It’s the fact that…

Sign at Women’s March 2019, Kuala Lumpur.

Taken from

It’s the fact that…

It’s the fact that growing up I was repeatedly told “Don’t talk to strange men”, “Don’t walk home alone at night”, “Don’t take the same road from and to school”, “Don’t leave your drink out of your sight when you are out”, “Don’t walk alone with your headphones on” “Don’t…”, “Don’t…”, “Don’t…”

It’s the fact that when I do walk alone I always overthink it. I am always afraid, I see everyone as a threat. I think of all the possible escape routes or the ninja moves I’ll use to defend myself, I call my friends, I share my location, I put my keys around my fingers, I wear my trainers so I can run, I hide my hair under my hoodie, I cross the road so I won’t be catcalled, I am doing my best to be invisible.

It’s the fact that I have to do all this in the first place. Why do I have to do all this? Why?

It’s the fact that I can’t enjoy walking alone, especially at night, because I drown in anxiety, my heart beats out of my chest louder than the footsteps behind me. My palms sweat and my mouth dries.

It’s the fact that I have to feel like this in the first place. Why do I have to feel like this? Why?

It’s the fact that I know there is an invisible fear lurking around the corner, just a thread away from becoming a reality.

It’s the fact that if my fear leaves its corner I will be blamed for it. “What were you wearing?”, “How much did you drink?”, “Why were you walking alone?” … “Oh honey, it happens all the time.”

It’s the fact that society always tells me how to dress, how much I am allowed to drink, how and where to walk, how to behave in public, how to have fun…how to exist.

It’s the fact that just like that my freedom is being taken away from me.

It’s the fact that I sometimes wonder if I could ever be free. Am I free? Is any woman ever, really free?

It’s the fact that I feel defeated.

And I am sick of it…

Ending the Logic of Violence in Massacres

On Friday, April 9th, over 80 protestors demonstrating against the military coup in Myanmar were killed by state security forces in the town of Bago, near the country’s largest city of Yangon. The killings mark the latest in a series of state massacres that have seen over 600 protestors killed since the February coup. Meanwhile, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, hundreds of Ethiopian citizens were massacred by Eritrean soldiers fighting on behalf of the Ethiopian government in the town of Axum. In both cases, despite international condemnation, acts of state violence have continued, and those responsible for the massacres have gone unpunished. 

Halfway across the world from Myanmar, President Macron of France announced in December that France would continue to sell arms to Egypt, despite reports of continued human rights abuses by a regime that came to power through a military coup in 2013 and the subsequent massacre of between 800 and 1000 supporters of the previous president — a massacre for which no members of the Egyptian military have been accountable.

These three seemingly disparate events follow a particular logic of state violence in which the massacre has become a central tool of repression. Through the more “limited” violence of massacres, states can continue to strengthen their rule through violence and terror, while largely avoiding the international pariah status of Libya’s Gaddafi and Syria’s Assad. So too can they rely on the tried and true tendency of nominally rights-supporting Western states: to look the other way, especially when military or economic ties are on the line. 

The result is a world less safe, more violent, and in which state sponsored massacres are becoming an increasingly common tool of repression. But it doesn’t have to remain this way. 

To end state-sponsored massacres, we have to think of new ways to break the logic of violence that makes massacres so useful to regimes. 

Ending the Logic of Violence

Is there a logic to the violence behind massacres? Looking at past and current massacres suggests that, rather than spontaneous acts of bloodshed,  they are in fact largely planned with the intention of furthering repressive rule. Through massacres, states set “us vs. them” lines of being, which portrays all dissidents to the regime as criminals, traitors, or terrorists, in which violence is the only acceptable response, in what is known as the “civil war regime.”

In Egypt in 2013, these lines took the form of the military vs. Islamists, who were labeled “terrorists” and an existential threat to the state in which the only response was force. A similar scenario is occurring in Myanmar today, according to the New York Times, in which “a steady diet of propaganda feeds (the military) notions of enemies at every corner, even on city streets…the cumulative effect is a bunkered worldview, in which orders to kill unarmed civilians are to be followed without question.” In these environments, massacres of civilians are not just a result of us vs. them lines, but also help reinforce future rule by rationalizing massacres as necessary to protect the state from internal enemies. States that perform massacres are therefore more violent and more repressive, as the regime increasingly resorts to violence to maintain power.  

