‘It Didn’t Seem Serious’
On New Year’s Day, Mr. Lula ascended the ramp to Brazil’s presidential workplaces and accepted the inexperienced and gold presidential sash — not from Mr. Bolsonaro, because the legislation prescribed, however from a girl who collects trash to recycle. Mr. Bolsonaro had already decamped for Florida.
For roughly half the nation, it was the welcome finish to 4 years of tumult below Mr. Bolsonaro. But for tens of millions of different Brazilians, it was the completion of an elaborate crime — a stolen election that they’d been begging the army to overturn for 2 months.
Days later, calls went out throughout pro-Bolsonaro corners of the web — in tweets, TikTookay movies, Telegram channels and WhatsApp teams — for an unlimited Sunday demonstration within the capital, proper the place Mr. Lula’s supporters had celebrated every week earlier than.
Some digital fliers promised a celebration, whereas others referred to as for one thing way more severe. There have been messages that demanded blocked highways and oil refineries, and others that took goal on the coronary heart of presidency.
“The plan is to surround Brasília,” one particular person wrote in a Telegram group, attaching an aerial picture of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Planalto Palace, headquarters of the presidency, with every constructing circled.
“We need journalists from around the world to report on this moment,” one other particular person responded, “so it will become marked in Brazil’s history.”
Yet the plans didn’t seem to overly alarm authorities.
Ricardo Cappelli, the No. 2 official at Brazil’s justice ministry, stated that pro-Bolsonaro rallies had lengthy taken on conspiratorial tones however had remained largely nonviolent. “It didn’t seem serious,” he stated, “and it wasn’t big enough to be serious.”