The CSP-Conlutas expresses full support to comrades Paulo Galo, Géssica and Biu, who were put in temporary detention, Wednesday (28), under investigation about an eventual and alleged torching of the statue of the slave merchant Borba Gato, which occurred last Saturday 24th, in Sao Paulo.
Galo is delivery app worker and is a leader of the “Entregadores Antifascistas” (Anti-Fascist Deliverers) movement. He is also a member of the Revolução Periféria (Peripheral Revolution) movement, which has claimed responsibility for the burning of the statue of the Borba Gato, in São Paulo. The arrest was announced when he voluntarily presented himself at the Police Station. Besides Galo, his family was surprised with the arrest warrant for his partner Géssica, who was not even at the 24J rally this past weekend. The couple has a three-year-old daughter.
The arrests are arbitrary and have demonstrated the selectivity to criminalize workers and social activists who struggle and fight against capitalism and the history of the slave-owning and racist elite in Brazil. In addition to the unjustified detention of Géssica, the temporary arrest for those who voluntarily present themselves to the police is an unjustified absurdity. The action of whoever it is to burn a symbol of racism, which left no victims, presents no legal justification for the arrest. It is therefore a political arrest.
Galo, upon arriving at the police station, said that the objective of the movement with this action on Saturday was precisely to discuss the fact that we continue to honor genocides, murderers, rapists with statues.
The statue of Manuel de Borba Gato pays homage to the past of the slave accused of the genocide of indigenous and black people. He began his expeditions with his father-in-law, Fernão Dias Paes. He participated in the so-called War of the Emboabas. He was a slave-owner whose history mentions the torture and rape of black and indigenous women. He was responsible for the hunting and sale of more than 300,000 indigenous people for the plantation lords of the northeast.
In Brazil you can burn the Pantanal, the National Museum, the Amazon and the homeless people who sleep in the street and nobody is punished. But to burn the statue, which does not bleed or feel pain, of a murderer who symbolizes the oligarchy, is unacceptable for the bourgeoisie and its governments.
We would like to see statues of the children murdered by the police, of the indigenous Galdino burned by a rich racist, of the black woman dragged by the police car, of the many Amarildos disappeared! We would like to see a monument to the workers murdered in Volta Redonda in 87 and to the thousands murdered and disappeared by the military regime of 64! We would also like to see punished the military who blew up the bomb in Riocentro, the newsstands and the OAB (Order of Lawyers of Brazil) of Rio de Janeiro during the dictatorship in Brazil.
The CSP-Conlutas stands in solidarity with the Revolução Periférica movement that brought the theme visible today in several countries where acts and broad protests are questioning and overthrowing racist and colonial symbols. Let us revise our history, let the people tell it and not be colonized or criminalized! No more statues, street names, schools or public buildings that pay homage to slavers, dictators, generals, torturers, rapists, exploiters and oppressors of all kinds.
Protest is not a crime! Freedom for Galo and Géssica!