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POSSIBLE LARGE DEMONSTRATION IN BRAZIL DUE TO BOLSONARO'S ALLEGED COUP INVESTIGATIONS | LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATING AARON BUSHNELL SELF-IMMOLATION CASE

February 22-28, 2024 | Issue 8 - NORTHCOM/SOUTHCOM

Hae Lim Park, Ektoras Papadimitriou, Martina Pagani, Ignacio Minuesa, Kiara Alexander, Chloe Woodbine

Christina Valdez, Alya Fathia Fitri, Senior Editor


Map of Brazil[1]


Date: February 22, 2024

Location: Brazil

Parties involved: President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Brazil; Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro; Brazil’s former defense ministers; Brazil admiral; Brazil advisors; Brazil Federal Police; Brazil's Supreme Court; Bolsonaro’s supporters

The event: The Federal Police summoned Bolsonaro to provide statements regarding the alleged coup attempt against President Lula. Bolsonaro and former senior officials are under investigation for allegedly participating in a plan to prevent “the transfer of powers” to Lula. Two former defense ministers, an admiral, and advisors discussed imprisoning Supreme Court justices and announcing new elections. Bolsonaro rejected the accusations by calling it a “product of political persecution” by the government and the Supreme Court, and he urged his supporters to a large demonstration next Sunday on Avenida Paulista to “defend themselves.”[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Pro-Bolsonaro media and social media accounts will almost certainly attempt to discredit the investigation as politically motivated, very likely targeting institutions and individuals perceived as responsible for instigating the process against the former president. They will very likely attempt to undermine the legitimacy of institutions such as the Supreme Court and the police, likely claiming both institutions colluded with President Lula to end Bolsonaro’s administration through fabricated charges. Pro-Bolsonaro media will likely attempt to coerce state officials connected to the investigation, likely disclosing personal information such as home addresses and frequented locations and inciting violence against them.

  • Bolsonaro will almost certainly incite his supporters to protest against the accusations. Pro-Bolsonaro supporters will almost certainly organize protests and riots to show support for the former president during investigations. Local security forces will very likely dispatch to secure locations where protests are likely to happen.


Date: February 25, 2024

Location: Washington DC, USA

Parties involved: United States; US Secret Service; US Air Force; Washington Metropolitan Police Department; Israeli Embassy; active-duty member of the US Air Force, Aaron Bushnell; social media companies; social media platform, Twitch

The event: Bushnell, an active member of the US Air Force, set himself ablaze outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington around 1300 on Sunday; the act was in protest of the war in Gaza. Bushnell was live streaming on Twitch when he proclaimed he would no longer be complicit in genocide and doused himself in accelerant, later dying from injuries sustained. Law enforcement is investigating this case.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The escalating tension and violence in protests against the Israeli Embassy is likely to increase with the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, creating a heightened emotional and political climate. The tensions will likely increase polarization among community members with differing views on the conflict, presenting law enforcement with challenges in preserving public order. The escalating tensions will likely raise concerns about the potential recurrence of similar events.

  • Online extreme political manifestations about the Israel-Hamas conflict will very likely continue on social media platforms, very likely resulting in online political radicalization and propaganda. The event will very likely impact the security of live stream platform moderation, very likely increasing and improving the policy enforcement measures to prevent and monitor similar extremist activity in the future. This event has had a global media impact, and social media companies will likely use more resources to prevent their platforms from allowing ultra-graphic content in their livestream services, very likely investing in technology to increase efficiency.

 

[1] Brazil by Google Maps

[2] Jair Bolsonaro will testify before the Brazilian Police about the alleged coup attempt against Lula, Infobae, February 2024, https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2024/02/22/jair-bolsonaro-declarara-ante-la-policia-brasilena-por-el-supuesto-intento-de-golpe-de-estado-contra-lula/ (Translated by Google)

[3] US airman dies after setting himself on fire outside Israeli embassy, reports say, RTE, February 2024,

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