There is also a second, equally important, logic to massacres: their ability to be forgotten, ignored, or rationalized by the international community which might otherwise be compelled to act in larger-scale acts of violence (see Libya, 2011). In 1989, the response to the Tiananmen massacre was waved away to permit China’s integration into the global economy. Similarly, the Rabaa massacre of 2013 was forgotten to gain Egyptian military support against the Islamic State. Authoritarian regimes know this, and are willing to wait out short-term costs knowing fully well that the long-term repercussions will be minimal. 

While the international community has little power to stop the effectiveness of the first logic of violence, it has tremendous leverage over the second. To stop massacres, the international cost of a massacre must be higher for the regime than its domestic benefits –  in short, to make massacres “illogical” as regimes weigh their own risks. 

What tools do we have to make this a reality? While international military intervention has a complicated history of abuse, it doesn’t mean that non-military options can’t be equally as effective, especially when coordinated multilaterally across nations. Ending military assistance to regimes that commit massacres – as the Obama administration initially did against Egypt in 2013 before backtracking two years later – is a powerful first step, as are targeted sanctions on responsible leaders that minimize the impact of nationwide sanctions, which disproportionately impact the poor and marginalized. Regime actors can also face the threat of prosecution across a coalition of nations under the principle of universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity, a precedent recently set in Germany in the ongoing trial of a former Syrian regime military officer.

These are certainly not the only tools available, and by setting a framework adopted across a series of nations that can quickly “snap” into place in the event of massacres, the threat of real and long term consequences can serve as enough of a disincentive for a regime to step back and de-escalate violence in the face of dissent. 

Risks and Rewards 

There is a real short term risk in this, namely in the willingness of authoritarian powers such as Russia to openly support states that conduct massacres, such as Syria and recently Myanmar. Traditionally, this has been the main rationale for maintaining ties with violent regimes: that it is better to keep regimes close and slowly adapt their behavior than allow the emergence of a Chinese or Russian authoritarian bloc. 

The problem is that this hasn’t worked – Egypt, for example, is now more repressive than ever before, while rights abuses have only continued during Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict. Instead, a set framework of actions in the wake of massacres gives states a choice: to rule through violence, or to continue to benefit from access to the larger international community, a choice most authoritarian leaders have until this point been sheltered from making. 

The problem is not that massacres are unavoidable – it is that, for too long, nations that claim to stand for human rights and the responsibility to protect have consistently put economic, military, or geopolitical priorities before ending mass violence. But regardless of the short-term costs, in the long term, we have the opportunity to create a powerful new norm against state-sponsored massacres, one that can save hundreds of thousands of lives and create a safer and less violent world. Isn’t this a risk worth taking? 

State Incompetence or State complicity? Why the Hazaras are still persecuted in Quetta.

The Hazaras have yet again experienced another major death toll to their community from the most recent attack in January which was met with a protest that lasted six days in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. It is no surprise that the state of Pakistan has been ineffective in terms of protecting its minorities. What is the next step for the Hazara community? The Prime Minister Imran Khan himself vowed to visit Quetta as soon as the bodies were laid to rest. It’s the same story as last time: an attacks targets the Hazara community, the Hazara community refuses to bury the bodies, state officials arrive and make promises, but attacks go on.

The Hazaras refuse to bury the victims in order to make their protest heard. State authorities in Pakistan are held under pressure and there’s less chance that the atrocity will be swept underneath the carpet. It seems as if Abdur Rahman Khan’s ethnic cleansing campaign from the 19th century is still following the Hazaras from Afghanistan all the way to Quetta. The Hazaras adhere to the Shia school of Islam. The militants targeting the Hazaras are extremist groups seeking to exterminate Shias from the state of Pakistan. Is this simply sectarian violence? Or is this story missing a key perspective that allows us to make an impartial judgement to understand why Pakistan is incapable of protecting the Hazaras?

