Five covereadoras who are part of the collective mandate of the Socialist and Liberty Party (PSOL) in the Chamber of Councilors of São Paulo (SP) presented, this Friday (30), a proposal for a municipal plebiscite on the removal of the statue of Borba Gato, located in the south of the city of São Paulo.
“The idea is to open a debate in society about the maintenance or not of these monuments of people who were openly responsible for torturing, enslaving, sexually raping indigenous and black women and men”, says Paula Nunes, activist lawyer of the black movement and who works for the mandate collective.
The proposal was made through a Legislative Decree Project (PDL). To enter the process, signatures of 19 councilors are required. In case of approval, it will be up to the City to organize the referendum.
::Fire at Borba Gato’s statue: video shows “Peripheral Revolution” group starting the fire ::
The initiative is based on the principle that the population must be included in decisions about the occupation of public space in the city.
“It will be up to the population to decide whether the monument will be kept or whether it will go to a museum or other space other than the public road. We want to call the City Council and the City of São Paulo the responsibility of promoting this debate in society”, he points out .
In addition to Paula, coverees Silvia Ferraro, Paula Nunes, Carolina Iara, Dafne Sena and Natália Chaves are part of the collective mandate.
In Brazil, the discussion gained momentum with the fire around the statue of the bandeirante promoted by the group “Revolução Periférica” during the demonstration against the government of Jair Bolsonaro (no party) last Saturday (24).
“This is not the new debate. A number of countries are debating what to do with symbols of people who were responsible for slavery. Some monuments have already started to go to museums and others have been reinvented with artistic manifestations”, explains Paula.
:: What does it mean to remove statues of slavers from public space? ::
Arrested since Wednesday (28), the app deliverer Paulo Roberto da Silva Lima, known as “Galo”, admitted having participated in the action. The objective, according to the activist, was precisely to raise the discussion about the figure of Borba Gato. His wife, Gessica Barbosa, was also arrested.
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Paula criticizes the way in which the government has criminalized those responsible for guiding the issue. “Because of a discussion that is very necessary in society, two people are being held in an arbitrary and illegal prison”, he denounces.
Edition: Rebeca Cavalcante