Remove Bolsonaro

Dora Longo Bahia. Revolutions (calendar design), 2016 Acrylic, water-based pen and watercolor on paper (12 pieces) 23 x 30.5 cm each
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By CHICO WHITAKER*

Every day that passes with this execrable person in charge of the government more destructive initiatives he takes

It finally began to echo in the Brazilian streets – albeit timidly, on the II Caminhada do Silencio in São Paulo, last March 31st – the cry Out Bolsonaro Already!, in the face of the social, political and economic disaster that Brazil has been progressively thrown into with the election, in 2018, of the current President of the Republic. This shout adds one more word – already! – in the cry that began to spread throughout the country in the first month of the second year of his misrule.

Much earlier, in the first months of his mandate, requests for impeachment for crimes of responsibility began to accumulate on the table of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, who is responsible for deciding on the initiation of this process. Today there are almost 150, subscribed by the most diverse social sectors. The reasons for this have also been accumulating and diversifying, since the day when, shortly after taking office, he said in Washington, capital of the empire of which he is a faithful servant, that his mission was to destroy.

Soon after, he showed, in a video that he shared on his own Twitter account and which provoked the second request for impeachment, that he had not the slightest notion of the “dignity, honor and decorum”, as the Constitution says, of the position he had assumed. (episode of golden shower on Avenida Paulista). And in the third month of his misgovernment, he already took a stand for the return of the military to power in Brazil (which he reaffirmed on March 31). The destruction he referred to in Washington was exactly that of all the civilizing advances that Brazilian society had been able to build after the military dictatorship imposed on us in 1964.

But the impeachment was soon found to be unfeasible. Rodrigo Maia, the President of the Chamber who received the first requests, did not submit them to a vote, nor the following ones, as he considered the number of votes needed to approve them insufficient, given the venality of the majority of deputies, partners in Bolsonaro’s electoral wave. . And this insufficiency was even more assured when Artur Lira, the current President of the Chamber, started to use, in all legislative decisions, the so-called “secret budget”, contested without much result even by the STF. This instrument of corruption, invented by him to install this “misconduct” at the heart of the power he presides over, allows him to satisfy the majority’s hunger for public money, of which he is also a part, with the so-called “rapporteur’s amendments”. , which allocate Union funds to their electoral strongholds, obviously giving rise to many “leftovers” and bribes for the pockets of those thus purchased.

The first months of the second year of Bolsonaro’s misgovernment were already marked by the choice of criminal proceedings to remove the President. Representations to the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, listed the common crimes he was committing in the face of the pandemic, in which another of the harmful facets of his personality was revealed: his mental disorders, which could be classified as psychopathy, made him more dangerous than the disease that ravaged the world.

Propagandating innocuous and even lethal remedies and opposing vaccines – which for him seemed to be only useful for business deals – as well as the other precautions recommended by international organizations, caused, without any empathy with the victims' relatives, thousands of preventable deaths. Representations to the Public Ministry denouncing the President were forwarded one after the other – the first in January 2021, the last in June of that same year – by four reputable civil society organizations.

In October, the representation of the CPI of the pandemic reached the head of the Public Ministry, even more consistent. All assumed that the Attorney General would fulfill his constitutional duty to denounce Bolsonaro to the Federal Supreme Court and that, once the Chamber authorized the opening of criminal proceedings, the President would be immediately removed from his position.

But this path to removal, which would seem faster than impeachment, was blocked by the Attorney General himself, appointed to this position by Bolsonaro precisely to shield him. His inaction in the face of these representations was actually a crime of prevarication, of which he was soon accused to the STF by the Arns Commission. But the decision-making pace of our courts has little to do with national urgencies.

For their part, some of the organizations that forwarded these representations seem to be skeptical of their effectiveness, as if they had decided to forward them only to take a stand and leave a record of their action in history, thereby protecting themselves from future accusations of omission. Or they considered that what they had already done was good enough and it would only be up to them to wait. They were thus left sleeping the sleep of the just, totally ignored by the Attorney General. But what can be done in the face of this, since even a small number of members of the Public Prosecutor's Office have not been able to rise up against their boss's prevarication, all of them becoming accomplices in his crime?