The militias involved in attacking the Hazara community have historically been strategic assets to the Pakistani state itself in terms of preserving Pakistan’s geopolitical interests in the region. Originally these militants served Pakistan’s interests for Afghan Jihad in the 1970s and 1980s. Returning from defeating the Soviets, these militants formed other jihadists groups that later became known as anti-Shia outfits ‘Sipah-e-Sahaba’ (SSP) and ‘Lashkar e Jhangvi’ (LEJ). However, this most recent attack was carried out by ISIS, which scares the authorities of Pakistan with the possible rise of ISIS within Pakistan. It also suggests that all jihadist movements share similar ideologies, reflecting anti-Shiite ambitions. Since 2004 over 2000 Pakistani Hazaras have been killed. Over 4000 Pakistani Shias have been killed in Pakistan due to sectarian attacks since the 1990s. 

There seems to be a hesitancy within the justice system in Pakistan to convict those arrested for the killings of Hazaras. Ex-operational chief of the LEJ was acquitted for the alleged involvement in about 44 incidents of violence that involved the killings of 70 people. Shocking as it is, the ex-chief was so confident about sharing his involvement in the killing of 100 people that he openly confessed to an Urdu newspaper in 1997. It seems as if sectarian jihadists have been awarded a green light for mass killings as part of a culture of impunity. 

The lives of the Hazaras within Quetta are indefinitely limited to the neighbourhoods of Marriabad and Hazara Town. This particular area is highly securitised and protected by military checkpoints. The hostile living conditions have only contributed to the economic hardship and limited freedom of movement. This explains why Quetta is becoming less and less a home for Hazaras, as the events of January 2021 reflect the ineffectiveness of the state apparatus to deal with the security of such deprived ethnic minorities. 

The Hazaras are an easy target for the anti-Shia militias due to their distinct facial features. Coming back to the point about jihadist movements, the Pakistan Taliban were easy recruits for the these militias as most Taliban members shared their extremist ideology. It is no secret that the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies share a mutually beneficial relationship with the Taliban which explains how such outfits banned by the military are still able to operate with impunity even in areas where state authority is well-established, such as the Punjab province and the port city of Karachi

Further bad news for the Hazara community, they have become the victim of the Saudi-Iranian proxy warfare. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia have used Pakistan to marginalize each other’s influence within the state and have backed militant groups to serve their interests. Post the Iranian revolution, in order to counter state influence, religion was used as a tactic to maintain control in the region and the Hazaras like other communities in Pakistan got caught in the cross-fire. Pakistan needs to recognise its ethnic minorities. The Hazaras like other communities have served the interests of the state. Now the state needs to be held accountable for the rise of sectarianism that has led to the deprivation and ethnic cleansing of communities like the Hazaras. Some notables from the Hazara community include many sportsmen and women as well as members of the military personnel and a number of politicians who have called for the conviction of criminals who have persecuted the community and continue to roam freely. 

Returning to my opening question, the next step for the Hazaras is the guarantee of effective security provisions that protect the Hazaras from any threat of persecution. The solution to the persecution of the Hazaras is not to ban all bus routes to Iran but rather to crackdown on the sectarian outfits that target them. Just by encountering one leader of one of these militias does not prevent mass violence from occurring next time. Law-enforcement agencies need to start doing their job, and the military needs to set some ground rules with the Jihadists.

Fetishising Wartime Rape does a Disservice to Survivors

© 2008 – 2021 Zapiro (All Rights Reserved)   

TW: sexual and gender-based violence, child sexual abuse and racism

Sexual violence is criminally underreported and dismissed throughout society. So why, then, is ‘rape as a tool of war’ continually growing as a trendy topic of discussion? And how could that be a problem?

The horror of sexual and gender based violence (hereafter SGBV) in conflict is undeniable. However, the issue arises where SGBV is seen as endemic to the global South. Rape in conflict is described as exceptional and, in casting the roles of ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’, racialised and gendered stereotypes play out in the media.

The ‘fetishisation’ – to borrow Sara Megar’s terms – of wartime rape has dominated media and academic articles alike. The common tale relies on a clear cast: the feminine victim, the savage perpetrator and the masculine liberator. Similar to the stereotype in ‘peacetimes’, the violent act is limited to penetrative rape against a cisgender woman and must be committed by a stranger. 

© 2011 – 2021 Zapiro (All Rights Reserved)

Cartoonist Zapiro, for example, has relied on metaphorical rapes to convey government corruption, legal injustice and threats to free speech (image above). As a white South African, Zapiro claims to deliver cutting social commentary on the one hand, while divorcing his cartoons from the social context of racism on the other. Although the most recent iteration in 2017 referred to SGBV in South Africa, the focus was directed at the rape of the nation and the racist stereotypes of the sexual predator persisted. The dramatisation of metaphorical rape ensures that, in Huibin Amelia Chew’s words, “the rape of women abounds in our consciousness, yet has no ‘real’ existence.”

