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In Brazil, the strange actions of Bolsonaro’s most radical supporters

LETTER FROM RIO DE JANEIRO

The scene dates from November 20. Night has fallen in Porto Alegre, capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. In the historic center, near the regional military command, a handful of far-right demonstrators, dressed in Seleçao (the national football team) shirts, continue to protest against the result of the October 30 presidential election , which saw Jair Bolsonaro defeated at the polls by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. All are crying out for a “federal intervention”. Understand: an army putsch.

When, suddenly, here they are adopting intriguing behavior. The bolsonarists place their mobile on their skull, flashlight on and pointed towards the sky. Everyone passes their hand in front of the jet of light, as if to send an SOS towards the stars and their distant inhabitants. ” Guys, (…) these putschists are asking for help from extraterrestrials”comments, bewildered, the photographer Marcelo Nunes, who posts a video of the protesters on his Facebook profile.

This immediately went viral online. Too bad if the luminous message of the demonstrators was actually addressed to the generals of the military command of Porto Alegre: the “SOS to the Martians” Where “the call to ET” came to attest to the psychological state, considered worrying by some, of the most radical supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, who still have not left the streets for almost a month.

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In Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro, some of them were filmed praying and sometimes implore God kneeling in front of army buildings. In Parana (South), others were seen singing the national anthem in front of a single tire. Elsewhere, Bolsonarists have improvised grotesque military marches in single file, started curious choreographies ending in a split on the asphalt, or even licked the portrait of the outgoing president in front of the television cameras.

Verbal and physical assaults

In these carnival gatherings circulate the most eccentric theses. In Belem (Amazon), a demonstrator in tears deplored that the Brazilian police were “bought” by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (died 2006). Many celebrated with fervor the false news of the arrest by the police of judge Alexandre de Moraes, pet peeve of the extreme right and president of the Superior Electoral Court. Some also believe that Jair Bolsonaro would have simply been replaced by a lookalike.

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