The cry of the “powerless”

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Tadorned himself It is urgent and essential to remove the President of the Republic. We can no longer wait for impeachment or the 2022 elections

In number of deaths from the pandemic that plagues the planet, Brazil is in second place in the world, exceeding 390.000 deaths. And in the first place in the pace of increase in that number.

Perplexity, anguish and fear cannot, however, paralyze us, as spectators of this tragedy. It is time for a resounding cry of the “Powerless”. Like the “enough!” that begins to echo around the world, because Brazil is becoming a new epicenter of the disease, with even more lethal variants.

The expression “without power” could come from the Bible, from the narratives of the resistance of the impoverished people, in the book of Daniel. But it was coined by the Czechoslovak playwright Vaclav Havel, after the “Prague Spring” of 1968, the year in which the world was shaken by revolts by young people and not so young. In May, in France, student protests against various forms of oppression shook power structures. They did not achieve change, but they made explicit dreams that fueled rebellion in the world. In June, young Brazilians rose up against the military dictatorship, in the “March of the 5”, but in December came the AI ​​XNUMX of sad memory.

In Czechoslovakia it all started in January. The government itself, headed by “reformist” leaders of the Communist Party, started the “Spring” opening the way, with reforms, for what was called “socialism with a human face”, with the decentralization of the economy, the guarantee of citizens’ rights , freedom of the press, expression and organisation.

In August troops from the Soviet Union invaded the country, replacing the rulers with puppets. But they could not massacre the “dissidents” and “non-conformists”, as they had done in Hungary twelve years earlier: citizens resisted non-violently. They reversed road signs to get tanks back to Moscow, refused to cooperate with the Soviets. Young Jan Palach protested by immolating himself with fire.

Resistance continued. Havel and other intellectuals wrote Manifesto 1977 in 77. They were arrested. In 78, Havel wrote “O Poder dos Sem Poder”, about the struggle of those who did not have institutional political power but, like himself, resisted. In 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, elections led him to the Presidency of the country. Dubcek – the “reformist” President ousted in 1968 – became President of Parliament.

While this was happening, Brazil resumed, with the promulgation of a new Constitution, the construction of its democracy, interrupted in 64. But today, thirty-two years later, we are practically the only country in which a large part of the deaths caused by Covid are , unbelievably, directly provoked by the criminal act and omission of its own government.

In fact, as soon as the pandemic started – and until today – the President of the Republic acts as if he had planned a massacre: he minimizes the lethal nature of the disease, confuses the population on how to face it, induces the use of innocuous drugs with serious effects collateral, hinders the purchase of vaccines, dismantles health services, hinders the action of governors and mayors. And, like a psychopath, he demonstrates a cruel insensitivity to the pain of the bereaved.

It therefore became urgent and essential to remove the President of the Republic. We can no longer wait for impeachment or for the 2022 elections. We all need to support the Brazilian Bar Association and the 342 Arts Movement, of jurists and artists, who opened another path for this removal. In representations to the Public Ministry, they accused the President of the Republic of crimes provided for in the Penal Code and asked for a complaint to the Federal Supreme Court. If the Chamber of Deputies authorizes criminal prosecution, the President will be removed for 180 days.

Forty civil society organizations, headed by the Center for Biblical Studies, sent an Open Letter to the Superior Council of the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, asking that institution to file a complaint and not be considered co-responsible, by omission, for the tragedy we are experiencing. The Charter receives new adhesions in It is necessary that thousands of “without power” publicize and subscribe to it.

*Chico Whitaker He is a consultant for the Brazilian Commission for Justice and Peace.

*Marcelo Barros he is a Benedictine monk, theologian and adviser to social movements.

*Rafael Rodrigues he is the National Director of the Center for Biblical Studies – CEBI.

*Waldir A. Augusti is a philosopher, adviser to pastoral care and social movements and co-founder of Instituto Padre Ticão.


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