Trade unions have organized protests in São Paulo and other cities on Friday, August 10, to call for more jobs and higher wages as well as to denounce recent privatization measures. In São Paulo, demonstrations have taken place since 10:00 (local time) in front of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo building. Rallies are planned to take place in other cities across the country including in Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Salvador, among others.
Additionally, around 5000 people are expected to participate in the Free Lula National March, organized by the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) and Via Campesína, to denounce the arrest of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (popularly known as Lula), as well as to call attention to socioeconomic issues. The march will begin on Friday, August 10, with participants departing in three groups from Formosa, Luziânia, and Engenho das Lages. Participants will then march for four days, arriving in Brasília on August 14 with a large demonstration set to take place on August 15. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are expected near all demonstrations sites.
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 on corruption charges in July 2017, and again in January 2018, and sentenced to 12 years in prison, but had remained free until April amid the appeals process. Despite his convictions, the Workers' Party (PT) nominated him as the party candidate in the October 7 presidential elections; the electoral court will decide later in August whether or not he will be allowed to officially run. Lula and the PT have characterized his conviction as a political ploy intended to keep him out of office.
Individuals in Brazil, especially in the abovementioned areas, are advised to avoid all associated demonstrations due to the potential for violence, and to keep abreast of developments and the sociopolitical climate.
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