Brazilian politics and being the change with Ivan Moraes

It’s an election year in Brazil, and as many of you will know, it’s a big one. 

Bolsonaro in power. 

Brazil’s democracy on the rocks. 

And a country extremely impacted by covid, where basic human rights are worse than we’ve ever seen them. 

So I felt it was fitting to speak with my good friend, Ivan Moraes. 

A father, journalist, dreamer, writer, defender of human rights and City councilor in Recife for the socialism and liberty party (PSOL). He’s currently in his second term in the Municipal Chamber of Recife, and will be the candidate for state deputy in the 2022 elections. 

Ivan helps us understand what Brazil is facing right now in this election. 

He explains why he went into politics. 

He talks about the challenges. What his life looks like in the spot light. But also why it’s so important. 

We hear about what gives him hope. 

But also what keeps him up at night. 

And he talks about how everyone can be the change. 

As Siba says, “The world moves, every time you take a step”. 

There are so many learnings and takeaways in this episode. And important insights to what is happening on the ground in Brazil. This is a must listen. 

So grab your favourite beverage. Or throw on those running shoes and here is an inspiring chat with Ivan. 

And please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review and subscribe. 

00:00:02:05 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving lights around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:00:56:05
Philippa White
My name is Philippa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed. Hello and welcome to episode 55 of TIE Unearthed. Now it’s an election year in Brazil and as many of you will know, it’s a big one. Bolsonaro in power. Brazil’s democracy on the rocks. And a country extremely impacted by COVID, where basic human rights are worse than we’ve ever seen them.

00:00:56:23 – 00:01:21:21
Philippa White
So I felt it was fitting to speak with my good friend Ivan Moraes. He’s a father, journalist, dreamer, writer, defender of human rights and city councilor and recipe for the Socialism and Liberty Party, or otherwise known as P Sol. He’s currently in his second term in the municipal chamber of Recife, and he’s going to be candidate for the state deputy in the 2022 election.

00:01:22:21 – 00:01:29:01
Philippa White
When I moved to Brazil in 2005, Ivan was one of the first people I met him. Speaking English.

00:01:29:01 – 00:01:31:13
Philippa White
Definitely helped. But you’re going to hear on this.

00:01:31:13 – 00:01:50:22
Philippa White
Podcast that we also have lots in common. He’s been involved with TIE in several ways over the years, being an advisor and idea generator to linking us up with human rights organizations that he was involved with, for TIE to support, to even being me on TIE. When I had to step away from things for a couple of months.

00:01:50:22 – 00:02:14:17
Philippa White
Each time my girls were born. Now, today, we’re going to be talking about Brazil politics. Now, what the country is facing with this election and Ivan’s view of politics and contributing to a better world. This is such an interesting conversation that will really help you understand the reality on the ground in this part of the world. Just a little bit more and ways to make things better.

00:02:15:20 – 00:02:20:13
Philippa White
So grab that favorite beverage or throw on those running shoes and enjoy this conversation.

00:02:20:13 – 00:02:21:02
Ivan Moraes
In the.

00:02:22:08 – 00:02:30:24
Philippa White
Evening. It is so amazing to have you here with me with us today. Thank you.

00:02:31:20 – 00:02:37:21
Ivan Moraes
Thank you. I’m very happy to talk to you right now. We haven’t seen each other in such a long time.

00:02:37:22 – 00:02:38:21
Philippa White
And I know.

00:02:39:04 – 00:02:41:16
Ivan Moraes
It’s amazing to be part of this project of yours.

00:02:42:03 – 00:03:01:14
Philippa White
Thank you. Well, it’s a huge honor to have you. And for our listeners, Ivan is one of the first people that I met when I moved here in 2000, and I came here for the first time in 2004, and I’m pretty sure I either met you 2004, 2005. But I had this idea of TIE and this is before TIE even existed.

00:03:02:02 – 00:03:31:02
Philippa White
And I had, you know, I was meeting with different people and he immediately was like, this is interesting. And since then, you know, we’ve been involved. You when I had VOA, when I had Maya, you took me over my role in trying to help organize things and keep things running. And you’ve been involved with TIE, both from a mentorship point of view of me arriving in Brazil in not speaking a word of Portuguese and you speaking to be an English and being very patient and all the way through to now having you here.

00:03:31:02 – 00:03:52:04
Philippa White
So it’s a huge honor to have you with us. I really appreciate it. And I just can’t wait to tell our listeners about where you’re at now, because it’s been an incredible journey from human rights NGOs to now government and politics. So perhaps you can start by telling our listeners about you before politics.

00:03:52:09 – 00:04:21:06
Ivan Moraes
It’s a hard question because what is politics, right? We as human beings, we are political beings from the time we start realizing what we are in society, since we were kids and we are competing with our brothers and sisters to see who gets what and what mum has to buy, what that needs to do. And so politics I’ve been involved in trying to change things since I was a kid.

