Brazil's January 6th? Pro-Bolsonaro rioters inspired by Trump movement

What do the backers of Brazil's ransacking of official buildings stand for? Jair Bolsonaro's backers were inspired by the 2021 storming of the US Capitol by Donald Trump supporters. In both cases, it started with unfounded claims of election fraud long before the vote and ended in violence. We ask about Bolsonaro's successor vowing to pursue those who financed last Sunday's riot, a movement that was once again organised over social media.

Social media thrives on tribalism and outrage. Are populists applying the old Facebook mantra of "move fast and break things"? Is insurrection the means to an end, an agenda for some kind of a new ideology? Or is it all just performance politics?

That leaves democracies with a lasting problem: how to deal with a small but highly-energised minority whose leaders warn long before that if they lose, they'll reject the rules. In the case of Brazil, its new president must strike deals with a sizeable chunk of citizens who reject him, in order to isolate the few who are hellbent on violence.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Lauren Bain, and Imen Mellaz.


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