Today, August 20, marks the 500th day that former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva has been a political prisoner.

UNI is joining the global labor movement and the nearly 100,000 people who have signed the recently launched petition calling for the annulment of the corrupt trial that unjustly sent him to prison.

“Corporations and the moneyed elites did not want Lula in office because his government lifted tens-of-millions of Brazilians out of poverty and championed trade union rights. He has stood with working people his whole life, and the global labor movement will keep standing with him until he is cleared of these trumped-up charges,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI.

Lula was jailed to stop him from running for president against far-right extremist Jair Bolsonaro and to advance the legislative coup that removed his successor as president, Dilma Rousseff. As a candidate Lula pledged the continuation of the pro-poor, pro-environment policies he and Rousseff introduced.

Marcio Monzane, Regional Secretary of UNI Americas, said, “Today, we reaffirm that Lula is a political prisoner; but the right wing forces will not succeed in silencing the most popular president of Brazil, nor the social and union movements. We will continue marching in the streets and fighting from all fronts for the release of Lula, and against the government’s regressive policies.”

The UN Human Rights Committee called for Lula to be allowed to stand in the presidential elections.

The toll of the right wing coup is being felt by Brazil’s workers, with social justice measures being rolled back, insecure employment promoted, and unions under fire. The Bolsonaro regime is also attacking the environment, women’s rights, the rights of indigenous people, and LGBT communities.

UNI supports today’s global action to draw attention to Lula’s status as a political prisoner.

Now you can take part in the campaign to #FreeLula, by:

UNI Americas