© 2017 – 2021 Zapiro (All Rights Reserved) available at:

This is not a new phenomenon. Sara Farris, who coined the term ‘femonationalism’, refers to the French military in colonial Algeria and its preoccupation with unveiling Muslim women and contemporary framings of Islamophobia in France as a women’s rights issue. The sensationalisation of SGBV has been used to legitimise foreign intervention in Libya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, overreporting rape as a weapon of war reached a harmful extreme when it was discovered that the hyperbole was encouraging armed groups to blackmail others with the threats of SGBV to get a seat at the negotiation table.

Fairy tale narratives are used to frame the global power in question as a hero avenging himself against a monumental foe. The language of “the rape of Kuwait”, “women and children,” “the axis of evil,” and “the rape capital of the world” shifts the conversation from the physical embodied experience of trauma to rhetorical struggles of good versus evil. 

The politicisation of rape abroad distracts Western populations from misogyny on their doorstep, as well as consolidating difference and continuing coercive control of Other states. Divorcing sexual violence from reality and abstracting rape beyond the bodies who suffer is insensitive at its most banal and violent at its extreme. 

Carceral and colonial feminisms fall into this trap. Understanding the police, military and other ‘security’ forces as close relatives, feminists who support harsher sentencing, violent intervention and wars stand in the way of progress. The more they ally with sources of state power, the more they align themselves with the social power of whiteness, heterosexuality, cisgender bodies and able bodies. 

This form of feminism does not appreciate the pervasive SGBV perpetrated by police, law enforcement personnel, peacekeepers and soldiers from the global North. The police brutality that left domestic violence survivor, Cherie Williams, with a broken nose, jaw and ruptured spleen is just one example of U.S. state violence perpetrated with impunity. This feminism allows policemen and peacekeepers to maintain their virtuous identity as protectors without confronting their legacy of misogyny and objectification of femme presenting people.

The result is ‘feminists’ supporting new civilising missions that position the brown male Other as savage and violent. The result is ‘feminists’ positioning the brown female Other as passive victims who must be assimilated into Western culture. The result is applauding the heroic U.S. rescue of prisoner of war Jessica Lynch from Iraq on one hand, while foregrounding the “tearful” U.S. soldier who raped and murdered 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi on the other. The result is incredibly dangerous if left unchallenged.

Acknowledging the global connections between patriarchal violence of the state and sexual trauma allows us to forge solidarity among Sarah Everard, Breonna Taylor, Blessing Olusegun, Jessica Lynch, Cherie Williams, Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and many more who are unable to speak to their experiences. As the world spins further out of our minds grasp, we must refuse to be manipulated by the exploitative use of survivors’ bodies. 

Understanding SGBV as a continuum that includes all forms of sexual violence and its perpetuation before, during and after war can help well-meaning feminists comprehend insincere state motives for foreign intervention under the guise of gender equality. We must approach SGBV as a feminist issue, rather than a women’s issue, to avoid reproducing the identical misogyny, cissexism and racism which perpetuates harm in the first place.

We need to refrain from adopting ‘good versus evil’ narratives. Retribution continues to dominate the criminal justice system and to override other healing forms of survivor justice. The Black Lives Matter movement is the latest campaign to point to the fact that existing laws, courts and prisons do not keep communities of colour safe and promote punishment at the expense of reformative and transformative justice. Transformative justice acknowledges oppressive systems, including the criminal legal system, and understands that the conditions that allow violence to occur must be transformed in order to achieve justice. To take survivors’ experiences and justify further violence in their names is to ensure trauma continues in waves.

To combat colonial and carceral feminist approaches towards SGBV in conflict (and beyond), a transformative approach to justice must be adopted. In the context of SGBV at SOAS, this involves building a consent culture to challenge the existing rape culture. In practical terms, it can translate as survivor-centred support, consent education and prevention work and sufficient funding to demonstrate the gravity of the issue and support for change. The campaign to challenge SGBV at SOAS, Enough is Enough, has come to the end of 5 years of funding and it remains unclear whether the university will commit wholeheartedly to challenging SGBV on campus. 


