Coup in Brazil: one of Brazil’s greatest popular leaders, Boulos is arrested during a demonstration

Throughout the whole process of Dilma Roussef’s impeachment in 2016, DEM and PSDB – the latter Geraldo Alckmin’s party and the former a tradicional ally – accused Guilherme Boulos to ‘incite...

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Throughout the whole process of Dilma Roussef’s impeachment in 2016, DEM and PSDB – the latter Geraldo Alckmin’s party and the former a tradicional ally – accused Guilherme Boulos to ‘incite violence’ during demonstrations and forced upon him a series of legal actions on an attempt to silence his voice

Translated by Gabriel Rabelo

In the morning of this Tuesday 16th, was arrested the leader of the Homeless Urban Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Teto or MTST), Guilherme Boulos. He was arrested during a repossession action at Colonial, an occupation settlement east side of São Paulo, at São Mateus district. Around 700 family groups – more than 3 thousand people – have been occupying the area for more than a year. The social leader was intermediating negotiations between the workers and the government of São Paulo state. Although MTST was not part of the occupation, Boulos was willing to find an alternative that would not lead the parts to a violent denouement.

Overseen by Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB). the Military Police got at the settlement at dawn. The ‘Tropa de Choque’ – a special troop designed to deal with violent outbursts – was ready to take action. Even though Boulos declared his objective was to seek for a non violent solution, he was arrested for civil desobidience by the troop’s captain, who interpreted Boulo’s efforts as an obstacle to the operation.

Boulos got arrested at the 49th Police Department in São Mateus district until 8:00pm.

It has been a while since the MTST enemies have started a campaign to criminalize its leader. Throughout the whole process of Dilma Roussef’s impeachment in 2016, DEM and PSDB – the latter Geraldo Alckmin’s party and the former a tradicional ally – accused Guilherme Boulos to ‘incite violence’ during demonstrations and forced upon him a series of legal actions on an attempt to silence his voice.

His announcement during the impeachment process in which que declared ‘there will be resistance’ to the coup that was being designed, was the argument on which both parties based their accusation. The activist was even accused of ‘forming a private militia’ by DEM party.

Brazil is experiencing in the wake of Dilma Roussef’s impeachment a new wave of arbitrary use of power against social movements that have been continually under attack.

Guilherme Boulos is 34 years old and since 2002 is the leader of the Homeless Urban Workers Movement (MTST). He studied Philosophy, Human Sciences and Literature at the University of São Paulo (USP) and has a post-graduation degree in Psychology. Skilful negotiator, Boulos has gained the workers respect and has popped up as one of the youngest social leaders to arise in Brazil in the last years.

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