00:04:21:21 – 00:04:46:22
Ivan Moraes
I can remember being ten years old, fighting for a tree next to a building where I used to live. The tree needed to be cut down because it had termites on it, but I didn’t care. So I mobilized a bunch of kids from my building and we campaigned against the trillion dollar tree we lost. But it was probably one of the first time that I remember being involved in a movement to change something.

00:04:46:23 – 00:05:08:23
Ivan Moraes
Later on, I did a little bit of student movement when I was 1516. It didn’t appeal that much to me. Then I went to communications for going to college, and in college being a communication major. I always thought I was studying to be able to write, travel and change the world. And as soon as I started working as a journalist, I realized it wasn’t exactly like that.

00:05:08:23 – 00:05:34:14
Ivan Moraes
So few years later, I kind of quit my career as a journalist and joined the volunteer program to work for a bit in Mozambique. So I spent two years abroad in the US and in Mozambique, and that’s when I came back. And when I went back to Brazil, I knew my career or whatever you call it or my walk of life would be to do something in order to change things.

00:05:34:17 – 00:05:58:21
Ivan Moraes
I knew I needed to find a job that would fulfill me. And of course, economically, I needed to pay my bills, but I needed to find a job that meant something to more than just pay my bills. So I joined Equal to Demonstrating, which is a 50 year old NGO in Orlando. It’s a historical NGO that works with human rights, and they call it My Home.

00:06:00:03 – 00:06:14:02
Philippa White
And it was actually beside my home. I see the site and I literally rescued everything. My home, like the wall we shared, a wall is like. And I think that’s around that time that I met you when you were working there.

00:06:14:04 – 00:06:36:01
Ivan Moraes
Exactly. That’s what I call my home in human rights. I have never been affiliated to a political party. Back then, I hadn’t had any experience working full time with an NGO other than the time I was a volunteer. So it was a school, basically. That’s where I learned how democracy works from the point of view of civil society movements.

00:06:37:02 – 00:07:01:20
Ivan Moraes
I was there for like 15 years in different working relationships for almost 15 years. That’s when 2016 came with the coup that overthrew our president. And that hit me hard. It was like I’ve been avoiding political party and political participation, institutional political participation for such a long time. I was 40 years old already and I had never been affiliated to any political party.

00:07:01:20 – 00:07:24:24
Ivan Moraes
But I thought, Hey, we just voted in every two years in there. Like in this kind of people that do exactly what we don’t need them to do, and the same guys that get reelected after election after election. And then I thought, maybe it’s time I do something else. And then in 2016, I signed up to Bissau, the political party that I met.

00:07:24:24 – 00:07:49:08
Ivan Moraes
Right now I ran for elections for city council and I won. So right now I’m on my second term as a city councilor and it’s my second and last term because I have it as a mission and not to run more than three times for the same job. I think in politics, I think I don’t know if Churchill said that this quote keeps coming with different authors all the time.

00:07:49:08 – 00:07:56:01
Ivan Moraes
But in politics, politicians and diapers needs to be changed every now and then for the very same reasons.

00:07:56:07 – 00:08:00:10
Philippa White
Yeah, beautiful. Oh, I like that. Have you actually heard that? Really?

00:08:00:14 – 00:08:21:17
Ivan Moraes
I heard it so many times. I’m not really sure who said it for the first time. Two times in Brazil, it means eight years for and then 40 years of the legislative term. I think it’s more than enough for you to do a lot of things. Then you can get reelected and you learn more and it can do more.

00:08:21:20 – 00:08:26:13
Ivan Moraes
But then you need to move on so that more people can do the same job. And it’s a mission.

00:08:26:22 – 00:08:41:20
Philippa White
To that point. We need to fight against Bolsonaro getting in, and I think Lula is the only other option. But that to that point, it’s kind of nuts that it’s the only other option. Right. He’s already done so many terms. And but it’s our only option.

00:08:41:23 – 00:08:42:19
Ivan Moraes
It’s exactly like.

00:08:43:05 – 00:08:44:08
Philippa White
It’s just nuts.

00:08:44:15 – 00:09:16:10
Ivan Moraes
Hmm. In Brazil right now, there’s no political debate possible. There’s no possible political debate right now. As long as we have a government that doesn’t care about democracy and the republic itself. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal. It doesn’t matter if you are a conservative. It doesn’t matter. It’s a progressive communist. If you are whatever you are, if you stand for Republican democracy, there’s no room for this kind of debate right now because the central government is occupied by the militia before we can start having any kind of political debate before it happens.

00:09:16:20 – 00:09:17:11
Ivan Moraes
We need to.

00:09:17:19 – 00:09:20:04
Philippa White
Get out of this conversation that we’re in.

