Freedom of expression does not cover ‘violence and threats’, says Fux at STF opening session | Policy

Minister Luiz Fux, president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), stated during the opening of the session on Thursday (2) that freedom of expression does not cover “violence and threats”.

In a speech in defense of democracy, Fux affirmed that the country has strong institutions and that the Supreme Court has acted as “a fierce defender of freedoms”.

“The Federal Supreme Court has been a staunch defender of public freedoms, as shown, for example, by the court decisions that ensured the holding of various public demonstrations in historical moments in the country; as well as declared the nullity of court decisions that prevented free expression political-electoral in public universities,” declared Fux.

Then, the president of the STF said:

“This Supreme Court – major guardian of the Constitution and arbitrator of the Federation – expects citizens to act in their manifestations with a sense of civic responsibility and institutional respect and aware of the legal consequences of their acts, regardless of the political-ideological position they hold. In an environment democratic, public demonstrations are peaceful. In turn, freedom of expression does not involve violence and threats,” he added.

According to the president of the STF, public freedoms are not “benefits granted by the State nor by its governors”, but rather “historic victories of Brazilian citizens, who are expected to take care of their own fundamental rights”.

‘Democracy is not negotiated’

Also on Thursday, the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), said that “democracy is not being negotiated”. Pacheco made the statement after meeting with governors.

According to Pacheco, topics such as combating the pandemic, resources for the states and defense of democracy were discussed during the meeting.

“It is very important that we are all united, respecting differences, seeking consensus, seeking convergence, but with an aspect that is non-negotiable for all of us: democracy is not negotiated. Democracy is a reality, the rule of law it is a reality. Society has already assimilated these concepts and values, so that we will always be united in this purpose of preserving democracy,” declared Pacheco.

VIDEO: Luiz Fux delivers speech on Independence Day demonstrations

VIDEO: Luiz Fux delivers speech on Independence Day demonstrations

Read below and watch the full speech of the president of the STF above:

Ministers, Ministers, Attorney General of the Republic, lawyers and lawyers, ladies and gentlemen,

The date of September 7th is approaching and, as president of the Supreme Court, a word of respect for national democracy and the demonstrations scheduled for the holiday celebrating the independence of Brazil is imposed.

The historical formation of Brazil, as a people and as a nation, consists of a complex narrative, permeated by effort, sweat and struggles. The declaration of independence, on September 7, 1822, was not just a solitary cry on the banks of the Ipiranga, but the result of a succession of courageous acts undertaken by countless Brazilians, many of whom donated their lives to build the country.

Almost two centuries later, after a challenging political journey that bequeathed us institutional maturity, today we are, without a doubt, one of the largest constitutional democracies in the world. And we want us to be recognized in this way by the international community.

We boast a monumental catalog of fundamental civil, political and social rights, in addition to having strong, republican and fully functioning institutions. Above all, we are internationally recognized for our political, cultural and religious pluralism, which characterizes the Brazilian people.

However, let us not forget, however, that no people build their identity without dissent and no nation achieves prosperity without debates about the performance of its governments and its institutions. Constructive criticism provokes reflections, reveals new points of view and invites institutional improvement. Conversely, destructive criticism, in turn, unduly undermines people’s confidence in the country’s institutions.

That is why the population’s active and orderly posture in favor of its social, political and ideological agendas is a commendable manifestation, as it is synonymous with democratic health and civic engagement. On the other hand, as a collective heritage, our democracy awakens the sense of responsibility of all Brazilians, who must reaffirm it at all times in their lives. After all, our democracy was neither inherited nor granted to us, but courageously conquered.

We are eyewitnesses that the path to the stability of Brazilian democracy was neither easy nor immediate. For this reason, it is a current voice in the streets that, in the current court, the Brazilian people would never accept setbacks! More than 30 years ago, our citizens expressed their desire for democracy. This desire remains alive and permeates the national commitment to public debates, all of them permeated by republican ideals.

The Federal Supreme Court has been a staunch defender of public freedoms, as shown, for example, by the court decisions that ensured the holding of various public demonstrations in historical moments in the country; as well as declared the nullity of court decisions that impeded the free political-electoral manifestation in public universities.

We know that public liberties are not benefits granted by the State or by its rulers, but historical victories for Brazilian citizens, who are expected to take care of their own fundamental rights.

For this reason, this Supreme Court – major guardian of the Constitution and arbitrator of the Federation – awaits that citizens will act in their manifestations with a sense of civic responsibility and institutional respect and aware of the legal consequences of their acts, regardless of the political-ideological position they hold . In a democratic environment, public demonstrations are peaceful; in turn, freedom of expression does not involve violence and threats.

The exercise of our citizenship presupposes respect for the integrity of democratic institutions and their members, according to the lesson bequeathed by Martin Luther King Jr: “Peace will never be maintained by force; it can only be obtained through mutual understanding”.

Despite all our differences of opinion, diverse political ideologies and national projects, we Brazilian citizens are united in a fundamental point: love for Brazil and pride in what we have built as a nation.

Whether in moments of storm or calm, the good of the country is guaranteed with strict compliance with the Constitution.

To this mission, we of the Federal Supreme Court, magistrates, judges of the Constitution, will never renounce respect for the Charter.

The Federal Supreme Court – a century-old institution and heritage of the Brazilian people – remains attentive and vigilant this September 7th in favor of the democratic plenitude of Brazil.

President of the Federal Supreme Court and the National Council of Justice