The use of the word ‘woman’ was only used in this article in the context of other scholars’ use and the relevant media reporting. This article acknowledges the misogyny facing all femme presenting people, whether cis, trans or non-binary.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” (Rebecca Johnson, speaking at SCRAP Weapons 1st Webinar on Feminist Leadership in Disarmament)

For decades, women have fought the hierarchy that characterises patriarchy. While obedience has been challenged in more or less overt ways, resistance to the patriarchal structures of society has been underway for a long time. And while patriarchal structures seem to characterise most of the modern world, things have not always been this ugly. Looking back, we can see examples of non-patriarchal societies, for example in pre-colonial Asia and Africa, which were destroyed by Western colonial powers. While some changes have been witnessed in the past few decades in the patriarchal structures that dominant our world, there are still important steps to be taken towards a more inclusive participation in matters of politics, peace, conflict and security.

Since 2000, when the Beijing Conference led to the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 – the first resolution recognising the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and the need for their equal participation in matters or peace and security – there has been an active concern over the inclusion of women and gender mainstreaming in matters of peace, conflict and security. As UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka recently warned, however, there is a clear need for women to hold much greater political power: “On the current trajectory, we won’t see gender parity in the highest office before 2150”. Clearly, we are still behind the curve in more ways that I would like to admit, because admitting them always leaves a bitter taste of injustice and frustration. But I have learned that injustice is also the taste of activism and proactivity towards a better, more equal and inclusive world. It is the motor that keeps us going. That is why women have sat at tables they were not invited to, bringing their chair along in case there was none to spare. This recently happened in Liberia, where women’s role in the peace process was considered vital to its successful outcome.

So, while Resolution 1325 has advocated for women’s role in conflict management and resolution, as well as in creating sustainable peace, and has seen some improvement, most women’s participation in these fields is insufficient and dominated by patriarchal structures.

In addition, patriarchy is entrenched in notions of ‘security’, which perpetuate the belief that possessing weapons, including nuclear weapons – through the “logic” of deterrence – is necessary for a safer world. When we reflect on the deterrence idea of security, we do not witness human-centered security but rather state-centred security, where the defense of state sovereignty is prioritised. Therefore, the public is led to believe that nuclear weapons are a way of keeping ourselves/the state (the blurring of the two is deliberate) “safe”, a belief that has been created and perpetuated by the patriarchal military culture. When we ask who makes decisions on matters of security, the answer is invariably white males, excluding the vital perspectives of women, gender-non-conforming people, children, populations from the Global South, indigenous communities and minority groups.

We – all of us outside of the male dominated room- have been affected by violence, war and conflict in many ways. Only recently, with the arrival of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) – the culmination of years of hard work by civil society, activists and feminists – have our perspectives and experiences been accounted for and victim’s sufferings acknowledged as worthy of rehabilitation and age- and gender-sensitive assistance. The treaty, which counters the realist conception of security, centres on the human being most affected by the disastrous use of nuclear weapons.

However, our logic that security is a world free of weapons is routinely considered irrational, futile, unworthy. The dismissal of the perspectives of everyone else has been a tool for the perpetuity of the patriarchal system. However, the 122 countries that adopted the treaty in 2017 think differently. 122 countries believe that nuclear weapons are not necessary to guarantee security and that there is a much more secure path to pursue, namely disarmament.

A study conducted by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in 2019 found that the number of women participating in arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament diplomacy has grown steadily over the last four decades, with a higher number of First Committee resolutions advocating for equal inclusion of gender perspectives. However, women remain underrepresented, especially at the level of the First Committee on International Security and Disarmament, where women’s representation is the lowest. Positions of higher leadership, such as heads of delegations, are almost always male, especially when countries send only one representative.

While inclusive gender perspectives and the goal of reaching nuclear disarmament is embedded in the TPNW and gender mainstreaming is growing in disarmament affairs, there are still obstacles. There are still countries that refuse to accept the possibility of a different world. And it is there that they have failed monstrously. Because they fail not only to accept the possibility of another world, but even to actually open their eyes to see that it already exists – a world that is growing, flourishing, moving, strong and soft. While they continue, eyes wide shut, to imagine the veracity of their logic of deterrence, they fail to see the same logic crumbling around them.

Until they recognise that crumbling reality, we will continue to smash the ideology and hierarchical categories – as Ray Acheson would put it- they have used to perpetuate their seat at the table.

