Luaty Beirão

Civil disobedience

Par Estelle MAUSSION - Publié en

Luaty Beirão has just ended a 36-day hunger strike – one day for every year that Angola’s president, José Eduardo dos Santos, has been in power. The 33-year-old Angolan-Portuguese rapper and father of a little girl was protesting against his and 14 other young people’s “preventive detention” since 20 June. All of them had been arrested for discussing Gene Sharp’s book on civil disobedience, From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation (The Albert Einstein Institution, 1994). Charged with rebellion and planning an attack against the president, they risk three to 12 years in prison. News of Mr. Beirão’s arrest spread like wild?  re on the social networks, which only made his aura brighter. Ikonoklasta (his stage name), whose father was once close to President dos Santos, has been slamming the regime’s corruption and repression for years in his songs. In 2011, he sparked the country’s ?  rst demonstrations by urging a concert audience to follow in the Arab Spring’s footsteps. Despite receiving threats, he has never looked back since then. Although the rapper lost 15 kilos, he remains steadfast in his “?  ght for justice.”