On his first day of freedom, former Brazilian President Lula harangued more than a thousand supporters Saturday (November 9th) near Sao Paulo, violently attacking President Jair Bolsonaro who called him "scoundrel".

It is a vociferous Luiz Inacio da Silva, often red with anger, who attacked the far-right president violently, less than 24 hours after his release from prison.

"Jair Bolsonaro was democratically elected (in 2018), but to govern for the Brazilian people, not for the militia of Rio de Janeiro," Lula exclaimed in the cheers of militants dressed in red.

He was referring to the shooting death in March 2018 of the black adviser of Rio Marielle Franco, an assassination still unresolved but for which the Rio militias were singled out.

"I'm back !"

"I'm back !" also launched a furious Lula to Sergio Moro who had sentenced him for corruption. "He is not a judge, he is a scoundrel," he added about the one whose impartiality was challenged by leaks and who became the Minister of Justice of Jair Bolsonaro.

Imprisoned in April 2018 for eight years and ten months for receiving bribes, Lula was released on Friday in a Supreme Court ruling allowing the release of nearly 5,000 detainees, which outraged the right .

The former trade unionist gave emotional hugs to many relatives, activists and even journalists when he arrived at the headquarters of the Sao Bernardo do Campo Steelworkers' Union in the Sao Paulo ring road, where he fought so much.

It was also there that he entrenched himself for two days in April 2018, protected by a huge crowd of sympathizers, before giving himself up to the authorities and being taken to Curitiba (south).


Far from appearing affected by his 580 days of imprisonment, on the contrary, the charismatic leader of the 74-year-old left had recovered, finding his triumphant accents in front of a conquered crowd, in the middle of red flags, statues and giant portraits of him.

"I came because I believe in his innocence," Tamara Blanco, 38, told AFP. Lula "is the best president that Brazil has ever had and will remain," she said of the former president (2003-2010) who had left office with a record 87% approval rate .

Out of his silence on Saturday morning, Jair Bolsonaro had asked the Brazilians on Twitter to "not give ammunition to the rabble" Lula, "who is momentarily free, but guilty".

A political fight to come

This first pass of arms sets the tone for the upcoming political struggle in a country threatened with even greater polarization after Lula's liberation.

Not far from the platform where Lula shouted Saturday, several thousand protesters protested on the Avenue Paulista, Sao Paulo, against the judgment of the Supreme Court which allowed his release.

"The biggest thief in Brazil is free since yesterday, I'm ashamed to be Brazilian," said AFP Edecio Antonio, a retiree.

With AFP