Brazil‘Block the roads,’ Bolsonaro tells supporters
Since President Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat was announced, many of his supporters have decided to block roads in the country to demand the intervention of the military.
Outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday asked his supporters to block Brazil’s roads while endorsing “legitimate demonstrations”, ending a day where his supporters gathered in front of command posts and demanded the army’s intervention.
“I appeal to you: block the roads. It doesn’t seem to me to be part of legitimate demonstrations,” the far-right leader, who was defeated in the presidential election by Lula, said in a video broadcast on social networks, referring to the roadblocks maintained in more than half of the places. States, even if the number is less than the previous day. “Other demonstrations across Brazil, elsewhere, are part of the democratic game and are welcome,” he added.
The day’s mobilization was marred by a violent episode: at a roadblock near Mirasol in the state of São Paulo (southeast), a driver attacked demonstrators, injuring at least seven people, according to the CNN channel. Some Bolsonaros proved threatening to journalists, including the AFP team, especially in São Paulo, where the number of demonstrators began to thin out by late afternoon.
The protests came a day after a speech by Jair Bolsonaro, a nostalgic former army captain of the military dictatorship (1964-85), who was defeated in Sunday’s presidential election by former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-). 2010).
On Tuesday he broke a two-day silence by saying he “respected” the constitution and greenlit a transition with his leftist successor, Lula. But he delivered a message encouraged by his supporters: “Peaceful demonstrations are always welcome”. For him, they were “the fruit of anger and a sense of injustice at the way the electoral process unfolded,” a phrase his stepson Eduardo Bolsonaro picked up on Wednesday in a post on Instagram that showed an aerial view. Protest in Rio de Janeiro.
In São Paulo, thousands of Bolsonaros demonstrated in front of the Southeastern military command, demanding military intervention, shouting “immediate federal intervention,” an AFP-TV journalist noted.
A similar demonstration outside army headquarters in Brasilia drew thousands of protesters, according to an AFP photographer, with some chanting “civilian resistance”.
In the same scene in Rio de Janeiro, thousands of demonstrators chanted in front of the military command: “Lula, thief, your place is in prison,” says a journalist from AFP-TV.
“We are asking (…) for military intervention so that our country does not become communist,” explained AFP-TV Rodrigo da Mata, a 41-year-old salesman in Sao Paulo. “We do not recognize the election result because we know it is rigged. Like everything the PT does,” he adds of Lula’s Workers’ Party.
Nazi salutes were filmed during protests in the southern state of Santa Catarina.
According to the UOL news site, demonstrations in favor of the military’s intervention were held in front of military buildings in 11 states (out of 27) of the country on Wednesday.
“There’s no point in crying, we’ve lost the game”, however Vice-President Hamilton Mourau declared to the daily “O Globo”, who often expressed his sense of independence from the head of state.
The number of roadblocks almost halved: the Federal Highway Police (PRF) reported that it recorded about 146 roadblocks in 16 states in Brazil against 271 the previous day, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon. About 688 such protests were liquidated, he said.
Their numbers fell sharply when the police began using force with the approval of the Supreme Court, which urged them to use “all means necessary” to block roads. “We cannot use the methods of the left, which block freedom of movement,” President Bolsonaro said on Tuesday.
In Sao Paulo, tear gas and water cannons had to be used to restore traffic on the Castello Branco road, the main road connecting Brazil’s economic heart with the country’s center-west, the economic hub.
These dams have caused supply difficulties in Brazil, which relies almost exclusively on road transport for the transport of goods and foodstuffs. The National Confederation of Industry warned on Tuesday of “risk of shortages and fuel shortages” if the roadblocks are not removed quickly. Information site G1 estimates that 70% of supermarkets have already seen supply shortages of some products.
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