INTRODUCTION: Brazil's popular labour leader, Lula, addressed some two thousand workers, students and politicians in Sao Paulo on Sunday (15 February), after a tour of nearly one month to Europe and the United States.
TGV Crowd at rally.
GV ZOOM OUT Crowd with banners strung across square.
GV PAN Crowd listening to speaker.
GV PAN Crowd perched on top of wall listening.
CU Luis Ignacio Da Silva speaking at rally, PAN TO crowd applauding.
CU M. Da Silva speaking, crowd applauding.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Brazil's popular labour leader, Lula, addressed some two thousand workers, students and politicians in Sao Paulo on Sunday (15 February), after a tour of nearly one month to Europe and the United States. Luis Ignacio Da Silva nicknamed Lula, faces charges this month of violating the national security law by allegedly inciting metalworkers to strike last April and May. Twelve other trade union leaders are also charged with the same offence after an estimated three hundred thousand metalworkers in the city struck for higher wages and the right to have shop stewards.
SYNOPSIS: The crowd gathered in the huge square in Sao Paulo's industrial suburb of San Bernardo. Banners protested at the government's national security laws and the expulsion of Lula, who was replace by a five-man appointed board of workers. The trial has aroused great interest in Brazil and opposition parties have condemned it.
Members of the Brazilian Labour Party (PTB) and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) spoke at the three-hour rally. Lula's own Labour Party (PT), of which he is President, has begun a series of protest demonstrations throughout the country against the trial. Lula told the crowd the military-led government's announced policy of political liberalisation would be discredited if he is convicted.
In his fiery speech, Lula attacked what he called "the privileged majority who rule" and called for the working class to unite against the government. He said the law of hunger imposed on the working class is much worse then the national security law.
Lula met with Polish free trade union leader Lech Walesa on his European tour. He said they developed a mutual feeling of respect and understanding for their common struggle. He said the establishment of a strong sense of solidarity with the Brazilian workers' cause will be manifested during the trial. Many European labour organisations are planning to send observers. Union freedom in Europe impressed him, while in Brazil, he said, the government outlaws strikes and "sends its shock troops to beat us up".