The year of 2018 ended to CESE with the dialogue around the subject “Resist and Hope: Dialogues on democracy in times of crisis”, on December 13th, at the Rectory of the Federal University of Bahia – Salvador (BA). The event, promoted in partnership with the Federal University of Bahia and supported by the Brazilian Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (ABONG), had as a proposal to carry out a public activity of critical thinking and analysis that pointed out some clues to a horizon of resistance and hope before the current moment of intensification of intolerances and conservatism.

The date chosen for the activity made reference to th­e 50 years of Institutional Act No. 5, a decree that marked the “lead years” of the military regime. December 13th still inserted itself in the Celebration Week of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Alluding to this historic moment, the Rectory’s noble hall received the exhibition, carried out by the CESE, with the illustrated articles of the International Declaration of Human Rights.


Rector João Carlos Salles (left): “The university is the place of thought if the thought expresses a desire for freedom, if it results from a democratic and collective construction and if, above all, it is a point of contact of the university with the society “.

The CESE executive director, Sonia Mota, highlighted the role of the dialogue panel, which ended a year of activities that were part of the CESE’s 45 years – which began at the World Social Forum when the Universal Declaration of Human Right’s Booklet was launched. “It was in 1973, in the midst of a military dictatorship, when the CESE dared to launch this Booklet for the first time. This year is special because the relaunch also was a starting point to the celebrations of the 70 years of the Declaration, which, when launched, was like a watershed between barbarism and civilization”, said Sonia Mota.

João Pedro Stédile opened the dialogue and indicated clues for the popular movements to get through this political context. From a strategic point of view, he pointed out that the dispute is to make the majority of society think like the working class, “and not like what happened, with the 25% voting in Bolsonaro, against themselves, that is, they assimilated the ideas of the bourgeoisie”, he highlighted.

From a tactical perspective, he emphasized the importance of active resistance from: a) work at the base; b) political formation; c) strategic appropriation of the media; d) stimulate the hearts and minds of youth from the peripheries of Brazilian cities.

The journalist and writer Rosane Borges sees in the articulations of black women ways to rethink these new times and forms of struggle. “It is urgent to fight for the emergence and validation of other subjectivities. Listening to every age black women and all the environments on the edge of the system that have been proposing other forms of political organization, anticipating the catastrophes that begin by ruining the borders. I think the March of the Black Women of 2015 was a phenomena of clairvoyance. Black feminisms have become phenomena of clairvoyance. Some of these black women have seen and see the possibility of something different. What black women see is that it is not enough to question public policies, they are questioning the notion of state, what kind of state people dream about. And this something different was inspired by the platform of the well live, with influence of the indigenous peoples”, says Borges.

The need to discuss racism and sexism within organizations and movements is also brought through the speech of Marizélha Lopes, of the National Movement of Fishermen and Fisherwoman. She points out that the leftists have a lot to learn from the basic formation work carried out by the traditional communities, “who will never stop doing it”, affirm Marizélha.

The presentations of the Choir of Alagados Women, the Sarau da Onça and from the Popular Levante da Juventude were also present at the event, combining art and political reflection.

The importance of continuing denouncing to international partner organizations the setbacks of rights is reminded by theologian and activist Lusmarina Garcia, so they can put pressure on the Brazilian government.

Lusmarina took up the phrase of an Argentine jurist to contribute to the reflection on our times and our origins: ‘with a republican constitutional right and a colonial and oligarchic administrative right, South America grants on the one hand what it withdraws on the other. The freedoms on the surface and slavery deep down’. With the sentence concludes the reflections of the night. “If we do not understand that our historical processes are drawn from this mentality, we will not understand our history. So, resist and hope, always. We will never give up this fight. Because it’s a fair fight and if we give it up, we’re giving up on ourselves. ”




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