At his first free-man meeting, Lula positions himself as a "savior" of Brazil against the extreme right

The former Brazilian president, who has been imprisoned since April 2018 and released on the basis of a Supreme Court ruling, delivered a hearty speech to the Sao Bernardo do Campo metalworkers' union.

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The former Brazilian president, at a rally in front of the metalworkers' union of Sao Bernardo do Campo, November 9 in Sao Paulo. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

The return to freedom was thus also a return to the sources. After 580 days behind bars, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva chose the symbolic place of the metalworkers' union of Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, to hold his first meeting, in front of a crowd of euphoric supporters.

It is here, from this legendary neighborhood called "ABC paulista", the golden triangle of Brazilian industry, that between 1978 and 1980, the then only president of the steelworkers' union, led and embodied the great strikes of the end of the dictatorship. There, too, he entrenched himself for several days, surrounded by his faithful, in April 2018, before going to the police and taking the road to the prison.

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" I'm back, (…) free as a bird ! ", launched the leader of the left in a fiery speech. In front of him, a human tide of thousands of sympathizers invaded the street and rushed to the windows of the buildings, and to the roof of the union. Despite the Garoa (the Pauline drizzle) and the mist, the atmosphere is bubbling. Volcanic, even. " The people of Lula »As he likes to call himself, he is draped in magmatic red. For the occasion, he released the Mao caps, the sickle and hammer banners and the old Che flags, in a mood of anachronistic fair.

"I have more courage to fight than before (prison)! "

" I sleep with the calm conscience of just and honest men! "said the former president, with his inimitable guttural voice. Quickly releasing his judicial news to talk about the future of Brazil, he attacked directly to the government of Jair Bolsonaro. " He was elected to rule the people and not for the Rio militias. (…) We can not allow the militia to end up with our country! " Ton Lula, in a limpid reference to the unresolved assassination of militant Marielle Franco, killed on March 14, 2018; a case in which the name of Mr. Bolsonaro is quoted today.

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For him, the goal is nothing less than to save " Brazil against the " hate project From the far right. In a clear language, and sometimes a simplistic view, Lula claimed to want " to fight for a happy country ". A country, " where mothers can take their son to the supermarket and buy enough food to eat. Where the worker has a job and manages to bring home money every month. " In power, " we will distribute books, we will distribute jobs, we will distribute access to culture " in a Brazil plunged into the economic slump, promised the former head of state, without detailing further how to achieve it.


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