1667430767 Thousands of Bolsonaristas took to the streets to demand military

Thousands of Bolsonaristas took to the streets to demand military intervention to prevent Lula from taking power

Several thousand Bolsonarists, convinced that the presidential elections were rigged, took to the streets this Wednesday to call for military intervention to prevent the victor, leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from seizing power. It is the heaviest expression of anger from supporters of defeated President Jair Bolsonaro, who the day before, in his first statement since the elections, avoided acknowledging the result or congratulating his rival. Convened by networks and draped in their country’s flag, they have staged coup protests outside army headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia and seven other states. Lula beat Bolsonaro by the minimum (50.9% vs. 49.1%).

The two months left until the inauguration of the new president on January 1 in Brasilia are particularly delicate given the stance of Bolsonaro, who has managed, by sowing doubt, to trick a large part of his supporters into believing electoral fraud. Brazil’s outgoing president is a former army captain who has lent wings to coup speeches several times during his tenure. This is Lula’s third term in office.

In any case, work on the transfer of powers is already underway. Lula’s transition team, led by future vice-president Geraldo Alckmin, is in contact with the government minister. And it is already known that Lula’s first international act after his victory will be attending the COP 27 climate summit, which takes place in Egypt this month. The US government has announced through a spokeswoman that it is pleased that Bolsonaro has recognized the election result, reports Portal.

The fact that the outgoing President remained silent for two days after losing the elections and the ambiguity of his very short speech spurred these mobilizations by the most radical supporters. Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that “peaceful protests are welcome,” criticizing truckers who blocked roads across the country to protest the outcome. But it also opened the door to concentrations like this one in front of the barracks. Bolsonaro has formally approved the transfer, but he doesn’t want to give the impression that he’s backing down in front of the most radical supporters, those who have not failed him even at the worst moment of the pandemic.

Jorge Luiz Faria, 67, explained his motivation for joining the coup protest in São Paulo and demanding what he defines as “the military that brings order”: “We cannot let communism in, what we want is a normal one Democracy,” said this retiree who was an industrial supplies clerk. Faria does not want a military government, but that the uniformed organize “fair new elections”. He’s convinced Bolsonaro would win them.

With him Julieta Seiko Abe, 64, a retired hotel manager and convinced that “whoever they say[Lula]didn’t win” and that if the Supreme Electoral Court declared him the winner, it’s because “the from the Supreme Court militants are of the criminal left.

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Douglas Luis, a 35-year-old private security worker who attended the protests in São Paulo to prevent Lula’s return to power and believes that overturning the Labor Party leader’s convictions is the only solution: “We I don’t want a president who is an ex-con who was released with a signature.”

Among the participants in the protest in São Paulo were Brazilians of all ages and races dressed in the green and yellow of the flag: groups of friends, many couples, some families with children and also some obvious fans of motorcycles or guns due to the slogans their jerseys, because in Brazil you can only circulate armed in very specific transfers. The atmosphere was a strange mix of excitement and party, with many taking selfies or broadcasting live on social media.

Aerial view of the protest in front of the army headquarters this Wednesday in São Paulo. Aerial view of the protest in front of the army headquarters this Wednesday in São Paulo. MIGUEL SCHINCariol (AFP)

It took the Brazilian media several hours to report on the coup protests. And no government agency has spoken either.

With well-coordinated slogans, the demonstrators arrived at the gates of the barracks. There were few banners and few proclamations at the protest. That yes, total coincidence in the surname of the protest. All called for “federal intervention,” nothing military, lest they be branded coup plotters. And no reference to President Bolsonaro to shield him from possible future allegations.

The fact that November 2 is a public holiday, Finados Day, may have contributed to increased participation in the protests. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro truckers continue roadblocks, but the number of roads affected is fewer than the previous day. There are blockages at about 150 points (to understand the scale, Brazil has 5,000 communities).

The President has no party to call his own, a convenient acronym has been sought for the elections (the Liberal Party), but he leads a movement with no broad or solid structure, coordinated and capable of bringing together large ones groups in a short time. One of the most famous slogans from Bolsonaro’s demonstrations in recent years, heard this Wednesday, is “I came for nothing,” a nod to the fact that Lula’s Labor Party often mobilizes its militants in buses. The supporters of the president presume to travel on their own.

While his team begins work on the transfer of power, Lula has been resting with his wife Janja for three days in a house on a paradise beach in the state of Bahia. The campaign prevented the couple from enjoying their honeymoon after their wedding in May.