The Center for Policing Equity released the following statement regarding Sunday’s attack on Brazil’s government institutions—by the right-wing supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro:
The Center for Policing Equity adamantly denounces the violence witnessed in Brazil this weekend.
While details emerge and the full scale of infractions come to light, it is clear that the coordinated invasion of the seat of the Brazilian nation’s government, fueled as it was by hatred, authoritarian populism, and false information, was an attack on democracy. The people of Brazil made their choice clear in 2022 with the election of Workers’ Party member President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Now, months later, insurrectionists have stormed the nation’s Congress, Supreme Court, and Presidential Palace in a frightening demonstration of violence to support the former conservative President Jair Bolsonaro after his failed bid for reelection.
These atrocious acts are a dangerous show of terror against Brazilians who dared vote for a leader dedicated to solving socio-economical and environmental concerns. The Brazilian insurrection was clearly inspired by this country’s insurrection on January 6 , 2021, but the efforts of far-right extremists to disrupt democratically-elected governments in favor of defeated candidates is not the only experience our nations share.
During the slave-trade era, more enslaved Africans were brought to Brazil than to any other country, and the United States continues to benefit financially to this day from its own sordid history of enslavement. The White supremacy from which we seek liberation in the U.S. is just as powerful a force in Brazil, where police use of force is measured not in bodies buried, but in bullets used per day. This violence cuts into the core of the democratic necessity of peaceful transitions of power, throws any sense of normalcy into disarray, and plants seeds of fear and doubt about the entire democratic enterprise.
If we fail to see the connections between our nations’ histories and liberation movements, those who would keep those connections hidden in order to keep us divided, win.
Any discussions about public safety must include all facets of personal, communal, and societal security. Hate-fueled ideologies are insidious, demonstrably anti-democratic, and cause irreversible harm to humanity as a whole, particularly to Black and Brown people worldwide.
We must consistently call out the root cause of such violence so that it does not continue to replicate around the globe. White supremacy, racism, and misogyny are a threat to democracy everywhere and must not be given air to breathe in any corner of the world.