On July 10th, Red Aid and Austin community members created a solidarity video for four Brazilian peasant political prisoners, Ezequiel, Luis Carlos, Ricardo, and Estefane. The video was covered by revolutionary publication Tribune of the People, and can be viewed here. The peasants mentioned in the video were initially arrested on May 21st in the state of Rondônia during an illegal encirclement by law enforcement and landowners. The catalyst to create the video came after the peasants were denied release following a judicial hearing on June 29th. During the hearing, Brazilian legal officials ignored concrete evidence of the peasants’ innocence and then stated that their release would jeopardize “public order.”
The creation of the video is part of a larger international effort to demand for the immediate release of the four peasant political prisoners. Red Aid participated in this effort in order to emphasize internationalism in the American movement to support political prisoners. It is important to recognize that the struggles of the Brazilian peasants and their ongoing fight for land is part of a larger struggle that is shared by oppressed peoples all over the world. Standing in solidarity with those who take part in this struggle is a crucial aspect in the larger fight for liberation.
The people are targeted with arrest and trumped-up charges when they take a stand against oppression and exploitation, and the people still remain brave in the face lengthy repressive sentences. The repressive state is desperately trying to prevent future uprisings, and in response to this, we have seen inspiring defiance and resistance. We are proud to stand in solidarity with the Brazilian prisoners Ezequiel, Luis Carlos, Ricardo, and Estefane, and we demand their immediate release!
The transcript on the speech is below:
We stand in solidarity with the four Brazilian peasants who were recently denied their freedom by the Brazilian courts. The first arrests took place on May 14 at the Camp Manoel Ribeiro, where an illegal encirclement of the camp by landowners and the police had been occurring. It was during this encirclement that the four peasants were arrested by military police and have since been in custody as they face charges of criminal association, attempted murder, and illegally carrying weapons. On June 29 during a farcical hearing for the peasants, prosecutors ignored video evidence of the peasants’ innocence and denied their release, stating that keeping them in custody was necessary to maintain so called “public order.”
The denial of these young people’s freedom is a cowardly attempt on the part of the Brazilian government to criminalize and intimidate those who justly fight for their land. However we know that the peasants cannot be frightened into complicity and will continue to fight on the path to justice against those who work to deny them their land. We know that the peasant struggle is a struggle shared around the world, a struggle that inspires oppressed people the world over to take action against their unjust conditions. It is an indispensable part of the fight for a better world! This is why we here in Austin stand in solidarity with those who fight in the just and righteous struggle for land, and demand the immediate release of political prisoners Ezequiel, Luis Carlos, Estefane and Ricardo!
Free the political prisoners from Camp Manoel Ribeiro!
Liberta todos os prisioneiros políticos!
Free all political prisoners!