Right wing activists ambush Judith Butler at Brazilian airport

Protest against Judith Butler held at SESC Pompeii, São Paulo

Right-wing activists staged a protest against the theorist Judith Butler as she arrived at Congonhas airport in São Paulo to board a flight on Friday. A video posted on the Facebook page of Ativistas Independentes shows several protesters carrying signs denouncing Butler's writing, in particular her stance on abortion and work in queer studies. Ativistas Independentes describe Butler as a 'propagator of hatred against Israel and the implantation of gender ideology around the world.'

Butler responded 'Fuck you.' An associate of Butler's received a scratch after a placard made contact with her during the incident.

Protests had already been held outside SESC Pompeii where the theorist was participating in a three-day symposium titled 'The End of Democracy'. This latest incident comes after numerous exhibitions and plays in Brazil have been targeted by right wing and evangelical Christian groups.

In October hundreds in the Brazilian artworld signed an open lettering decrying 'right-wing militants, sects from within neo-Pentecostal churches, certain politicians with great public responsibility – but lacking republican spirit – civil servants and bureaucrats in the judiciary sphere, the police force and public prosecutors [who] are joining forces against artistic creations and art institutions. They are censoring exhibitions, harassing visitors and museum employees, and using social networks to demean and outrage people they disagree with.' The right in the country are increasingly emboldened after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and presidency of Michel Temer.

13 November 2017