00:09:22:08 – 00:09:40:10
Ivan Moraes
Right now. I am as you know, I’m a socialist. I’m a leftist. But I would very comfortably vote for somebody in the right right now if I knew they had the chance to overthrow Bolsonaro as soon as possible. We need to get back to a time where we can actually debate, discuss, disagree, and it’s just not possible right now.

00:09:40:11 – 00:10:05:09
Philippa White
So obviously, your work in politics isn’t on the sort of national level, even though I mean it all kind of feeds into one another. But I think what would be really helpful for our listeners, just in a few words, if you can just help people because our listeners tend to come from the UK and the US and Canada and a few people in Brazil, but can you help people just understand the social background just to provide a little bit of context to what we’re going to be talking about now.

00:10:05:10 – 00:10:24:12
Ivan Moraes
To kind of explain a little bit of the context from when I talk, I’m a white guy from a middle class family in Recife, which is in the northeast of Brazil. Brazil, a developing country for a long time, always a developing country, a country with a lot of wealth as well as my city in my state of Benin.

00:10:25:00 – 00:10:50:01
Ivan Moraes
But a country and a city and the state there are marked by inequality, by a huge social gap where a few people can live very comfortably. And a lot of people lack basic, basic rights. We live in a city where more than half of our city is not attended by primary health. We live in a city where most of the city is not equipped with sewage.

00:10:50:01 – 00:11:12:11
Ivan Moraes
We live in a city where more than 70,000 families don’t have a proper place to live. And we also live in a city where some families are very, very, very, very rich. So I think in the quality and the social gap, one of the primary signatures of Brazil in his and right now over the last few years, I mean, you’ve been in the EU for, what, 20 years?

00:11:12:11 – 00:11:42:09
Ivan Moraes
Yeah, but I’m positive you have never seen our people so poor. You have never seen so many people asking for money, the streets into this, getting into the supermarkets to take a chance with the people that can actually buy stuff mean the prices are over the top. We have never in my lifetime when I was born, when the country was moving towards the end of our last dictatorship, and I had never seen my country, my city demonstrating so much foreignness, so much inequality, so much violence.

00:11:42:09 – 00:11:54:09
Ivan Moraes
So we’ve be living through a difficult time, in a difficult place. It was never easy for us here. I mean, inequality has always marked us, but I’ve never seen it get so, so bad as it is.

00:11:54:17 – 00:12:16:00
Philippa White
And obviously, I mean, the government has a huge part to play, but COVID was really tough and was. Yeah, and when you just don’t have the basic infrastructure and human rights and then something like a pandemic happens and it just, oh my God, what I see on my doorstep. And Linda, I have never seen it never seen it like this.

00:12:16:01 – 00:12:22:17
Ivan Moraes
It’s very symbolic that the current president still claims not to be vaccinated. Still? Still.

00:12:23:01 – 00:12:24:03
Philippa White
Yeah. I haven’t read.

00:12:24:09 – 00:12:35:02
Ivan Moraes
His vaccination card. He declared secrecy and he’s it’s not public free for us to know if the president has been vaccinated for COVID, but he claims he hasn’t.

00:12:35:02 – 00:12:54:00
Philippa White
He’s he’s an interesting symbol that both of those. Yeah, I know. So Ivan, I mean, you touched on it actually, and maybe you feel like you’ve answered it already. But I do just want to make sure that you feel like you have answered it. You know, what got you into politics and why do you think that is the place that you can make the biggest impact.

00:12:54:00 – 00:13:21:07
Philippa White
So obviously, having worked in human rights, having worked with NGOs, I saw your impact and I remember listening to your stories and being somebody who came from advertising and coming to kind of bring these two worlds together and meeting you. I mean, I don’t even know who put us in touch, but I mean, it was a present that arrived from the stars because it was kind of suddenly meeting this individual who was so passionate and really properly making a difference and putting your life at risk many times.

00:13:21:07 – 00:13:35:22
Philippa White
And I remember you just telling me the stories and you saying how your parents were a little bit concerned about some of the things that you were doing because you were properly fighting for human rights. And and on the front lines and many of the movements that happened in his city and you’ve always been at the front of it and really fighting.

00:13:35:22 – 00:13:45:02
Philippa White
And as somebody who sees politics is a really difficult place to be to really properly make impact. And I just wonder. Yeah, I’m curious to know your response to that.

00:13:45:03 – 00:14:10:16
Ivan Moraes
It’s always funny when people ask the question comes in different forms, but why did you choose going to politics? And I never feel I had a choice. I didn’t have a choice. I mean, I chose a long, long time ago that I was going to work with things that made a difference. Like I knew that I was unhappy with the way the world moves.

