Protests deeply polarized BrazilBreaking

November 12, 2022

Protests in deeply polarized Brazil have dwindled since presidential elections nearly two weeks ago but some hard-core supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro remain in the streets. A retired metalworker, Jose Carlos Flamino, stood at his encampment near a military barracks in Sao Paulo and vowed to remain as long as is necessary.He still doesnt accept that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leftist former president who squeaked out a 50.9 percent victory over Bolsonaro 49.1 percent in the October 30 vote, won fairly and squarely. The balloting that gave victory to Lula is not reliable, said Flamino, 53, demanding the military overturn the vote. He  not alone. Other diehard Bolsonaro supporters are camped out with him at the Sao Paulo garrison and at military barracks across Brazil. Bolsonaro, a retired army captain, was a victim of an injustice but we are fighting here for the fatherland, said Aguinaldo Coimbro, a 52-year-old market analyst, a Brazilian flag draped over his shoulders.

About 100 people with him outside the Sao Paulo military base chanted, SOS, armed forces, and called on the military to save Brazil. Most wore green and yellow clothing, the colors of the national flag that has turned into a symbol for Bolsonaro followers. Brazil didnt elect anyone. The people dont accept this. We dont want to become Venezuela. Our freedom doesn;t have a price, said Lena Pasqualini, 62, a jewelry saleswoman resting at a support center with donated food for the protesters. At a temporary encampment of protesters next to the central Duque de Caxias garrison in Rio de Janeiro, around 100 people remained on Friday morning, down from several thousand in the days after the October 30 runoff election. Even as demonstrations melt to only a few dozen people, protesters insist they represent multitudes. The election "was stolen, and that why all of Brazil is in the streets, said Paulo Campelo, 70, a retired soldier.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP