Act Alliance intervene with the supreme federal court for the people on hunger strike

Geneva, August 14th, 2018


Your Excellency Minister

Ms. Carmen Lúcia Antunes Rocha

President of The Supreme Federal Court

Brasilia, Brazil


Subject: Court hearing with the group of people who is on hunger strike in Brasilia.


Your Excellency Minister Carmen Lúcia,

It is with concern that we have been following up, from Geneva, the delicate situation of polarization and allocutions of hatred within Brazilian society. This is a time when common sense and altruism have become paramount to prevent an escalation of violence that may lead to irreversible consequences. We have been following up, in a specific manner, the outcomes of the hunger strike carried out by a group of social leaders, specifically Friar Sérgio Görgen, Rafaela Alves, Gegê Gonzaga, Zonália Santos, Jaime Amorim, Vilmar Pacífico and Leonardo Soares.

We understand that the topics presented by those people are legitimate and extremely relevant, considering that the indecision regarding the Declaratory Actions of Constitutionality that refer to the final judgment in a condemning criminal conviction has contributed to accelerate the incarceration of people.

As the world’s largest alliance of Protestant and Orthodox churches working on humanitarian causes, as well as issues regarding development and political incidence, the ACT Alliance is concerned about the growing tension atmosphere experienced by the people in the country. In the same way that the circumstances of the abovementioned people leave us in an extremely uncomfortable position. Brazil is a country that, throughout its history, has been acknowledged for its relevance in diplomacy and in the capability for dialogue.

As an alliance based on faith and on the values of respect, humility and justice, we support all non-violent forms of conflict resolution, human development and the rule of law. This approach not only describes a whole set of activities, but it also describes attitude and lifestyle. We defend the dialogue as an efficient instrument and an ethical means to deal with political conflicts and disputes because it attempts to minimize harm and respect human dignity. Non-violent forms of protesting can be used for reformist or revolutionary purposes, and can be used to foster social changes (nonviolent actions, nonviolent rebellion, etc.) and avoid unwanted changes (social defense or civil defense). This approach lies in the nature of commitment, in the confessed relationship between means and ends, in the approach to conflict in general, in the attitude toward the opponent as a way of life.

In the case of the abovementioned hunger strike, historical references can be found in campaigns of leaders with nonviolent principles, such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Any type of action has an impact on the stakeholders. The effect of this action, whether coercive or persuasive, may depend on the perception of the stakeholders and the cost that they are willing to be committed with. For example: Gandhi’s hunger strike in 1948 made his opponents give in, not because they were convinced, but because they felt that the political costs of his death would be too high.

One thing is certain: if the abovementioned activists are able to convey what they think, the reason why they are worried and that they are ready to listen to their position, it can produce a positive dynamics in this conflict situation, which could not have happened in any other way. Life is clearly not a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is a choice between violence and less violence.

Therefore, I make an appeal for you to meet the people on hunger strike to listen to them. We hope that in this context of exasperation, the Brazilian judiciary system keeps its vocation of law, but also humility and humanity.


Best Regards,

Rudelmar Bueno de Faria



c/c: Members of ACT Alliance in Brazil