State deputy Marina from the MST (PT-RJ), who was attacked by Bolsonarists last Saturday (12) in Nova Friburgo, in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro, communicated the Civil and Military Police and the Public Ministry about the threats she was facing. receiving due to the holding of a plenary of accounts of his mandate in the district of Lumiar.
Elected with more than 46,000 votes, Marina from the MST is the first landless woman to occupy a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj) representing agendas such as family farming, the fight against hunger and the production of healthy food in the state.
Read more: MST in the mouth of the people: in the midst of the CPI, civil society demonstrates support for the movement and agrarian reform
On the eve of the attacks, the parliamentarian denounced that she received messages of hate from Bolsonarist businessmen in the region and that her public agenda was the target of “fake news” disseminated through audios on WhatsApp. “The surprise was that the institutions knew that this threat existed and were not there to guarantee the exercise of my work”, said the parliamentarian in a post on social networks.
In an interview with Brasil de Fato, Marina from the MST says that she was not received with hostility at first, but after being invited to go up to the bandstand in the square, the attacks and offenses began. The deputy had to be escorted by military police out of the confusion.
“I keep asking myself, if I were a parliamentary man would they be so cowardly? Because they (the aggressors) greeted me, they put me in the middle of the people to be offended. Besides being an extremely undemocratic act, it has serious gender issues”, points out Marina .
She emphasizes messages of solidarity and plans to return to Lumiar for a big political event on August 26th. The mandate also launched a manifesto in defense of the Marina. The president of Alerj, Deputy Rodrigo Bacellar (PL), condemned the act of violence and stated that he will monitor the case “requiring punishment for those responsible for putting the physical integrity of the parliamentarian and her allies at risk”.
In an official note, the legislative house reinforced that ideological disagreement is inherent to the democratic regime. “However, we cannot compromise with violence, whether physical or psychological, even if in the form of coercion, which would aim to impede the work of the eminent parliamentarian”, states the text.
Check out the interview:
Brasil de Fato: How are you and your team doing after the incident?
MST Marina: My team and I are fine. All of Lumiar’s companions who were participating with us are also doing well. We are firm. This event gave a boost, so to speak, to our popular commitment to collective construction. And to make this mandate what we have always proposed, to be an instrument for strengthening popular struggles, popular organization, and above all, the defense and construction of democracy.
What is your political reading of this attack?
What happened was not just a personal attack, but the right of a state representative to exercise her office. So the set of Brazilian institutions, especially in the state of Rio de Janeiro, also felt attacked. All of this was an aggression against democracy.
But we are feeling good, strengthened, mainly because we are being widely defended. I am receiving thousands of messages of solidarity, of affection, of affection, from people, institutions, organizations, from the state, from Brazil, from other countries.
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The defense of a policy based on dialogue is part of democracy. The majority of the population is defending us. I’m feeling strong to continue the fight with the flags of the mandate that we proposed from the beginning.
What activity was scheduled to take place that day in Lumiar?
We were doing what we call a territorial plenary, which is really a campaign commitment to go back to hear what we can do via the legislature to empower the locals.
Imagine a landless woman running for the first time and being elected. It is a great recognition by society of my struggle, the struggle of the MST, and what I have always done in my life.
I have already been to 10 municipalities for this plenary, giving an account of what we have already done at Alerj, but also so that the demands of the territories, of social and popular movements, are heard. Family farming, agroecology, ecology, education, health, culture, women’s rights.
Read more: Policy for valuing peasant women is approved at Alerj in the first discussion
These spaces build real, popular democracy, in which the majority of the population has the right to give their opinion in politics. That was the point. We held a plenary session in the morning in the center of Freiburg and, like so many others, it was wonderful to talk about what we are doing, reflect together on the challenges, listen to the demands.
The video shows a large crowd of people around him uttering offenses that were also misogynistic. Was it a planned action?
It was a planned action. They made contact with our local people wanting to meet me, talk, and I, of course, said “of course, I’m here for that”. I greeted them (aggressors), I think the video shows, those first men in the circle are precisely the organizers. They led me, invited me to go up to the bandstand. But they soon received me with very aggressive and sexist attitudes.
I wonder, if it was a parliamentary man would they be such cowards?
Because they greeted me, they put me in the middle of the people to be offended. In addition to being an extremely undemocratic act, it has serious gender issues.
If it were a man in my place I doubt if they would have acted that way. He is cowardly, sexist and shameful. But he kept me very calm the whole time. I was always aware that I had the right to exercise my duty as a parliamentarian.
We were not surprised because we had already received threats. The surprise was that the police institutions knew that this threat existed and were not there to guarantee the exercise of my work. After the attacks, the pushing and the slogans to leave, the military police led us and guaranteed my safety, the team and everyone else.
With a process of resistance and dialogue, we managed to hold the plenary in the courtyard of the PM battalion. In the midst of so much, we managed to fulfill our right and duty as a parliamentarian to dialogue, listen and be accountable.
Does your mandate regularly receive threats?
It was the first time. On Thursday (10), which preceded the plenary session, a councilor gave a speech full of fake news, lies and distortions. There were also many audio recordings of businessmen from the municipality who were there, who received me and placed me directly in the cradle of lions.
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It was so planned that we received these audios on Friday (11) and immediately communicated to the Civil and Military Police and the Public Ministry that I was receiving threats because of the plenary session.
The police did not do preventive work.
After the confusion, they fulfilled their duty to guarantee our safety, physical integrity and even gave up space in the courtyard of the PM battalion to hold the plenary.
We are setting up a working group to ensure that the Public Ministry recognizes and holds accountable the people who organized it, summoned it, and who were there attacking and offending a project that I, the MST, have defended all my life. We don’t want to let this go unpunished. This attack was not on Marina dos Santos, it was state deputy Marina from the MST, it was on democratic institutions, it was an attack on a project for an egalitarian society that we defend.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Mariana Pitasse