Under Pressure, Lula Considers Going to Protest against Bolsonaro, but Allies Fear Electoral Contamination

Former president hears PT's pros and cons and moves to make decisions, after discreet involvement in opposition street acts

São Paulo

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) is evaluating the possibility of attending the national demonstration against President Jair Bolsonaro scheduled for Saturday (19). Until this Wednesday (16), he has been pondering both contrary and favorable advice to his presence on the streets.

According to people close to the PT, interviewed by Folha, he is unlikely to participate, given the risk of contaminating the mobilization with electoral politics. The protest was called for by political parties such as PT, PSOL and PC do B, trade unions, social movements, student organizations and collectives progressives.

Although publicly there is support for Lula's participation, behind the scenes fear was revealed that the gesture could serve as fuel for the Bolsonaro narrative that seeks to label the opposition's protests as an event in support of the PT, Bolsonaro's biggest rival for the elections in 2022.

One of the arguments that discouraged going was presented by PT staff linked to the health area and who follow the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic. The warning was that it would be impossible to avoid crowding around the former president in a public setting.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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