Questioning the Brazilian Election Results Is a "Coup Plot" with Criminal Consequences
Less than 24 hours after the results of the Brazilian election and presidential runoffs were announced, protests erupted and spread like wildfire in the streets and highways of cities nationwide. Is Brazil on the verge of revolution or mayhem?
Videos of massive gatherings of people covered in national flags swarming the streets of major cities and unending rows of trucks blocking roadways and avenues went viral this week. Those following news on social or mainstream media might think Brazil went on a tailspin of social unrest.
But no, there's no revolution, much less civil war on the horizon.
These have been tense days, with continued protests, calls for general strikes, and frenzied political articulation. Since the rallies have been nonviolent for the most part, I went out into the streets to see, hear, and feel what is happening and where we're going from here.
I can attest the sentiments of apprehension, frustration, and revolt are legit, and there are grounds for concern.
Here’s an account of what really happened in the Brazilian election.
After a highly tense, divisive, and contentious campaign, incumbent right-wing Jair Bolsonaro lost the presidential runoffs on Sunday, Oct. 30, to former leftist president Luis Inácio “Lula” da Silva by a razor-thin margin (1.8%).
Brazil’s voting process is entirely electronic, and the results were announced in the afternoon, hours after the election ended. Almost immediately, truck drivers shut down motorways – more than 200 all over the country. On Tuesday, right-wing activists swarmed the streets of all 27 states’ major and minor cities.
The movement started spontaneously and appeared to have no clear, organized leadership or backing. Though I wouldn’t be shocked if that was the case: there are no power vacuums nor innocents in politics.
Although there is no official count, estimates talk about hundreds of thousands in larger centers and millions across the entire nation. The images are impressive indeed, showing huge and agitated crowds. Peace prevailed, though, with only isolated incidents of violence and shortages, thankfully nothing serious or long-lasting.
I’m glad to report that things are normal right now, or as normal as they can be in 2022.
The mayhem and apocalypse are only taking place in the news and on social media. Everything “real” is up and running: supermarkets, parks, stadiums, colleges, offices, gyms, farms, and factories. People are working, studying, dining out, and jogging (and preparing for the World Cup, which begins in a few days. After all, Brazil is the “nation of soccer.”)