FREE RAFAEL VIEIRA – RIOTS AND BRAZILIAN RACISM
For most people, the Brazilian urban riots that happened last June (2013) was a major wakening call for social and political change in the country.
Suddenly the streets was overrun by more than 2 million people who were calling out for social justice, the end of corruption and better public services.
As the misuse of public money to build overbilled stadiums for the 2014 World Cup were massively questioned on the streets, police brutality rapidly took place against students, women, elders and even pregnant ladies.
President Dilma Rousseff aired on national television promising a referendum over political reform, as claimed by the protesters. But the plebiscite was vetoed by the Congress.
Seven months later and nothing has been done regarding the people’s demands on the demonstrations. In fact, only one man is being unfairly penalized for the riots: RAFAEL VIEIRA, an innocent 26 year-old homeless black-man (see picture).
He was violently reprimanded in the midst of the riots in Rio de Janeiro, as he was leaving an abandoned store – that was looted prior to his coming – carrying a cleaning detergent.
He was arrested for 5 years charged with the accusation of carrying a molotov cocktail.
According to the defense, there was no cloth in the bottles (as usual in incendiary bombs), contrary to the written report, and plastic containers never serve as Molotov, since it does not shatter when breaking down.
But one thing is a fact: Rafael Vieira is black and poor. Black, homeless and can collector (recycler), Vieira is the first condemned the protests of June in Brazil.
Along its history, Brazil has seen various facets of racism. A barely noticeable, sophisticated, subtle racism that victimizes thousands of people daily. A country where a state of genocide occurs, given that young blacks are being gradually murdered and held daily, with the passive complicity of the population and the media.
For this reason, I wrote this text as an outcry for international social media, International amnesty or whoever wants to spread this in order to bring attention to this unfair decision.
As black activists and freedom fighters, we claim for the freedom of Rafael Vieira and against the state of opression suffered by our people.
Brazil, January 4th, 2014.
Emerson Déo Cardoso.