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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 15:54 UTC



Copacabana packed with Bolsonarist demonstrators defending free speech from De Moraes

Monday, April 22nd 2024 - 12:38 UTC
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Bolsonaro keeps drafting popular support as his situation before the courts worsens by the hour with every new testimony or finding Bolsonaro keeps drafting popular support as his situation before the courts worsens by the hour with every new testimony or finding

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took center stage Sunday during a major demonstration in Rio de Janeiro to defend the country from the attacks on freedom of expression by Supreme Federal Court Justice Alexandre De Moraes and many officials from the Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva administration. In addition to those of Brazil, many Israeli flags were displayed.

De Moraes threatened to impose sanctions on the social network X for failing to close the accounts De Moraes found to be spreading fake news. But X owner Elon Musk said he would not comply and that, if that meant that X would have to cease operating in Brazil, so be it. Sunday's march in front of Copacabana Beach donning green and yellow jerseys was regarded as a show of support to both Bolsonaro and Musk and against censorship.

The magistrate is also handling various investigations targeting the retired Army captain, including the one regarding his alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow Lula in January 2023.

Bolsonaro insisted he was a victim of “persecution” and “cowardice” from people wanting to “finish the job in Juiz de Fora,” where he was stabbed. He also highlighted Musk's “courage to show with some evidence” where the country's democracy was heading and said the South African tycoon was a “myth of freedom.” Congressman Gustavo Gayer (PL-GO) delivered part of his speech in English because “Elon Musk is watching.”

According to Bolsonaro, “the whole world is aware of how threatened our freedom of expression is, how close we are to a dictatorship.” He also denied the allegations against him for reportedly “inciting” his followers to violently invade the headquarters of the three branches of power on January 8 last year. While calling for an amnesty for those arrested for their participation in the riots, Bolsonaro never mentioned De Moraes or the STF.

But Pastor Silas Malafía, a well-known Bolsonarist who also grabbed the microphone Sunday, said the Judge was a “dictator of the robe” who adopts a “modus operandi” common to dictators, that of “arresting some to put fear into others”.

“It's naughty to say that Jair Messias Bolsonaro plotted a coup. An attempted coup is in Article 359 of the Penal Code, which says that an attempted coup is trying, with the use of violence or serious threat, to abolish the Democratic State of Law, preventing or restricting the exercise of constitutional powers. Was Lula prevented from becoming president? Were the STF ministers prevented? Where's the cannon? Where's the bomb?” Malafía said.

Bolsonaro had already held a mass protest on Feb. 25 in São Paulo. Sunday's demonstration in Copacabana was a new chapter in Bolsonaro's search for popular support amid STF probes cornering him against the ropes.

Also speaking at the event was former First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, who opted for a less inflammatory speech than the one at the February rally on Paulista Avenue. However, she took on feminism and called for feminine women to do “feminine politics.”

Sunday's demonstration was opened by PL Party Chairman Valdemar da Costa Neto, who needed to leave before Bolsonaro's arrival because of an STF order banning him from any contact with the former head of state.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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