The return of work at the City Council in Fortaleza, this Thursday (1st), saw episodes of aggression during protests and a suspended session amid Mayor José Sarto’s (PDT) speech. While the head of the Executive gave the opening speech, councilor Nurse Ana Paula (PDT) went to the tribune where Sarto was to demand demands from the Health area. The president of the Chamber, Gardel Rolim (PDT), tried to remove the parliamentarian of the protest in the middle of the Plenary to follow the mayor’s speech, but tempers flared, resulting in the attack on another councilor who was trying to intervene in the episode.
Faced with attempts by councilor Cláudia Gomes (PSDB) to remove Ana Paula from Tribuna, while she spoke in an altered manner against the president of the House, Ana Paula slapped the councilor in the face, pushing her. They had to be separated by other parliamentarians and advisors who were nearby at the time of the fight and the session ended up being interrupted.
The moment happened during Mayor José Sarto’s speech in the House’s gallery. Representatives from Sindsaúde Ceará interrupted the manager’s speech inside the plenary, at the same time that Nurse Ana Paula joined the protest.
Councilor Cláudia Gomes, after the fact, said she was shaken by what happened. “The moment I tried to approach the president, one of the protesters stopped me, and one of the councilors started shouting at me, asking what I was doing there. I said: ‘I want to talk to my president’, because he I was in a difficult situation, cornered, you could say. And I went to talk to him to get him out of there. And at that moment I was pushed, including in my face, when I was going to push him, the hand hit my face , it hurt a lot. At the time, I said: ‘What’s happening, councilor?’. She started screaming uncontrollably and another councilor took her off me, because otherwise I don’t know what would have happened.”
Ana Paula defends herself
Councilor Nurse Ana Paula defended herself against accusations of aggression. According to her, Cláudia Gomes pushed her first and she fought back. The images do not show Gomes’ previous aggression.
“Councilwoman Cláudia left her seat to intervene, whoever was there saw that there was a push from her, and I only responded to the push to tell her not to touch me or my sister, who was inside the plenary”, informed Ana Paula.
She also highlighted that she was a victim of hostility when she started the protest during José Sarto’s speech, as she received boos from other councilors allied with the mayor. The councilor stated that she has been “harshly persecuted” in the Legislature.
“Two women being booed by a bunch of men, two health workers. (…) I have been severely persecuted. (…) The City Council has made me mentally ill. Sexism in politics has made me ill. I am fighting to to get out of this situation of illness, but this space here is very difficult”, reported Ana Paula.
Outside the plenary
After the interruption, parliamentarians went to the House presidency room to try to calm the situation. According to those present heard by Diário do Nordeste, however, councilor Nurse Ana Paula allegedly committed other attacks after the plenary session was interrupted.
An alternate councillor, Júnior Aquino, said that there was a commotion outside the plenary, in which the councilor fell. Soon after, she stated that she had been pushed. Upon seeing that Aquino was filming the situation, the councilor allegedly went towards him.
“She slapped me in the face and punched me twice and ‘threw’ her hand on my cell phone, the cell phone fell. I’m leaving here now, at this moment, with my lawyer to the police station, to do a forensic examination. At the House of the People, no type of aggression should be accepted”, narrated Aquino.
Regarding Aquino, she said that the deputy councilor would have filmed her panties, as the parliamentarian fell when leaving the plenary. “When I tripped here, the security guards were punching me in the stomach, I tripped, fell and I’m wearing a skirt today, as you can see. And the guy was filming my panties here, I can’t be complicit in that. (…) He was filming me and my panties looking like, I won’t allow it, I won’t allow it”, he said.
Mayor José Sarto called the episode “regrettable” and “anti-democracy”.
In his speech, he reinforced that male and female teachers — who were in the galleries of the City Council protesting the salary adjustment — were “democratically” demonstrating, including booing, but that they were “kind” after the mayor announced a meeting with the category for this Friday (2).