Jair Bolsonaro’s audio calling for an end to road blockades across the country has caused great confusion among groups of truck drivers and supporters of the president on WhatsApp, Telegram and social networks.
Some pocketnaristas participating in the strike said they were “disappointed” and “betrayed”, while many refuse to believe that the voice belongs to Bolsonaro, even after Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas recorded a video confirming the authenticity.
“It’s fake, it’s a lie. It would even come out on TVs and radios,” said a truck driver, in a WhatsApp group dedicated to information about the strike.
A message that circulated a lot in the Pocket Narist groups attributes Bolsonaro’s audio to Marcelo Adnet, a comedian famous for imitating personalities.
“ATTENTION. I have now received the information that the audio claiming to be the president’s actually belongs to the globosta actor Marcelo Adnet, who denigrates the image of our president with his ridiculous imitations. Pass it on”, says the message, broadcast in weight in WhatsApp groups and Telegram.
Among those who believed Bolsonaro’s request, the mood was one of disappointment. “A shame this president, after everything the truck drivers went through, simply asks them to return to normality? A shame. Communism will return to Brazil with force, because we have no one to defend us,” said one member.
“They (government) knew about the movement and the schedule, now comes with this little chat. And leaving our patriot friends to the lions. We are fighting for them and for our country. Today there is a patriot who was disappointed in all the demonstrations with audio of the PR and video of Tarcisio”, criticized another.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, there were road blocks in at least 15 states: SC, RS, PR, ES, MT, GO, BA, MG, TO, RJ, RO, MA, RR, PE and PA. There were also reports of stoppages in São Paulo.
The acts are not supported by associations of truck drivers and traditional leaders of the category. Instead of focusing on claims that benefit professionals, the demonstration is aimed at defending the Bolsonaro government.
In an audio released in message groups on Wednesday (8), the president said that the blockade of highways “harms the economy” and “harms everyone.”
“Tell the truck drivers there, who are our allies, but these blockades affect our economy. This causes shortages, inflation and harms everyone, especially the poorest. So, give the guys a touch, if possible, to release, ok? So we can follow the normality,” he said.
“Leave it to us in Brasilia here and now. But it’s not easy to negotiate and talk here with authorities. It’s not easy. But we’ll do our part here and we’ll find a solution for that, okay? And enjoy, in my name, give all truck drivers a hug. Thanks,” added Bolsonaro, on the recording.
But an interpretation that seems to predominate in some groups of Pocket Truck drivers is that the president’s audio would contain a “ciphered message”. The argument is that Bolsonaro “wants” the strikes to continue, but “needs” to publicly call for an end to the strike, because he could be impeached if he did otherwise.
“Bolsonaro can’t say he supports the truckers’ stoppage. If he does, he’s impeached. He deep down knows he wants it done, but he can’t talk. He expects that from us,” says a widely shared message in different groups of pocket drivers and truck drivers.
“The people are in charge, and they made that very clear. Now we must show support to the truckers so that they maintain the stoppage until our requests are granted. Or do you think that just one day of peaceful demonstration will solve everything?” , says the same message.
The audio of a truck driver, with similar content, is also being widely shared on the pocket networks.
“The strike continues. Yesterday there was an audio of President Bolsonaro and a video of Minister Tarcisio worrying about the shortage. The president cannot encourage strike, if he encourages strikes, he will suffer impeachment,” he said.
According to her, ending the strike would serve as a “left-wing strategy” to convey the idea that Bolsonaro lacks popular support. “We demobilize, the president falls because he doesn’t have popular support. It’s a left-wing strategy. What are 15, 30 days of shortages, close to 70 years of domination, like in Cuba?”
split between truck drivers
Discussions in the truck driver groups evidence a split in the category over the stoppage. The blockade, according to movement leaders, is to support Jair Bolsonaro and ask the 11 ministers to leave the Supreme Court.
One of these leaders is truck driver Marcos Antônio Pereira Gomes, known as Zé Trovão, who is a fugitive from justice. He had an arrest warrant requested by the Attorney General’s Office) and determined by the STF minister Alexandre de Moraes.
Zé Trovão is accused of promoting on social networks the incitement of coup-like acts against Congress and the STF, and allegedly failed to comply with injunctions determined by Moraes.
In videos released this Thursday (9), he asks truck drivers to maintain the roadblock, despite Bolsonaro’s request.
“Don’t loosen up. Hold it! It’s not to loosen up. Let’s keep our focus and our strength. If we loosen up now, we’ll lose our country,” he declared.
“I want to leave a message for the Brazilian population. Where’s your part? Are you helping the truck drivers? You have to be on top of the lanes with the truck drivers. Let’s keep the lanes 100% closed,” he added.
But in truck driver groups on WhatsApp and Telegram, many of them question the stoppages and say the category is being used as “maneuver mass”.
“You’re the famous grass eater who doesn’t even know what he’s pleading for. What are you asking for in the strike? What is the strike agenda?” a truck driver asked Zé Trovão.
“What I found different, my friend Zé Trovão, is that you’re worried about you and your friends. However, we real truck drivers are worried about the abusive values of fuel, especially diesel, cooking gas and fair price of fuel. value of the return shipping,” said another, in a message that was shared in different groups of the category.
“At no time did you mention these things. What I’m thinking is that you’re using us as a shield. I hope not. DON’T PLAY WITH US TRUCKERS, WE ARE NOT TOYS”, completed the author of the message.
In a statement, unions and associations criticized the strikes. “We understand that the blockade on the highways could cause serious inconvenience to the transport activity carried out by companies, in addition to directly reaching the end consumer and the delivery of essential products for the population such as food, medicine, fuel,” he said, for example, the Union of Cargo Transport Companies of Campinas and Region.
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