Marielle Franco: Parliamentarians create bench around her – 03/14/2023 – Power

Marielle Franco: Parliamentarians create bench around her – 03/14/2023 – Power

Defend the proposals that were championed by Marielle Franco and demand the completion of investigations into her death. These are the main objectives of the deputies to form the Marielle Banquet.

The group is made up of parliamentarians from leftist parties elected in the last election, both for the Chamber of Deputies and for the Legislative Assemblies of different states.

The first agenda was edited for the 2020 municipal elections. The intention was to publish a letter of commitments and help elect more black women. In 2022, the guidelines were updated to reflect the context of the national election. Of the 145 candidates committed to the proposals, 44 were elected.

Five years ago, on the night of March 14, 2018, Marielle and her driver Anderson Gomes were shot dead in an ambush in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

She had been elected in 2016 and was the highest voted councilor in Rio in that dispute.

Former military police officers Ronnie Lessa, accused of being the author of the shots, and Élcio de Queiroz, accused of driving the car used in the crime, were arrested in March 2019 and became defendants for the homicides. Since then, the authorities have been trying to identify possible masterminds of the crime.

In order to maintain Marielle’s political legacy and fight for justice, the Marielle Franco Institute was created, which was led by her sister, Anielle Franco, who left office to be Minister of Racial Equality, in the current Lula government.

In 2020, the organization created the Marielle Franco Agenda, with a set of anti-racist, feminist, LGBTQIA+ practices inspired by what the councilwoman defended during her mandate. The document was created with the support of more than one hundred organizations and has eight priority guidelines.

The axes are economic and social justice; racial justice and public safety; gender, sexuality and reproductive justice; right to the city, the favela and the periphery; quality and integral free public health; free public education; culture and memory and environmental and climate justice and the right to land and territory.

According to Lígia Batista, the institute’s new executive director, the agenda is a tool for political commitments by the signatory parliamentarians. Its objective is to continue the legacy that Marielle built during her political activities.

“The agenda’s idea is that these priority axes can inspire parliamentarians to reflect on public policy throughout their mandates”, he says. According to her, the document was drawn up listening to social movements and civil society organizations.

State deputy Dani Monteiro (PSOL-RJ) is one of the parliamentarians that make up the bench. For her, the institute, in addition to being a space to preserve the legacy, is a place to encourage new leaders.

“In African philosophy there is a bird called Sankofa that flies to the future, but its head is turned to the past. This is part of the institute’s work, to build in the current context the guidelines that Marielle left germinating”, he says.

The deputy says that politics in Brazil has always been marked by violence, even after redemocratization.

“When we black women and favela residents occupied these spaces of power and started to reach the legislative houses, the reaction of the power structure was violent, because they never accepted to divide [o espaço].”

She also claims that the murder of the councilor is also about how public policy is produced for the most vulnerable population. According to her, the message behind Marielle’s death is that the body of a black woman from the favela and lesbian could not occupy that space.

“Whoever committed this brutal and barbaric murder also attacked our democracy and our right to exist. [de quem mandou matar] it is necessary. The Brazilian state owes us that answer,” she says.

Sâmia Bomfim, federal deputy (PSOL-SP), goes along the same lines and demands a solution on the existence or not of those responsible for the crime.

“It’s five years since Marielle’s murder. It’s a crime that still shocks Brazil and the world and the fact that there are no answers makes it urgently necessary to give even greater visibility to what happened.” .

According to the parliamentarian, who also adhered to the agenda, the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, has been making statements and taking important initiatives in the sense of forwarding a resolution to the crime.

State deputy Laura Sito (PT-RS) is also one of the signatories of the document. For the parliamentarian, being part of the bench means helping to build a feminist and anti-racist agenda in Brazil.

Among the actions as a member of the caucus, Sito highlights the fight against gender political violence. “We worked together with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and the TSE so that we could move forward with inspection, control and punishment procedures for this type of violence”, he says.

As a signatory of the Agenda, the deputy states that she intends to prioritize in her parliamentary activities issues related to promoting a dignified life for women and actions to fight hunger.

“When we talk about traditional communities, against land grabbing, land leasing, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, against slave labor, we are talking about sectors that move millions of reais in Brazil. condition of sub-citizenship of black people in Brazil”, he says.

Another parliamentarian who joined the bench was federal deputy Carol Dartora (PT-PR). “Marielle was the symbol of this fight, which didn’t start now”, she says.

For her, the agenda she intends to prioritize in her work in the Chamber is the fight against political violence based on gender and race. “It’s no longer possible for us to suffer so much violence to get there and when we get there we’re just thinking about never coming back”, she says.

According to Dartora, the presence of black women in spaces of power is essential for the democratic advance that the country needs. “Because decisions pass through here. If we are not here, there is a whole population that is silenced along with us”, she says.

Pastor Henrique Vieira, Suplicy, Célia Xakriabá, Benedita da Silva and Talíria Petrone are other parliamentarians who form the Marielle Bench.

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