Sunday, January 08, 2023

Bolsonaro Supporters Storm Government Buildings: Some Reaction from Canadian Far-Right

This past Friday was the second anniversary of the storming of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. but supporters of former president Donald Trump. By this point we know the story. Trump refused to acknowledge his defeat and in fact claimed he was the victim of election fraud perpetrated by his political enemies. Never mind that two of the four states he claimed were stolen were wholly governed by his Republican allies and despite information that has come to light that he himself didn't believe the election was stolen, Trump's "Big Lie" resulted in a concerted effort by his proxies and supporters to overturn the election which culminated in an actual insurrection.

That Trump denied the election shouldn't be a surprise since he also claimed fraud when he lost to Ted Cruz in the 2016 Iowa Caucuses:

Trump's Canadian supporters also pushed the narrative and were fully onboard when "the patriots" stormed the Capitol:

On January 8, 2023, a very similar scenario played out in Brazil and supporters of the far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro who lost the presidency in a runoff with Lula da Silva stormed Brazil's Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace: Like Trump, Bolsonaro had also claimed that an election loss would be the result of election fraud. And like Trump Bolsonaro's claims were amplified by the same forces who were instrumental in the lead up to and actions during January 6. Steve Bannon in fact commented set the ground work for what happened in Brazil back in November: Today, Bannon referred to the Brazilian insurrectionists as "freedom fighters":
Bolsonaro  himself eventually released a statement on Twitter where he both appears to criticize the actions of his supporters while also taking a swipe at the new president:

At the end of January and well into February 2022, Canada had it's own antigovernmental event in Ottawa on Parliament Hill as those who were ostensibly opposed to mask mandates and vaccinations occupied the city of Ottawa for nearly a month. Thankfully the events of those weeks were not on par with what happened in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 or Brasilia on January 8, 2023, but that wasn't necessarily due to a lack of desire, at least for some people such as Diagolon's Derek Harrison:

So it shouldn't be a surprise when people like Diagolon's Alex Vriend (Ferryman's Toll) celebrate today's events in the Brazilian capital:

I did a quick look at some of the usual suspects as well as a few other spots to see how others on the Canadian far-right reacted to the events in Brazil. The response was almost universal praise for an insurrection that aimed to subvert a democratic election in which "their" side lost.

Formerly of Canada First which he founded which he ultimately abandoned when he moved to the United States to promote America First, Tyler Russell was thrilled by the events:

Given the antipathy both Russell and Nick Fuentes have for democratic institutions this isn't at all surprising. 

"Real Canadian News" which started out on Telegram to promote and celebrate the occupation in Ottawa were also pleased and included comments from members that referred to the events in Ottawa and how the occupiers should have responded to the police:

There were similar posts on another pro-convoy Telegram page:

The conversation in the Canadian Freedom chat associated with the Global Freedom Convoy page also references Ottawa specifically in relation to what occurred today in Brazil:

Theoren Fleury, who has gone deep down the rabbit hole, also commented on Twitter in another "everything I don't like or understand is communism" tweet:

I could go on, and perhaps I may add to this later, but this should provide a taste of what is out there right now. There is likely to be a lot more that will be disseminated primarily through social media.

Now social media has the ability to minimize the spread of disinformation through moderation, however what happens when the owner of one of the most important platforms appears to buy into the far-right narrative?

Do I think Elon Musk is to blame for the coup attempt today? No, but he has in his short time owning Twitter contributed to a exponential rise in hate speech and disinformation that is dangerous on a geopolitical scope. It is one thing for a billionaire to play with his new toy, but what happens when that toy can destabilize governments? 

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