Soccer fans help open streets in Brazil to attend matches

Soccer fans help open streets in Brazil to attend matches

Football in Brazil moves mountains. And set up roadblocks. Some fans are fed up with the hundreds of hacks organized by supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro to protest his defeat in Sunday’s election. The Ultras of Corinthians, the team of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Atlético Mineiro helped unblock the communication channels to be able to attend their respective games. They also took the opportunity to withdraw the green and yellow flags, banners of Bolsonarianism, replacing them with banners that read, “We are for democracy.”

The Halcones de los Fieles del Corinthians were preparing to leave São Paulo by bus for Rio de Janeiro, where their side were playing a game this Wednesday, when on Tuesday night they hit one of the many barriers that the Bolsonaristas had at large Land dispute election results. Faced with the dilemma of turning back or trying to break the deadlock, they chose the latter.

In one video, a group of fans can be seen running and screaming towards the Bolsonaristas’ cars, who immediately run away. In the background, others can be heard chanting Lula’s name and firing red flares. Other similar scenes were repeated this Wednesday. Danilo Pássaro, one of the fans who shared the videos, declared his willingness to “guarantee that the will of the people is respected through the polls”.

Corinthians has not only counted Lula among its supporters, but also has a long history of fighting for the country’s democratization, a movement known as “Corinthian democracy.” In 1979, in the midst of the military dictatorship and during a game against Santos, his fans unfurled a huge banner reading “Broad, general and unrestricted amnesty”, alluding to imprisoned opponents of the regime. Those were the years when Lula, president of the ABC Metallurgical Workers union in São Paulo, led strikes to demand wage increases.

Corinthians fans weren’t the only ones putting up blockades. Atlético de Minas Gerais’ Galoucura group, who don’t have such a close relationship with Lula, also didn’t allow roadblocks to prevent her from attending a game in Sao Paulo on Tuesday night and spoiling their party. “Nothing and nobody will stop us or prevent us from supporting the club,” fans president Josimar Júnior posted on Instagram.

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These elections have once again politicized Brazilian football. Neymar has backed Bolsonaro while Raí, a former PSG player and brother of Sócrates, a Corinthians veteran, has backed Lula. Corinthians were the first major team to congratulate the Labor Party leader after his election victory. “A true party of democracy that ended in a climate of peace, that’s what we need most,” reads the club’s official record, of which Lula was life coach between 2003 and 2016, when he was forced to leave for excess fouls at the club meetings

While fans are making their way here and there, the police continue to be overwhelmed with so much Bolsonarista blockade. As of Monday night, they reached more than 300 in twenty states, although the number had fallen to less than half as of Wednesday afternoon thanks to the mobilization of state security forces. The Federal Court of Justice ordered the freeways to be opened “immediately” on Monday night and fined those who resisted 100,000 reais an hour, around $20,000.

After 45 hours of silence following his defeat, Bolsonaro declared on Tuesday that he sympathized with the sense of “injustice” behind the blockades but that he disagreed with those “methods”. [propios] from left”. As the closures continued, Wednesday has again insisted. “It’s not legal. Closing roads harms the constitutional right to free movement,” he said in a video. “Free the highways. Protest in a different way.”

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