00:14:10:16 – 00:14:47:14
Ivan Moraes
I wasn’t happy with the way the inequalities of the world act on individual. I’ve always been very feisty against the power, you know, the structures that keep people apart, that people poor, that maintain privileges of a few people, and the cost of violence towards a bunch of people. This has been my life for a long time, since I went to Mozambique and I decided that I wasn’t going to do anything in my life other than finding jobs and finding possibilities of making a living, doing things that made a difference, that would make a difference.

00:14:47:14 – 00:15:05:04
Ivan Moraes
And that’s why I came. That’s why I went to work as an administrator, and that’s why I joined the National Movement for Human Rights. That’s why I joined a lot of struggles that you’ve seen when we met. I remember when we met at a seminar by in Paris in The Good.

00:15:05:04 – 00:15:08:16
Philippa White
Yeah. Is that crazy? Yeah. Okay. Yes.

00:15:09:12 – 00:15:39:24
Ivan Moraes
I remember I did. And I saw I hadn’t made this decision 30 years ago, but I hadn’t yet realized the importance of participating in the struggle to occupy government. I never realized the importance of everybody of finding a way to be part of a political party and work in the election processes and eventually taking place in decision making.

00:15:39:24 – 00:16:01:08
Ivan Moraes
And I refused that for a long time. For a long time. When people talk to me about this option, I discarded it. I didn’t even want to talk about it. Because for me, politics, institutional politics, political parties and politics was something that, in my point of view, back then, 30 years ago, it would be something that could interfere negatively.

00:16:01:08 – 00:16:23:24
Ivan Moraes
In my work as a social activist, I thought that it might represent some sort of conflict of interests. Oh, Yvonne is always on civil society movements. Would it be because of the long run? Who wants to be in politics? This this narrative of somebody that wants to change the world and takes advantage of that?

00:16:24:02 – 00:16:28:08
Philippa White
This was always a plan, basically. Yeah. It’s always been like a yes.

00:16:28:17 – 00:16:55:15
Ivan Moraes
As if it would be a goal to be in politics and to to participate on elections, for example. But then it took me a long time. It took me 40 years of living. It took me 20 years working in human rights to realize that it’s not like we have an option. We live on a theoretical democratic republic, and if you buy the social contract or your own interests, you decide that you want to live in a Democrat Republic.

00:16:55:16 – 00:17:16:07
Ivan Moraes
It means that you have a duty towards the republic that you want to do. And this duty cannot be only voting that every two years you need to participate on the decision making processes. And that’s what led me to join the party in 2016, because I thought they in Brazil we have to do I mean, it’s it’s not only a right, it’s also a duty.

00:17:16:07 – 00:17:40:20
Ivan Moraes
It’s not only voting because the actual decisions it took. No, I realize that. But the actual decisions regarding the elections are taken before we go to the ballots, because the parties are deciding who’s going to run, who’s not the member, who’s going to run with more money to campaign, who’s going to run with less money to convene? The parties are deciding whether or not they’re going to join are the parties in coalitions?

00:17:40:20 – 00:18:05:15
Ivan Moraes
And all of these decisions are made before the campaign even starts as Brazilian. When we go to vote, we actually deciding after the parties have already decided. It’s like we go to the Yeah, maybe we want to buy pineapple, but whoever runs this is a market. I decided that I’ll only choose between mangoes and bananas and I’ll have to choose mangoes, bananas or I’m not choose at all.

00:18:05:16 – 00:18:29:13
Ivan Moraes
Those are a huge hit is kind of an ambition for me and you know, for me, I’m putting my body at the stake a lot of times and participating on the social movements, which is completely fundamental for whatever we want to do. I mean, civil society movements and people on the street protesting and all this work that I used to do are still very, very important for whatever country we want to build.

00:18:29:13 – 00:19:02:23
Ivan Moraes
But this won’t be built, this won’t be made, we won’t succeed unless we have a lot of people, not one person and a lot of people eager to participate. They own the struggles and the disputes and the debates within the political parties and also willing to participate in the elections and for them want to participate in the institutions, whether being congressman or congresswoman or city councilor or state legislator or mayor.

00:19:03:00 – 00:19:34:19
Ivan Moraes
Davina, I mean, if we want things to be better, we need to realize that they won’t be better. If the logics of the political agenda follows the same paradigm as they’ve always followed. Yeah, we won’t change the country and we want to use the world if we understand that the same people who have always run government, any title magically title God given right to be the same people in the same parties coming from the same families, doing.

00:19:34:20 – 00:19:42:11
Philippa White
The same universities in the same schools, and the same vision of how the world works totally. That’s it. That’s yeah.

00:19:42:12 – 00:20:07:02
Ivan Moraes
That’s really brought on me is urged not to, to change my path. I don’t see it as a change of path. I don’t, I don’t see as, as a change of career. I am a communicator. My job, my work is communication. What I have done in the spirit of my life is to decide that I’m going to accept a mission participating on institutional politics.

