Lula da Silva is proving to be a headache, not only for Jair Bolsonaro, but also for the organizers of his electoral campaign. The former president and former trade unionist appears as the winner in the October presidential elections even in the first round and, although the official campaign will only take place weeks before the elections, the political machinery has already been set in motion.
This year’s elections appear increasingly dramatic and the political tension is high voltage. Bolsonaro’s explicit threats that he will not accept the result if he loses set the climate on fire. Failed the idea of having a candidate in the center, the opposing populisms of Bolsonaro and Lula face each other in maximum tension.
In addition, given that the current president threatens a coup with hints of civil war and has a fierce personal militia, Lula’s situation as the favorite is complicated and is tinged with street clashes and even a deadly attack.
It’s not just guesswork. The organizers of the progressive leader’s campaign have serious information that Lula is in danger of being attacked. For the first time, the team of a former president accustomed to campaigning in the arms of crowds is considering making him wear a bulletproof vest. The problem is that Lula flatly refuses. He alleges that his best shield was always the workers who accompanied him in his massive acts around the country.
However, the danger this time is real. Many meetings with other political leaders seeking to support Lula around the country have been canceled at the last minute. Recently, a walk he had planned through the center of the city of Porto Alegre was suspended due to fears that objects would be thrown at him from buildings.
For the first time in a campaign, Lula is being harassed and threatened by the extremism of the so-called root Bolsonarism. Hence, several venues that had been chosen for their massive events have been rejected because the security forces could not guarantee their safety.
Lula is one of those leaders, from the time he led union strikes to his presidential campaigns, who seeks a physical encounter with his admirers, who adored him as a god.
This time everything is changing and it is those gatherings of crowds that are frightening the organizers of his campaign. Just a sample button. In the south of the country, she is organizing a meeting with a series of security measures that Lula hates, but that she has had to accept. It is a stadium with capacity for 7,000 people. Of these, 3,000 will remain outside, guarding so that violent followers of Bolsonaro cannot infiltrate. The other 4,000 will be able to enter only with a series of requirements, as the newspaper has explained Folha de Sao Paulo. For example, the participants will have to register before in the delegations of their respective parties. Upon arrival at the stadium they must go through a line in alphabetical order. They will also receive a special bracelet that will indicate the place where they should be located inside the stadium. And they will not be able to carry any type of posters or other objects with them.
According to Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, chosen by Lula to organize his campaign, great care will have to be taken this time with any public outing by the candidate. And faced with those who try to convince him that this time the most important thing is the electoral activity of the candidates through social networks (which gave Bolsonaro victory in 2018), Lula becomes furious and reminds that what he knows how to do well and What has worked for him all his life is physical contact with his followers. “There are people who think that you no longer have to campaign on the street and only on social networks. Whoever wants to do it, do it. I am going to travel around Brazil and I want to talk with the Brazilian people”, he said in a meeting with the executive.
It remains to be seen how Lula will react to the restrictions that they are trying to impose on him in his street campaigns, but Senator Rodrigues has been explicit: “We are not antagonizing a normal candidate, but rather a criminal. Bolsonaro’s vocation is to kill or incite violence and he will spend the campaign inciting an attack against Lula”.
According to the latest polls, the former trade unionist ostensibly defeats his opponent in the votes of women, whether rich or poor, of young people, of workers and the unemployed; while the ultra-rightist collects the male votes, those of the richest and most militarized.
Lula has championed the slogan that if his adversary’s campaign ostensibly appears “that of hatred of everything and everyone”, his wants it to be characterized by that of “love and dialogue”.
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