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I suffered Bolsonarista persecution and death threats, in alleged defense of peace – 09/03/2022

I suffered Bolsonarista persecution and death threats, in alleged defense of peace – 09/03/2022
I suffered Bolsonarista persecution and death threats, in alleged defense of peace – 09/03/2022

The brutality of this world, of this country, should never cease to shock us, never be confused with any kind of normality, never become everyday and banal. But it appears so often, and so widespread, that it becomes indistinct, no more than a flashy detail in our social landscape. The violent no longer know they are violent, they attack believing they defend peace. The brutes are believed to be just, and they want to impose their supposed justice by making themselves even more brutal.

It happened as I was leaving a lecture on literature and affection, an intimate conversation in a low voice with a few dozen readers. Suddenly, hundreds of insults, affronts, annoyances began to hit me, all in the muteness of the typed words, in a resounding silent clamor. That day I had published a provocative chronicle about a detail of the September 7th ceremony, a chronicle in which I shifted the common use of a forbidden word and gave it a meaning contrary to the usual one, and I already imagined that it might cause some misunderstanding and criticism. . What I didn’t imagine was that it could be distorted in character and meaning by unscrupulous agencies of disinformation. I didn’t imagine that it would make me the target of a huge smear campaign, with the participation of the president’s children and a former secretary of Culture, making me the enemy of extreme Bolsonarism. I had no idea that I would fall into a whirlwind of vicious attacks and serious death threats against myself and my family.

The first instruction I received from the good people around me was to be silent, not to respond to anything, not to give any more nourishment to hatred. The hate, however, was well fed by itself, and its waste hit me endlessly in my mailboxes, even if I barely wanted to look at them, even if I avoided the nausea of ​​contemplating such barbarity. They guided me not to suffer, not to let myself feel, because that was the intention of the aggressors. But I suffered, I couldn’t stop feeling, and I was becoming fully aware that feeling was essential, it was the imperative of the moment, for me and for everyone. As much as I do, the country should realize that it suffers and stop accepting this suffering, stop accepting another extreme form of violence, this vicious virulence that has taken over all public debate.

Another aspect of the strangest caught my attention at that first moment. While in the networks of the extreme right, thousands raged against me and tried to order my arrest or my death in the meager authority of their voices, in my closest circles almost no one knew anything. All that took place in a reality apart, they were two completely separate worlds, bubbles of information and relationships that seemed to keep no contact. This made the experience of violence even more strange, almost dreamlike and impalpable, aggravating the impression of loneliness and helplessness.
And it made living in the real world more uncertain, and the relationship between virtuality and the concrete world more doubtful. On any street, in the airport lounge, on the plane back home, should I suspect a possible hatred of the guy who appears next to me, should I protect myself from his eventual hostility? It was necessary to find the maximum point of caution that wouldn’t turn into paranoia, that’s what I was recommended, being almost preferable not to exchange glances and not to dialogue. After all, how could I get along with a stranger who appeared to insult or attack me, how could he understand me if our worlds are not connected, if there is no common ground under our feet?

Meanwhile, in the virtual realm, everything became more serious, and the messages offered no sign of any desirable understanding. On the contrary, they were increasingly angry and gloomy, taking on xenophobic hues, describing in detail my future ordeal. That’s when a more qualified threat arrived, when a guy presented himself with a military document and heavy weapons in a sequence of photos, and when he said he would kill me and my family and challenged me to publish his message, that’s when we knew it was necessary. put a stop to it and report everything immediately. UOL offered me all the legal and editorial support, and so we brought to the public the initial chain of manipulations and distortions that gave rise to hatred, and we revealed the seriousness of the unstoppable attacks.

At this point, perhaps a new story begins, the tone of this account changes and becomes much less mournful and somber. Because the network of support and solidarity that was suddenly formed was impressive, the affection and strength that came to me from all sides, from inside and outside the country, in a powerful torrent opposed to the first, much more vital, firmer. If from the start I had the help of my editors and close friends, now I was supported by a series of groups and institutions in defense of culture, journalism, freedom of expression, human rights, groups that fight day by day to oppose the reigning brutality, against violence in all its forms.

There is nothing individual about this story, nothing exceptional or atypical. Along with the messages of support, I also received numerous reports of similar violence faced in the most diverse contexts, almost always in situations of greater homelessness and vulnerability. In every part of Brazil, real and virtual, there has been a brutal persecution of divergent thinking, a curtailment of freedoms carried out not so much by official means, but by the petty and daily attack against each and everyone. Bolsonarism made the country a fiercer and more barbaric place, more cruel and more vile, and we have all somehow lived the consequences of this humanitarian corrosion.

Ignoring or minimizing this state of affairs, naturalizing violence and accepting it as part of the struggle, is no solution: it is our surrender to brutality, our collective surrender to loneliness and helplessness. Fundamental at this point is to affirm a staunch refusal to this corrosive violence, chanting a cry that cannot be lonely. In this common cry I will be protected, I believe, we will all be more protected in the collective. We are together, and we must be together to combat such an extreme degree of wickedness. We suffer, and it is important to admit that we suffer, that we feel this communal pain. It is necessary to feel it in all its intensity to decide together, the whole country, that this is not a tolerable pain.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: suffered Bolsonarista persecution death threats alleged defense peace

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