Lula finished the campaign fueled by a fan dreaming of

Lula finished the campaign fueled by a fan dreaming of a historic win Letter P

SAINT PAUL (Special Envoy) After almost ten years of ban, Filipe and Walter carry wooden flags with the face of the former president into the Corinthians Stadium this Saturday Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. One of them flies over Avenida Paulista with the Timão anchor and bearded face of the Workers’ Party (PT) leader from the 1980s when he commanded the struggles against the civil-military dictatorship. “Our Torcida is hardworking and popular, just like him,” he says letter p One of them who has a face tattooed on his right arm consisting of the left side of the Che Guevara and the right to Diego Armando Maradona.

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Around noon, in the heart of this city, it stops raining after a week and a few minutes later a roofless truck appears: Lula is driving in it with his comrade-in-arms, Gerald Alkmin. The sun comes out and the humidity shoots up. The Caravan of Hope, as this type of event is called, takes Augusta Street and is followed by a flood of people. The militancy does not go, it is driven by the wave that forces them to lift their feet from the asphalt and let themselves be carried away. A grey-haired man and a t-shirt with the same face as the flag asks for care. “There are children,” he warns. A security chain of willing but inexperienced young men tries to keep their distance. It’s not working. Pushing people, dancing, jumping, singing, screaming. A woman is crying. “Lula, Lula,” he says quietly. She doesn’t shout it, she says it to herself. “Lula, Lula,” he repeats. He presses a flag to his chest with both his hands. Scream.

At the conclusion of the PT campaign in São Paulo, the state where the party was born almost 30 years ago, no candidate speaks. At no point does Lula pick up the microphone or raise her voice. Your people don’t care. He does everything to see him up close, to meet his gaze, to touch him. Families come out onto the balconies to greet him, wave the red flags, take his picture. Two young people argue and argue about the thrusts it takes for the limited space to stay on their feet. “Lula-Lá, Ilumina o Brasil daesperaça”: The campaign song sounds from a truck driving on. The fingers that form an L reach up to the sky. Red flares explode and papers fall from the sides of the sidewalk. Another woman cries and sings, “I’m afraid of being happy.”

On Avenida Paulista, a couple with their daughter play with the flags and stickers distributed by the campaign. Until a few days ago, the mother, Júlia, wanted to vote for the Democratic Labor Party candidate, Cyrus Gomes, but it has changed and will for the PT. “We have to win in the first round,” he explains to letter P. In some room in the state command, Lula’s election campaign is smiling: the opposition wants to win without a ballot this Sunday and is appealing to the “useful vote” of other forces to defeat the president Jair Bolsonaro. In dialogue with this medium Eduardo Suplicy, historical party leader and current candidate for state representation, predicts: “We are very happy because we won tomorrow (for this Sunday) by a sufficient margin.” The militancy rushes to the top. “Guarda, he’s 80 years old,” says someone.

The caravan advances. A young man jumps several meters on one leg because he lost a shoe between the jumps and the dancing of the crowd. Lula asks permission from one of his assistants and stands on a platform of the truck. People are excited. The screams silence the truck’s songs. The PT leader jumps and dances. He is 76 years old and works out every morning. After 581 days in prison over what the judiciary found rigging and partisan, the former president is gearing up for the most important game in his history. “We have to win in the first round and defeat fascism,” says Filipe this portal.

After six blocks and two hours of walking, the caravan comes to an end. Dozens of parked cars with sirens and blue lights flashing form a tetris causing a funnel of people. Lula enters one of them, comes out again and gives a final salute. people surround him. Federal police officers, dressed in civilian clothes but with recognizable insignia, shout louder than the crowd and shove violently. There is concern for your safety. During the election campaign, three PT fighters were murdered by those linked to the ruling party, and Bolsonaro’s threat not to admit defeat is stoking fears. The car starts and people run.

A sector of militancy follows and greets the vice presidential nominee, Gerald Alkmin. A few years ago this meeting was unthinkable. The Tucano, as he is known for his political background, was Lula’s rival in the 2006 election, but this year they formed an alliance between the progressive PT and his conservative right to defeat Bolsonaro.

-Will Lula win in the first round?- asks the letter P.

-We are working- replies the ex-governor of São Paulo.

Lula’s former minister and current federal representative Alexander Padila Addressing the retreating mobilization with a megaphone amplifying his already worn voice.

-Lula wins in the first round?- asks letter P again.

-We are ready to make an escape. Ending this struggle is very important to defend democracy and to start rebuilding the country as soon as possible – he affirms.

The Corinthians flags will be removed from central São Paulo and headed south of the city where, like the PT, Timão will be hoping for a win this weekend.