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The far-right Bolsonaro movement wants us dead. But we will not give up

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From The Guardian

Demagogues rely on fear to consolidate power. But courage is contagious that's why we must join hands and fight back

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Greenwald and Miranda.
Greenwald and Miranda.
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Elza Fiúza / Agência Brasil, Author: Elza Fiúza / Agência Brasil)
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Substantial media coverage over the last year, within Brazil and internationally, has been devoted to threats and attacks we each received, separately and together, due to our work -- David's as a congressman and Glenn's as a journalist. These incidents have been depicted, rightfully so, as reflective of the increasingly violent and anti-democratic climate prevailing in Brazil as a result of the far-right, authoritarian, dictatorship-supporting movement of President Jair Bolsonaro, which consolidated substantial power in the election held at the end of 2018.

There was much discussion when David entered congress in early 2019 after the only other openly LGBTQ+ congress member, Jean Wyllys, fled his seat and the country in fear of his life. As a longtime LGBTQ+ celebrity and sole LGBTQ+ member of congress, Wyllys had endured constant death threats and even bullying from fellow members of congress. His multiple fights with Bolsonaro and his sons made him a particular object of contempt by that movement. That they now occupied full-scale power made his remaining in Brazil untenable.

That Wyllys was replaced by another LGBTQ+ congress member provoked a contentious exchange between David and Bolsonaro that went viral on Twitter. David's substantially increased visibility as the new LGBTQ+ member of congress provoked countless and highly detailed death threats from the Bolsonaro movement toward our family. That David, in 2016, had become the first-ever elected LGBTQ+ member of the Rio city council already had made him a target of much animus in a city dominated by paramilitary gangs and rightwing evangelical groups.

But his new status as the only openly LGBTQ+ member of the lower house of the federal congress made him a prime target of the vitriolic anti-LGBTQ+ Bolsonaro movement. That primal animus was enhanced by the fact that our public 15-year marriage and our two children serve as a living refutation of the false and toxic depiction of LGBTQ+ life as barren, unhappy, sickly and solitary, an anti-LGBTQ+ demonization campaign that is central to the Bolsonaro movement's political identity.

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[Subscribe to Glenn Greenwald] Glenn Greenwald is a journalist,former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, "No Place to Hide," is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of expose's in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting.

Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. He was the debut winner, along with "Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work breaking the story of the abusive detention conditions of Chelsea (more...)

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