Protests by supporters of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) are set to take place in cities across Brazil on Friday, July 13. Demonstrations will be held in Rio de Janeiro (Cinelândia area), Curitiba (Federal Police building where Lula is being detained), Porto Alegre (Sheraton Hotel in the Moinhos de Vento neighborhood), and São Paulo, among other cities. Clashes and other violent acts are possible at any protests, along with localized traffic disruptions.
Further protests of varying sizes are likely over the coming days and weeks, culminating with a national strike on August 10.
The protests follow a weekend of judicial drama regarding Lula's ongoing imprisonment. A judge ruled on July 8 that Lula - in prison at the Federal Police building in Curitiba since April for corruption and money laundering - should be released while appealing his 12-year prison sentence. However, later that day a different judge overruled the decision, meaning Lula will remain detained.
Lula was president from 2003 to 2011 and, as the country's first working-class ruler, was and remains a popular figure among much of the population. Lula was convicted to 12 years in prison in rulings made in July 2017 and January 2018 but had remained free until April amid the appeals process. Despite his convictions, Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) nonetheless plan to nominate him as the party candidate in the October 7 presidential elections; the electoral court will decide in August whether or not he will be allowed to officially run. Lula and the PT have characterized his conviction as a political witch-hunt intended to keep him out of office.
Individuals in Brazil are advised to avoid all associated demonstrations due to the potential for violence, and to keep abreast of developments and the sociopolitical climate.