To crown all this sadness, the positions of the Attorney General were unexpectedly and surprisingly reinforced by the STF itself with the preliminary decision of one of its justices – still to be validated by the plenary of that Court – in a process initiated by allies of the President. This injunction justified the Attorney General's inaction based on his functional independence, attributed to him by the Constitution. But with that, unlike the more demanding decisions of other ministers, in practice the injunction authorized him to prevaricate by protecting a habitual criminal and, therefore, acting in the exact opposite direction to the objective defined for his position, with all his right to functional independence.

But at the same time, it was essential to remove the current President of the Republic as soon as possible. With each day that passed with that execrable person in charge of the government, he would take more destructive initiatives – the famous “boiadas” to pass while everyone was concerned about the pandemic, as one of his equally execrable Ministers recommended in a ministerial meeting. And it would cause more suffering for the people, with their actions in favor of business and the greater lethality of the pandemic. It was then that, in the immense opaque sea of ​​concerns, the proposal to add the word “Já!” to the slogan “Fora Bolsonaro”. But it was not even possible to have it discussed in the forums for conducting the Fora Bolsonaro campaign, which has long been spread around the world. It thus seemed that the force of Evil had penetrated into all sectors and levels of life in the country.

A final path then emerged to rid Brazil of the Bolsonaro nightmare: ask the Senate to use the power conferred on it in the Constitution to decree the impeachment of the Attorney General of the Republic, for criminally blocking the path of criminal prosecution. More than a thousand people then sent, individually, an Open Letter to each of the senators asking them to, as representatives of the people elected by him, fulfill their duty to dismiss the PGR (there is still time to sign this Letter so that it can be sent to the Senate. If you want it, go to https://ocandeeiro.org/fora-aras-ja). But as far as anyone knows here in the plains where we live, the emails either ended up in the junk mail of that so-called people's house and were protected by them, or they didn't move many people at the highest level of the Legislative Power. A very few confirmed receipt, but that was it…

What to do then? Despair without remedy? Or pretend that what's going on around us isn't up to us, even if we bump into people sleeping in the street? Have we lost all timing, and we no longer have time ahead to remove Aras from political power, much less Bolsonaro? Will we have to accept that the only power left to us, as citizens, which is great and ours alone – is the exercise of voting to choose who represents us in the Legislative and Executive Powers? And so we adapt, all of us, to the solution found by professional politicians: to overthrow Bolsonaro in the next October election, as if we were living in normal times of democratic alternation in power?

But while we think about what to do, the media space is being taken over by the parties, which exist to dispute power, and by candidates for the Presidency, the Chamber and the Senate, who for two months have been moving intensely to attract voters and for candidate vacancies , even changing parties if necessary. What to do if such hustle and bustle is further fueled by polls and by the media that delight in offering the spectacle of negotiations, duly commented, between the foxes of politics?

At the same time, television screens occupy us with championships, musical bands and even images and news of the current war, interspersed with advertisements for products that will bring us happiness and investments that will make us rich. Everything seems to conspire to apply a general anesthesia to all of us, without our noticing it, that will also make us get used to our impotence, helping us to keep our indignations somewhere protected in our consciences. Preparing ourselves for the gray world in which we will wake up after this terrible period in our country's history ends.

All this reminds me of Brecht's poem about the rise of Nazism. He told us, in other words: they came for someone I knew and I didn't say or do anything; they then came looking for someone closer and I didn't move either; then they came for my neighbor next door, who was even half a relative, but I continued without saying or doing anything; until one day they came for me. It is the “naturalization” of what happens, with the unacceptable and the indefensible becoming normal, the worst disease that can affect a country.

