How to Participate in Pro-Democracy Movements?

A while ago I tried to go through this dilemma: write my column or go out with all democrats to demand the return of freedom to Brazil?

I know that many democrats could answer: is there such a dilemma? And they would continue: – It’s leave or leave, without any doubt or hesitation.  Others, more thoughtful, would say: On this August 11, 2022, there is no dilemma. You write and leave. Or leave and write later…

First, I must clarify that I am writing this column on Thursday, because I do not want to delay its publication on Friday. And the protest movement in Recife is in a little while, starting at 3 pm. So how to find the starting point of the text and its development, in order to complete the writer’s duty by 2 pm? The time frame is miserable and cruel: it is 10:30 in the morning, close to 11, and while I am thinking and fixing paragraphs, I would have to leave towards Rua da Aurora. Would I be happy like this, without finishing the text that has become a religious obligation? On the other hand (and there seems to be only one), if I cannot arrive on time, finishing the text at 5:00 p.m., thus absent from the wonderful protest, will my conscience be at peace? Look, if I express myself as a writer, I must say: this absence is the same as a lost night of love. It will never come back.

So I keep thinking and I look for a way out, which could be the rehabilitation of lost texts. I retrieve and leave, I imagine. But it is no use, because the subject and the thought of everything is this: “August 11: acts for democracy happen all over the country; check locations. 25 capitals and the Federal District already have acts for democracy scheduled this Thursday (11th); Besides the capitals, cities in the interior are also organizing demonstrations in defense of the electoral system and democracy”

So, while I think about participating and doing what I must, I comment.

The infamous occupant of the presidency, just this week bellowed: “We just saw a little letter in defense of democracy…..”.

But the letter demanding respect for the democratic vote has almost a million signatures. And it possesses the eloquence of the righteous, of a wave that grows in these words:

In the coming days, amidst these challenges, we will have the beginning of the electoral campaign for the renewal of the mandates of the state and federal legislatures and executives. At this moment, we should have the apex of democracy with the dispute between the various political projects aimed at convincing the electorate of the best proposal for the direction of the country in the coming years.

Instead of a civic party, we are going through a moment of immense danger to the democratic normality, risk to the institutions of the Republic and insinuations of disrespect to the result of the elections.

Unfounded and unproven attacks question the smoothness of the electoral process and the democratic rule of law so hard won by Brazilian society. The threats to the other powers and sectors of civil society, and the incitement to violence and the breakdown of the constitutional order are intolerable.

But we all know that well before the beginning of the campaign, the one who sits back in the chair of the presidency already makes electoral moves in attempts to buy the conscience of the most vulnerable of the Brazilian population, with a handout of 600 reais per month, in order to keep the masses like cattle. There goes the respect he has for the people. He sends them a ration until the elections, and every herd will do what he wants, for what he expects. At the same time, his attacks on the honesty of the ballot box, with the support of the military servile to the denial of Brazil, makes declared or illicit, dishonest boycotts of the legitimate vote.

So speaks the fairest “letter” in recent times:

“Our elections with the electronic counting process have served as an example in the world. We have had several alternations of power with respect to the results of the ballot box and republican transition of government. The electronic ballot boxes have proven to be safe and reliable, as has the Electoral Justice.”

To that end, the genocidal man masquerading as president encourages followers to violence for the killing of Democrats: “Buy your guns.” That is also in the Bible.

To which the letter of Brazilian civilization replies:

“Our civic consciousness is much greater than the opponents of democracy imagine. We know how to put aside minor differences in favor of something much greater, the defense of the democratic order…

In today’s Brazil there is no more room for authoritarian setbacks. Dictatorship and torture belong to the past. The solution to the immense challenges facing Brazilian society necessarily involves respect for the results of the elections.

In civic vigil against attempts at ruptures, we cry out in unison:

Democratic Rule of Law Always!”

Of course, it is more than a letter, it is a roadmap of hope. We all know that the voices of the dictatorship’s past remain unpunished, the murderers walk and shout as if they were brave heroes. We know that torture is still practiced in Brazilian prisons and police stations, that death is a permanent sentence against blacks, the poor and humiliated of Brazil. That the very existence of an animal as president is a reflection of the national barbarism that still survives.

But it is with this script that a clamor of the persecuted is growing, and protests against hunger, the return of the resisters of all ages, young and old back to the rebellion of youth, are gaining importance. News reports say that an electrician named Celestino Conceição Lima, 81 years old, declared:

“In 81 years of life, I have experienced everything. And I can guarantee that democracy is the best regime that Brazil has ever had. I am against any coup. I want to leave my great-grandchildren a Brazil of freedom.”

To me this is living poetry, a proof of humanity that Homer did not sing.

Meanwhile, the writer did not go to the streets. Hell, how could I escape the impasse of being present and not showing up for the wonderful act? I hope friends and readers will grant me the grace to have been among them with these lines. The civilization we are fighting for is the homeland of understanding. And of the most generous consolation too.

Uriarano Moto is author of the novel “Never-Ending Youth.”