March 15, 2018
On the night of March 14, 2018, Marielle Franco, a member of Brazil's Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) and a city councillor in Rio de Janeiro, was brutally murdered, along with her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. All the evidence so far available, even that reported by the press, suggests that this was a politically motivated assassination.
Marielle, a black woman who was born and raised in the favelas, was one of the highest vote-getters in Rio's 2016 city council race, taking office with over 50,000 votes. Her mass appeal was due to a long history of fighting for the rights of workers, the residents of the city's favelas, and being an outspoken critic of the horrific police and military repression that plague the working people of Brazil.
When she was murdered, Marielle was returning from an event she had organized called "Black Youth Moving Structures." Her murder came in the wake of her pointed criticism of the military presence in Rio in the past month. And yesterday, on the day of Marielle's murder, public workers attempted to occupy the São Paulo city council in protest of a disastrous pension slashing bill proposed by that city's mayor. The police repression was so bad that numerous workers were hospitalized.
Marielle was not just a fighter for the working class, for people of color, and for women, she was a symbol of a rising tide; she was a representative of the mass discontent and willingness to fight that will persist among the working class of Brazil in the face of abominable exploitation, corruption, and terror. Her murder is a crime against the working people of Rio, Brazil, and the world.
While we here in East Bay DSA may be thousands of miles away, we know that our struggle is deeply intertwined with that of our comrades in Rio and all people who fight for liberation from the cruel machinations of capital. We stand in solidarity with PSOL, Marielle, and the working people of Brazil.
We demand an investigation of the utmost transparency and rigor. The truth of this horrible crime must be brought to light and those responsible must be held to account.
—East Bay DSA Steering Committee