Thus, victimized by it, we let the avalanche of messages and news that reach us even in the depths of our cell phones keep us busy, and forgetting that, before the 2018 elections, new types of criminals came from abroad, specialized in algorithms and fake news, to train our technicians in the service of evil. And we let them act, thinking that they would be blocked by some power of the Republic really concerned with malicious electoral manipulations. But they managed to secure Bolsonaro's unbelievable electoral victory. He then took power, with his foul language with which he understands his most primitive supporters. And soon the first destructive “herds” began to pass, in fulfillment of their promises, but we thought that everything could be remedied later. Today we realize the scale of the effort that will be required if we are to rebuild the country.

We also forgot the scare we had afterwards, with the first 100.000 victims of the pandemic. So we thought it would stop there and we lived our lives as best we could, in our isolation. We are now approaching 700.000 deaths.

Those who did not know that “cracks” were commonplace in our Legislatures were scandalized when the Queirozes da Vida were denounced, tasked with collecting the fruits of these thefts, with which Bolsonaro’s parliamentary children were enriched and which he had already used. Today, the President of the Republic's corporate credit card is enough for him. And we were just scandalized by the assistants of a Minister who asked, as a bribe for the services they provided with public funds, some adorned percentage of a kilo of gold – which obtaining through illegal mining was and continues to be encouraged by Bolsonaro and his generals, even though destroy rivers, forests and indigenous and riverside communities and contaminate them with mercury. But we live in times of impunity, starting with that of the President himself... And we haven't even been informed of the volume of profits obtained by some and others from the sale of national heritage or from deforestation and other environmental crimes...

Meanwhile, little by little Bolsonaro is already resuming his angry attacks against the STF and the polls – now in the company of a new general as a candidate for vice. And I'm not sure we can convince a lot of people to protest in the streets – according to political experts, this is what really causes the downfall of bad governments. I am also not sure that we still have room for other types of possible and necessary pressure: on the Senate, for it to take a decision for the first time that will mark the history of Brazil, dismissing an Attorney General of the Republic; on the new Attorney General who assumes this position, so that he does not orient himself like the dismissed Attorney; on the STF itself, so that it does not validate the sad injunction that opened space for Aras' prevarication; on the House, so that it authorizes Bolsonaro's criminal prosecution, if the Senate does not dismiss the PGR first. Even if none of this achieves its objectives, it would at least serve to erode, in the eyes of the many uninformed people in our country, Bolsonaro's candidacy for re-election, as well as help the election of a Congress with fewer opportunists.

However, a great doubt still hangs over us, less blue than the banner of hope: what if Bolsonaro and his gang prevent the elections, when they are convinced that they will be defeated, repeating something similar to what they have already done in an attempt to turn the tables on September 7th, when they placed 100 giant trucks on the Esplanada dos Ministérios, with people breaking through the barriers during the night that prevented them from going down to Praça dos Três Poderes, while the President of the STF lived, despite being protected by the guards he had summoned , the most tense day of his life, as he himself just said?

And if after the elections, given their results, Bolsonaro and his gang declare that there was fraud, and his militias, PMs and repressed civilians start using weapons, whose entry into the country he practically released, to “justify” the President’s opponents, as well as the “communists”, the blacks, the indigenous, the LGBTs, and even the women who stood up for their rights? And if, because of the chaos thus created, our “armed forces” intervene to bring order to the place and then, since they have even arrested the unspeakable, they take power for another 15 years of military authoritarianism, submissive to the great dominant economic interests in the world?

Perhaps we will be saved by what D.Helder Câmara, one of our champion Bishops in the fight against the dictatorship, called “abrahamic minorities”, saying that “the The world will not change through the isolated action of enlightened leaders, but through the communal efforts of resistance and prophecy groups.”. May these groups also remember what said D. Evaristo Arns, another of our bishops, champion of the fight against torture in that same dictatorship, when saying goodbye to those who visited him: “strength and courage!” It is what we urgently need. Maybe Pope Francis, so that we don't leave the world of religious committed to everyone's fate, will give us his blessing.

*Chico Whitaker is an architect and social activist. He was councilor in São Paulo. He is currently a consultant to the Brazilian Commission for Justice and Peace.

 

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