00:20:07:02 – 00:20:15:05
Ivan Moraes
And I believe that everybody should do this a little bit in their lives so that no one should be obliged to do it permanent.

00:20:15:10 – 00:20:15:23
Philippa White
Amazing.

00:20:16:02 – 00:20:17:18
Ivan Moraes
I’m part right now.

00:20:17:22 – 00:20:41:13
Philippa White
Yes, that’s a fantastic takeaway. What I’m wondering, because, you know, this is a window in time in your life that you have dedicated to this mission and also this responsibility that as a citizen, everybody should consider. And I think that that’s a huge takeaway from this. When you reflect on your NGO life, probably the ability to make change and impact was a lot quicker, I can imagine.

00:20:41:13 – 00:21:09:07
Philippa White
So, you know, you see something, you fight against it. Either it happens or it doesn’t. You’re a lot more agile, I think in the third sector when you’re looking at the larger agenda of party that defends human rights, p know is a party that definitely embraces more sort of the human rights movement. How would you articulate the local needs of people and what they need on the ground and the overall party agenda?

00:21:09:07 – 00:21:16:13
Philippa White
And do you feel like you’re able to kind of make that impact quickly, or do you feel like you’re able to see the results of your efforts.

00:21:16:13 – 00:21:55:16
Ivan Moraes
The timeline on our needs and desires don’t always follow our own agenda that works both in civil society and institutional politics, because there are things that are principles that guide us to a certain horizon. So what’s our horizon? The horizon is a world in a country and a city in a state. What I’m doing is right now I could be doing in any city of the world because we have very similar horizons, despite the fact that I live in the city and I work in a city with certain characteristics, a lot of the things that are trying to do with here are very similar to what people were trying to deal with in many, many,

00:21:55:16 – 00:22:21:24
Ivan Moraes
many, many series around the world. But we want to live in the place where the state government has a role to guarantee human rights. So I want to live in a place where people can be attended by healthcare, where schooling is universal, where public media is available to expose us. So all sorts of different speeches or ideas or creations.

00:22:22:08 – 00:22:49:09
Ivan Moraes
I want to live in a place where men, women and people that don’t define themselves as men or women are treated the same with the same respect. I want to live in a place where people are not judged by their sexual orientation or by their gender identification. I want to live in a place where the family born into is not decisive on whether or not you can succeed or fail in your professional life.

00:22:49:09 – 00:23:18:03
Ivan Moraes
And these are horizons that me and thousands of people are chasing all around the world and in civil society. Sometimes we can see the steps that we take towards this goal more clearly sometimes, but sometimes, sometimes also not. For example, in central equatorial Israeli, we had my immediate results, let’s say, when we struggled for improvement in the health system or the educational system in the Cuban community in Senegal.

00:23:18:03 – 00:23:42:00
Ivan Moraes
And we could see year by year their own people getting a better education. When a library arrived in the community, we saw the library arrive. When we worked on the newspaper, we saw the process of making the newspaper and when when the newspaper result, it was a result that we could see grandkid reading to their grandmother and this was some sort of result.

00:23:42:00 – 00:24:03:17
Ivan Moraes
But our bigger goal of having all Cuban black communities with all human rights guaranteed is still on the wall. I mean, it’s not. Yeah, of course. I mean, it’s not necessary to right now, importance is the same. I mean, my goals, my horizons are students same. But the times and the steps that I can take right now are limited by my job.

00:24:03:17 – 00:24:27:00
Ivan Moraes
By being one of the 39 city councilors. But at the same time as this one city council, right now I have much more room to act towards public policy when we are talking about what the city hall needs to do. And then I’ll give you an example. We want the city to have a policy that guarantees that people have places and rules that they have to follow.

00:24:27:00 – 00:24:55:09
Ivan Moraes
So that they can sell their things and make a living. Yes. If it was a city that was born mostly because of the commerce that was made here from people that came from Europe or people that would travel around the country. And it was the commercial hub, a very important commercial hub back in to 300 years ago. And we want everybody that feels the need to sell things to be able to perform this job with some regulation, but with the rights to be on the streets, this is the horizon.

00:24:55:09 – 00:25:23:04
Ivan Moraes
But sometimes we have to deal with things like in Avenue, very important avenue. He sees of the bazaar that was being remodeled and the city hall advertised that one of the great things of the reform was that they would clear the sidewalks from the vendors. And it’s the point where 300 people made a living by selling water, cell phone, gadgets, hats, shoes, necks.

00:25:23:04 – 00:25:23:19
Philippa White
Food for things.

00:25:23:19 – 00:25:48:12
Ivan Moraes
That I think kinds of things. And then at that time, we led the struggle with groups of vendors and we opened a debate with the city hall and from 40 people that would say in the avenue we managed to have 100. So we almost tripled the amount of people that stayed in the body shop in standardized kiosks that they themselves designed.

