Carlos Pereira is a Socialist MP. Unlike Jardim’s followers, he has no difficulty in identifying the targets of Jardim’s call to violence or in understanding his message.
Defense Lawyer - The paper had a written phase “the people ‘take care’ of them while I go on working”. This is an extract of part of a longer speech made by Jardim in an inauguration in Câmara de Lobos, before many people, during which, among other things, Jardim said “these people are back again, through the boys of the younger generation, wanting to turn back, to turn back to the era of fascism, to the time when those who produced sugar cane were exploited, were mistreated at the gates of the Hinton [factory]”. And then Jardim said: “faced with this hypocritical behavior of the opposition, where the communists are in league with the fascists and with the socialists, who accompany this attack against the people and freedom”. And it ended with that appeal to the people that they ‘take care of them’ while he went on working. The news came out following this speech, quoting the phrase, the text, and I ask: at whom was Jardim directing his speech? Can one understand, through Jardim’s words (of course he normally never names people), but with these words of his speech, who was he referring to?
Witness - Well, naturally, Dr. Jardim was referring to all those who normally disagree with his discourse, with his stances, with his options and his politics. In this particular case, following the news of the ‘Garajau’, he was directing himself specifically to those people who have lately been linked to the PND (New Democracy Party), this much seems obvious...
Lawyer - Does the accused form part of this group?
Witness - Yes, yes.
Lawyer - Dr. Jardim often refers to fascists, and I ask, how does he habitually treat those people who form the PND and the PND itself?
Witness - He often calls them fascists, naturally. That has been habitual speech...
Lawyer - Dr. Jardim’s normal speech, when he refers to the PND is to say fascism, to link them to fascism, is that it?
Witness - Yes, that’s the speech.
Lawyer - In inaugurations and public functions?
Witness - Yes, in inaugurations and public functions. In the last elections, we saw this publicly various times. It happened several times.
Lawyer - As a normal reader or listener, who keeps up with politics, how do you understand that phrase ‘the people ‘take care’ of them while I go on working’?
Witness - Well, once again, it’s the norm. Those of us who live in Madeira know this trait of Dr. Jardim. Dr. Alberto João Jardim creates an environment of persecution. We live in a society in which the persecutory nature of the regime is clear. And so what this means, it is that which he has been nurturing in the last years, which is the sense of persecuting those who criticize him and who, in any way, deconstruct the absurdity of his politics. There is nothing strange and nothing new in this.
Judge – Excuse me Dr., persecution in what sense? Could you be precise.
Witness - Persecution at various levels. Yes, Yes. Persecution…I can. Persecution at various levels. As you know, Your Honor, persecution is not necessarily pursuing people. There are various forms of doing it, be it in someone’s professional career, be it through family members, through the businesses someone may have, if they happen to be business people, or be it through their, well, their own…mistreating people’s honor.. Judge – But can you give a more concrete meaning to the expression ‘the people ‘take care’ of them while I go on working’?
Witness - Yes, it means persecute them. It means persecute them, to the extent of, well, of physical aggression. That is what I understand of this phrase.
Judge – You understand that there is here an implicit…an implicit incitement to physical violence?
Witness - Yes there is, at the limit, an incitement to physical violence, without a doubt.
Judge – “Take care of them” can be a bit ambiguous, not so?
Witness - Yes, but it can also be physical violence.
Judge – It can be many things.
Witness - Or be it, the ambiguity can be many things but it can be…
Judge – It could be referring to treatment of wounds and to nursing?
Witness - No, Dr. Alberto João Jardim was certainly not referring to nurses and the treatment of wounds. I think Your Honor understands this.
Judge – Would he necessarily be referring to beating those people who disagree with him?
Witness - At the limit, yes, I think so. We who live in Madeira don’t have many doubts about that. It has happened, such situations have occurred, and so it doesn’t seem, well, that there is anything surprising in the expression that Jardim used. In this regime there are people who are more papist than the Pope, and Dr. Jardim is aware of that. In other words, he knows he has a core, a group, a movement of people who are disposed, if encouraged, duly encouraged, and if they feel they have impunity, and that many times happens, to carry out [his orders]. And this happens in particular circumstances. It has happened before, so it doesn’t seem very strange to me. Unfortunately, that’s the understanding of those who live in Madeira.
Lawyer – Faced with this speech and this photomontage, how does an average reader, in your case, how did you see this? Was it an upardonable offense to Dr. Jardim? Na attempt to vilify Dr. Jardim on a first page? Or did you see it in another way?
Witness – I saw it as a consequence of Dr. Jardim’s actions, in other words, that which is portrayed in a newspaper that normally, well, satirizes the life, the living experience of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. What it does is to basically translate into an image that which has been the behavior of Dr. Jardim in recent years. And Dr. Jardim’s behavior has much that the figure represents. Authoritarianism, persecution, as I said, well, the castration of the very freedom of expression, which in fact goes on in the Autonomous Region of Madeira through various means. Not necessarily in the ways witnessed in Nazism, but through means whose objective…the means are different, but the objective ends up by being the same and the results are, unfortunately, very similar.