conviction that we were living the longest period of our fragile democracy – something to celebrate and deepen. We were talking about ‘authoritarian rubbish’ – such as the violent culture of our police or the survival of military justice – as unburied, reluctant remains, but over time layers of new social achievements and popular participation would fatally flatten the horizon, to a more just and egalitarian society.
The Constituent Assembly of 88 was a mirage. Clearing the nation’s patches and historical injustices seemed the amalgam for democratic consolidation, even because it recognized new subjects and collective identities that were invisible and out of the justice system.
However, the perpetuity of structuring elements of racism, sexism and enormous class differences and concentration of income, showed how Brazilian society only seemed to coexist ‘cordially’. We live in a situation of social apartheid, predatory exploitation of our wealth, traditional populations and black youth being slaughtered.
At the political level, the society has been under a state of exception since the impeachment, passing through the unsustainable political imprisonment of Lula and the electoral media process imbricated to religious fundamentalism, culminating in the progressive militarization of power and, in the neoliberal wave, subservience to the empire of the North. Such impudence made Bolsonaro determine that the military should commemorate the military coup on March 31.
In a public note, the Federal Attorney General for the Protection of the Rights of Citizens (PFDC), together with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF), point out that “It is incompatible with the Democratic State of Law to celebrate a coup and a regime that has adopted policies of systematic violations of human rights and committed international crimes.”
The table is set, just as our bodies.
But in those 55 years that separate us from the coup, the CESE – an ecumenical organization inspired by the principles of the Christian faith, reaffirms its commitment to democratic radicalism and aligns itself with those who demand the “democratization of the democracy” in order to achieve a project of nation where all are truly included. To resist and to hope are words that sustain us in gloomy times.
Dictatorship never again! It can’t be forgotten, so it will never happen again!