We will continue to dismantle the master’s house.

Will Lula De Silva’s Return to Politics Stop the World’s Most Dangerous Man?

On 10 March 2021, many Brazilians felt a ray of hope when ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula De Silva’s corruption charges were quashed by a Supreme Court judge on the technicality that Lula was tried by a court which did not have jurisdiction. Brazil has been in turmoil since the COVID-19 outbreak due to the actions of a fascist dictator. The Lula judgment opens the way for him to challenge President Jair Bolsonaro. With a divided Workers Party (Partido dos trabalhadores) it was difficult for someone to pose a real challenge to the incumbent President. 

Why is Jair Bolsonaro one of the world’s most dangerous men

On 1 January 2019, many political analysts in Brazil and around the world believed that the country would experience democratic backsliding under Bolsonaro. His Vice-President Hamilton Mourao had always flirted with fascism by praising Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, claiming the military coup prevented a communist takeover. Bolsonaro and Mourao had strong support from the evangelical community, especially the Pentecostal Church, which believed that Bolsonaro was the only person who could save them from the PT’s socially liberal policies. The common people had lost trust in the Worker’s Party due to their various corruption scandals. They wanted a change in leadership at the national level. Little did they know their actions would have dangerous consequences.

One of the crucial issues which Latin America is facing right now is the annihilation of the Amazon rainforest, one of the world’s greatest allies in combating climate change. Indeed, it covers 9 separate states in Latin America and its massive collection of flora absorbs 5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, it is crucial in controlling greenhouse gas emissions across Latin America. Since 2019, the fires which rampaged through these rainforests have led to a worrying decrease in carbon absorption. This immense reduction of the forest could have disastrous consequences such as aggravating the global climate crisis. The long-term effects of these fires coupled with deforestation would also lead to social and economic instability across the whole region. 

In August 2020, Bolsonaro dismissed the Amazon fires as a “lie”. His persistent denials of the situation have prevented foreign governments and NGOs from finding a solution to the crisis. He claims that domestic and international environment advisors are violating Brazil’s sovereignty in their efforts to preserve the region. 

Investors are pledging to withdraw 2 trillion USD worth of economic aid from Brazil in response to the constant repression and denial of the Amazon crisis, which could result in a complete disaster. The destruction of the Amazon would imply a huge setback in tackling the global climate crisis. 

In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic Bolsonaro’s denial of science and dismissiveness towards health experts has led Brazil down a dangerous path.  He discarded mask-wearing and lockdown restrictions, as it was more important for him to keep the economy going. But Brazil has one of the highest Covid death tolls in the world. During most of the pandemic Bolsonaro also rejected purchasing vaccinations, even claiming that he wouldn’t get one himself as “the Pfizer vaccine might turn people into crocodiles”. But his view on vaccines has taken a U turn with Lula’s return to politics. He now embraces the vaccines claiming that they are the weapon out of this crisis. This illustrates that Lula’s presence in the opposition has him threatened.

Can Lula save the country from anti-intellectualism?

Despite Lula being a strong opposition candidate in the upcoming elections, he still remains a polarizing figure in Brazil. The Brazilian evangelical community and the traditional conservatives are against the old-fashioned left wing of Brazil, and Lula also lacks favour among political centrists. The analogous situation would be Donald Trump facing off against Bernie Sanders in the US Presidential Election. 

Lula’s annulled conviction could still be challenged in another court as he has not been cleared of any wrongdoing yet. The key to his possible presidential run would be addressing the ongoing pandemic, making people trust in science and facts about the threat of this virus. He needs to move the people away from the alternate reality Bolsonaro created. With the rate infection still increasing in the country and Bolsonaro’s refusal to impose restrictions, this could be the wiggle room Lula needs to truly contend. He should also reach out to the Amazon indigenous communities who are struggling to survive with their homes burning in wildfires. 

Hence, preservation of the rainforests and getting the pandemic under control should be Brazil’s top priority. Only time will tell if Lula can be a messiah for the Brazilians who have suffered multiple crises over the past two years. Lula’s return to politics could be Bolsonaro’s Kryptonite. Lula undoubtedly will face many hurdles before next year’s election. If he chooses to serve the needs of the people over money and power, he stands an excellent chance of victory in 2022.