Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, where it’s a sunny 90-degree day, and many people are wearing red to celebrate the win of Lula.
“Bringing Back Happiness” Key to Lula’s Campaign Message
Unlike most American campaigns that promise programmatic changes, Lula campaigned on a simple message of “bringing back happiness to Brazil.” He pledged to workers that he would get “Brazil smiling again”.
In campaign speeches, Lula routinely spoke of the need to bring back a standard of living where workers would have enough money to have little BBQs cookouts at their house on the weekend. His speech become so popular that it was converted into the slogan “Vaccine, Steak, Beer & the Workers Party.” emboldened on t-shirts and posters.
He built campaign events that were fun and often turned into street parties. (See our dispatch from Lula’s 77th birthday party in Rio) Quite literally, the campaign created its own culture that appealed to people, and it was on display last night as thousands of parties in Rio’s main plaza, Cinelândia.
“Lula has brought us great joy,” says 23-year-old Afro-Brazilian activist Thais Magaheles. “Brazil is Carnival, the joy of Brazil. And we are a happy people, we are a happy people. Bolsonaro took away the joy of the people, because he favored the lie of [division]”.
Bolsonaro Has Yet to Concede – Allies Back Results
With Lula winning by only 1.8% against Bolsonaro, there is much fear here that Bolsonaro may attempt to dispute the results in a manner similar to Trump, which could sow long-term divisions throughout Brasil.
Already, Bolsonaro has accused the independent Tribune Superior Electoral (TSE) that administered the vote of being rigged against him. He also accused the media and polling firms in Brasil of under polling his performance and costing him votes as a result.
So far, Bolsonaro has yet to speak publicly, leading many to worry that he may try to claim electoral fraud. However, several of Bolsonaro’s closest allies in Congress have accepted the results. Likewise, the entire international community, from Joe Biden to Vladimir Putin has accepted the results.
Truck Strikes in Southern Brazil against Election Results
Despite Lula winning the results, many Bolsonaro supporters, who have been fed “fake news” that the election was stolen, are unwilling to accept the results. Truckers in 12 states have organized blockades of the roadways to protests
However, many experts say that so far, the strikes are quite small and lack the support of the national truckers union.
Help Payday Cover the Fight for Brazilian Democracy
While the election may be over, it still looks like they are is going to be a lot of action in Brasil in the next few days.
Thanks again for all the support.
Love & Solidarity,