Dear Paulo Cayres,
On behalf of Unifor and our 315,000 members across Canada, we join the international community in strongly condemning the recent violent demonstrations by far-right groups and supporters of former leader Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s capital city yesterday, just a week after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s inauguration and return as president.
We extend our solidarity with the democratically elected government and with the people and workers of Brazil reeling from these attacks. We condemn all violence by extremist groups that look to undermine democracy and the integrity of our democratic institutions.
Like many, we too were troubled by Bolsonaro’s refusal to acknowledge Lula da Silva’s election victory and his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. However, we were encouraged to see the swift global response denouncing yesterday’s attacks on the Brazilian Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace, with many government leaders, the UN, NGO’s and trade unions, all voicing their support and recognition of President da Silva’s democratically-elected government.
We are concerned how the use of misinformation is increasingly being wielded as a tool by right-wing leaders to sow public doubt into the electoral process as a means to remain in power and how this can quickly escalate to violence – just as we saw last year in Washington D.C. on January 6th. Free and fair elections are the foundation of any strong democratic society. We must continue to remain vigilant and resist those who seek to undermine people’s vote and the peaceful transition of power.
Unifor offers its ongoing support, strength and solidarity in your union’s work and fight in building a country that is fair, just and equitable for all people.