00:25:48:14 – 00:26:12:10
Ivan Moraes
Oh, we had a process where the vendors could sit on the same table as the representatives of the city Hall, and we included designers from Universidad Catolica. And then they said exactly how they wanted the kiosks to be because they, more than anybody else knew what was important and how a kiosk should be built in the place where they worked for 20 years.

00:26:12:10 – 00:26:39:00
Ivan Moraes
And this was a very important victory that was achieved in a few months. For example, we fight for a new drug policy. We fight for the anti prohibitionist agenda. We think that it’s overdue, that we think that cannabis is a plant and it should be treated as a plant. And in the last few years, we saw the movement for people that need medicines made out of this plant grow a lot.

00:26:39:00 – 00:27:00:21
Ivan Moraes
And of course, we want I want and people that are with me in politics, we want to decriminalize marijuana at all. We think a plant should not be prohibited. But we understand that right now it’s it’s difficult to move this kind of agenda right now. But a lot of people already understand the importance of the medicines that are made with marijuana.

00:27:00:23 – 00:27:28:22
Ivan Moraes
So we managed to to create in one health institution, in a city that public owned once a week. And doctors are there to talk to patients that think they can use a CBD or THC or some other medicine that derives from this plant. And these doctors are prepared to give them the proper documentation so that they can go to a pharmacy or try to find ways to buy access the medicine that they want.

00:27:28:22 – 00:27:45:18
Ivan Moraes
It’s one thing in one public owned equipment that is helping a few hundred people, but it’s a seat for a new type of policy that won’t make us think that a plant is our enemy.

00:27:46:00 – 00:27:46:13
Philippa White
Yeah, it’s.

00:27:46:14 – 00:28:08:07
Ivan Moraes
Still one little step towards the horizon. I think the idea is not to. To forget where we want to go. When I was elected chief, I always wanted to talk about the big themes. I want to talk about drug policy. I want to talk about abortion. I want to talk about media regulation. And I want to talk about things that are not decided where I am right now.

00:28:09:10 – 00:28:48:03
Ivan Moraes
And that’s another obstacle. The people that elected me as a city council, a lot of people also need help fulfilling basic needs, such as trash pickup or the lights illumination of the city or the busses. So we need to be prepared to understand the horizon we want to achieve. But also we need to understand that the people here in my city, they’re so excluded from basic, basic, basic needs that we also need to dedicate a lot of time making the voice of these people that want a better streets, better illumination, better bus systems.

00:28:48:12 – 00:29:13:02
Ivan Moraes
So we need to find a way to talk about the big things, but not to forget that the average citizen has problems every day. And we need to find a way not to address them individually because we can’t, but to address these issues that interfere more with people’s daily lives. And that’s basically what people need or people want from a city councilor, which is the politician that is closer to the population.

00:29:13:02 – 00:29:38:13
Philippa White
Polarization is something that I think is on everyone’s minds, particularly now when we’re about to get into election season. But I think there’s something very interesting about local politics that perhaps doesn’t maybe see this as much. And I’m just I’m just curious to know, you know, people aren’t necessarily driven by ideology as much as actual need in local politics, from what I understand, especially in smaller towns.

00:29:38:13 – 00:29:56:03
Philippa White
And the party of the mayor, for example, almost doesn’t matter. It’s almost the person in their history and and how they’re living. And and I’m just wondering how much you think people’s needs and the current living situation, you know, even the pandemic, for example, will affect these national elections.

00:29:56:05 – 00:30:28:08
Ivan Moraes
Polarization kind of like the official word right now. It brings me mixed feelings because I thought in Brazil, since our military dictatorship ended in 1986 and the end of the eighties, we’ve always had strong parties bringing up a leftist agenda, and all the parties bring in the right wing agenda. We’ve had polarization between with the Workers Party in basically bid for a long time.

00:30:28:08 – 00:31:04:08
Ivan Moraes
In many consecutive times we had Lula against family Kilo, against USAir, against Geraldo. Out to me, who’s now with Lula, we had Lula against all Dilma against nice memories. And these were all elections where we polarized. We had people bringing up a more sea welfare agenda and people bringing more liberal agenda, neoliberalism. From the program of this, the bid for a long time has never been small differences in Brazil.

00:31:04:08 – 00:31:30:05
Ivan Moraes
General elections were always, always led by some sort of polarization. What we have now is different. We have a small group of people that have as a form of political debate, to use violence. It’s kind of like violence now is being legitimized for a small group of people as a form of political debate. And this is new to the last 40 years in Brazil.

00:31:30:09 – 00:31:34:02
Ivan Moraes
This was the way politics worked in the sixties and seventies.

00:31:34:11 – 00:31:35:14
Philippa White
During the dictatorship.

