1,262 victims in a single day, for a total of 31,309 deaths, and over 558,000 infected. But Bolsonaro’s only reaction was fatalism: “I’m sorry for the dead, but that’s the fate of us all.” The president has other more pressing concerns, surrounded by his enemies on all sides; of course, his hard floor of support is still around 30%, and there’s no hint that it could go lower.
However, on the streets—as we saw on Sunday—his supporters, who keep saluting him with shouts of “Mito! Mito!” (“The legend! The legend!”), now have to reckon with anti-fascist groups, especially those linked to organized soccer fans. And his opponents are trying to join forces in defense of democracy by evoking a return of the spirit of Diretas Já, the movement for direct presidential elections that led to the end of the dictatorship back in 1985.
We see this in the #Somos70porcento (“#Weare70percent”) campaign, launched on Saturday by the economist Eduardo Moreira, based on the argument that everyone who’s not with Bolsonaro is against him, and which has immediately garnered a large number of endorsements. Or in the case of the Manifesto Juntos (“Together Manifesto”), signed by personalities covering a very broad range of the political spectrum: from the former PT candidate Fernando Haddad, the governor of Maranhão, Flávio Dino (PCdoB) and the deputy Marcelo Freixo (Psol), to the Globo anchor Luciano Huch, former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the judicial-coup-installed Michel Temer, while also featuring artists, writers and entrepreneurs.
Sergio Moro, however, was explicitly rebuffed: “Everyone can join, except the fascists. Moro is out. There is a limit,” explained journalist Juca Kfouri, one of the promoters of the Manifesto. Somewhat surprisingly, Lula also stayed out of this initiative, of his own volition, as he did not want to join an initiative that has among its adherents Cardoso and Temer (far from paragons of democracy), and in which there does not seem to be room for the working class.
While the traditional Left is struggling to carve out a clear role for itself in the crisis—a void that was filled on Sunday by the organized fringes of soccer fans—the process of dissolution of the institutional framework continues, amid the recurring and increasingly explicit threats of military intervention by Bolsonaro himself, his deputy Hamilton Mourão and other generals close to the president.
The latest clash was provoked by the series of searches and arrests conducted on May 27 as part of the investigation into fake news led by Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes. The investigation, considered to be a strike at the very heart of Bolsonarism, is aimed at uncovering an alleged criminal organization dedicated to the production of false information through social networks, which the newspaper Folha de São Paulo had already highlighted between the first and second round of the presidential elections.
Among those under investigation are former federal MP Roberto Jefferson, entrepreneur Luciano Hang and bloggers Allan dos Santos and Winston Lima, all open supporters of Bolsonaro.