00:31:35:14 – 00:32:10:21
Ivan Moraes
That’s exactly what’s happening right now. But we don’t have a formal dictatorship, but we have a central government. We have a national government that gives messages they have today legitimizing violence, boosting the gun market. And it’s different. It’s it’s has never been like that in Brazil. And one of the biggest symbols of that is that Geraldo, how can you who’s not a leftist, who was a governor of some power, who belonged for a long time to best debate, which was the biggest right wing party for the last 20 years.

00:32:11:06 – 00:32:43:05
Ivan Moraes
He joined Lula and they’re both against that. So, as I say, people that agree with a leftist agenda should vote for Lula and people who agree with a right wing agenda should vote for alchemy. And they are both in the same ballot because it’s it’s the living proof that we are not struggling. We’re not debating whether or not our government is more to the right and what of the left or more socialist or liberal we are debating, or whether or not we have a republic government in Brazil.

00:32:43:06 – 00:32:55:11
Ivan Moraes
We are not debating ideas. Yeah, about politics. We are debating whether or not we are able to debate. We are able to have some sort of democracy in Brazil.

00:32:55:13 – 00:32:56:02
Philippa White
Even one.

00:32:56:16 – 00:33:16:02
Ivan Moraes
People’s alliance that affects people’s lives in the way that people are much more now than they were before, in the way that jobs, of course, right now, because the reforms, our working laws and that made it really easy for people to fire people in the media, really easy for people to hire people without the rights that we’ve always had in Brazil.

00:33:16:02 – 00:33:25:16
Ivan Moraes
So it’s affecting people day by day. It’s affecting people that have no idea the politics could influence their lives that much. People are seeing their lives being worse.

00:33:26:06 – 00:33:26:22
Philippa White
I just got.

00:33:26:22 – 00:33:30:07
Ivan Moraes
Everybody realize realizes that politics was the.

00:33:30:07 – 00:33:52:23
Philippa White
Cause. So that’s the thing. I mean, obviously, this is a conversation that we need. You need to come over when you have a glass of wine and we can talk for a really long time. And obviously we’re coming to the end of the podcast, but it’s so concerning because you just hope that many people do contribute that to the government, to the national government, the poorer people in the communities, the access to that information to to to see that call.

00:33:53:04 – 00:34:18:18
Ivan Moraes
Because human rights activists say over and over, the human rights anywhere should be universal, because they should be guaranteed to. But they are indivisible and they are interdependent. As a communicator, as a journalist, I will always say that the lack of communication and the lack of basic rights to communicate and to be able to receive information is the source of the tragedy that we live right now.

00:34:18:19 – 00:34:42:16
Ivan Moraes
We have had wave after wave of disinformation, of people manipulated by wrongfully drawn media and bad reporting and of course, lawfare. I mean, it’s not only one thing, but it’s in the genesis and the lack of communication, the lack of the minimal diversity, any information that we receive is on the very source of the crisis.

00:34:43:11 – 00:34:54:17
Philippa White
And we are coming to the end of this podcast. But I just there are a couple other questions that I do just want to ask you. You know what is the hardest part of your job and how does your job impact your daily life?

00:34:54:19 – 00:35:17:22
Ivan Moraes
Hugely. Right now, if I want to go to the movies with my wife, I have to schedule it. I, I no longer own my own agenda. I no longer own my own. The small nights, my weekends, some issues. See, I don’t like to see sacrifice. It’s not that it shouldn’t be a sacrifice, but it’s a mission. And it takes a long time.

00:35:17:22 – 00:35:39:14
Ivan Moraes
I mean, the biggest impact is the amount of time that I don’t have anymore for me, myself or my family, for my friends, but also the amount of exposition that I have when people criticize me to keep people cursing at me sometimes on social media, this is this is bad, but it’s not that much. I must say, honestly, that I don’t get much sleep.

00:35:39:24 – 00:35:55:23
Philippa White
Just for our listeners, Yvonne is a very popular politician. You are. I mean, a lot of people have. You’re very well, you’re very charismatic. Your beliefs, I mean, they’re really in line with a lot of the values that many people are wanting the world to go in that direction. So you’re not carrying something that’s hugely polemic.

00:35:56:04 – 00:36:19:02
Ivan Moraes
Yes. And also try to debate in the high level of tenderness. I am very radical in some of my ideas, but I’m very flexible on the debate because I realize we are different people. We come from different places and we have to be generous when we talk to somebody that on the first moment disagrees with you. So I try to exercise this method.

00:36:19:04 – 00:36:28:09
Ivan Moraes
The hardest part is that I have to do every day with problems that I can’t solve too. Do you think what happened then you can’t fix at all? It’s impossible.

00:36:28:16 – 00:36:52:03
Philippa White
One thing that I just as an outsider looking in the last time that we got together and this is I think it was at the beginning of the pandemic, and I met with you to just brainstorm different ways of being able to help in his city. And we went for lunch and it didn’t stop. Like we sat at a table and, you know, you were in theory working because it was a working day and it was of during working hours.

00:36:52:03 – 00:37:10:08
Philippa White
But I can imagine that was not limited to just us going to lunch. I imagine when you talk about having to book the time to go to the cinema with your wife, I’m pretty sure that this would happen there too. It’s just constantly having people come up and talk. I mean, one year and no one character. But I think it’s not just that it’s in this role.

00:37:10:08 – 00:37:25:14
Philippa White
There’s always somebody wanting to say something or wanting to know something or wanting to pitch something or wanting to. And you just and you in the role that you’re in, you have to be on and you have to treat people with respect and be, you know, I just think it must be so hard.

00:37:25:17 – 00:37:44:16
Ivan Moraes
A lot of times I like it. I have it. As the principal market changed my habits. So I still go to the parties and still try to go the movies. When I have the time, I still go to the beach. And that really how I mean, my body is always in public places and not hidden any time. So I try to be the same person.

00:37:44:16 – 00:38:04:20
Ivan Moraes
I still take the passes to ride my bike and a lot of times I do happen. People come up and say, Hey, Yvonne, is anybody I like Agile regulations, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s nice because you get recognized for something that you’re doing. Yeah. Sometimes it’s harder because sometimes people want to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to you because you are in a public place anyway.

00:38:05:03 – 00:38:15:06
Ivan Moraes
You have a meeting and it’s better when we set our meetings so that I prepared to receive your pitch or your demand, and they’ll be prepared to give back to.

00:38:15:06 – 00:38:17:16
Philippa White
What keeps you up at night and what gives you.

00:38:17:16 – 00:38:40:05
Ivan Moraes
Hope. What keeps me up at night when I have to make a decision that’s not so easy because a lot of decisions that I make every day are really easy for me because I days myself on principles, but sometimes it’s not so much black and white when there’s a decision that it’s a tough decision that regards whether or not I will vote for a law that I don’t love.

00:38:40:10 – 00:39:02:14
Ivan Moraes
But it can be important. The gray area keeps me up at night and what gives me hope is when I see people organizing. Because these six years working as a city councilor, I realize that there’s nothing that the people cannot do if they are organized. Every time you have a lot of people mobilized in for a cause, they will move forward.

00:39:02:14 – 00:39:06:06
Ivan Moraes
And when I see happens, it does give me hope, does it touches me?

00:39:06:06 – 00:39:11:05
Philippa White
Even we have come to the end. But I just wonder, is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners?

00:39:11:07 – 00:39:29:12
Ivan Moraes
I love our conversation. One thing that you haven’t asked but I should have said is the importance of talking about politics more. I know a lot of people don’t want to talk about politics. I know a lot of people, especially in Brazil, especially the youth, they don’t see politics as something that they can assess or they should assess.

00:39:29:12 – 00:39:53:01
Ivan Moraes
But I make a point of talking about politics with a lot of people. I try to reach the ordinary citizen every Friday. I hoping to see four and then we’ll talk on the bus about what I did on that. We will be like I’m if I’m a city councilor, I work for you. And as your employee, I’m on the bus talking to you about what I did with the salary that you pay me and then I go on and on on Monday.

00:39:53:01 – 00:40:23:10
Ivan Moraes
I did that on Tuesday because I think it’s important for people to realize, what are we doing actually? Rather than just go vote for me and give it to you. So let’s talk about politics. Let’s understand that politics is not an option. Since the moment we are born, a lot of things that occur and interfere in our lives are decided in the political arena, and to ignore it or to make believe it doesn’t happen and you will live without necessarily thinking about it.

00:40:23:10 – 00:40:43:23
Ivan Moraes
It doesn’t help because it will affect you anyway. Whether you participate or not. So you better parties. I actually chose two quotes. One is basic science. Yeah. When in the nineties he said impossible. Frankie, it was the most amazing one step forward and you’re not standing still.

00:40:44:07 – 00:40:45:16
Philippa White
In the same place as you give.

00:40:45:19 – 00:41:05:24
Ivan Moraes
Us, gives us the idea of a call to action. And then 20 years later, Ceiba took another step and said, To do this, you don’t pass the cycle of got the world moves. Every time I take this step model, I’m in a different place. But the whole world was.

00:41:05:24 – 00:41:07:03
Philippa White
You started taking.

00:41:07:09 – 00:41:09:15
Ivan Moraes
Also taking your steps.

00:41:09:24 – 00:41:15:05
Philippa White
You’ve just left me with this. Thank you.

00:41:15:15 – 00:41:19:01
Ivan Moraes
Thank you. I love you.

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