Brazilians at election run-off in Brasilia
Brazilians wave flags as they listen to results following the presidential election in October. Image by AP

Brazilian ‘protest’ video flagged as misinformation

Lachlan Coady November 29, 2022
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

A video depicts a mass protest held in Brazil on November 15.

OUR VERDICT

False. The footage is of the 200th anniversary of Brazil's independence in the capital Brasilia on September 7.

An Instagram video claims to show a huge protest in Brazil on November 15.

However, the claim is false. The video actually shows celebrations to mark Brazil’s 200th anniversary of independence on September 7, 2022.

The video (archived here) was posted on November 16 by individual rights group Reignite Democracy Australia.

The video has also been shared elsewhere on social media (including here, here and here) attracting millions of views.

Reignite Democracy Australia posts regularly on issues including the COVID-19 vaccine, UN powers and globalisation.

A screenshot of the Instagram post
 An Instagram video falsely claims a large crowd in Brazil was protesting in November. 

It is also behind a campaign called Global Walkout which prompts followers to take action and walk out “from the restrictive globalist society they are trying to enslave us and our children into”.

The Brazil post is stamped with the date November 15 and features the caption: “Today was one of the largest nation-wide protests in all of Brazilian history. Millions of people unified all over Brazil share this everywhere.”

The post comes after the Brazilian election which was held in October.

The leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was declared the victor over right-wing Jair Bolsonaro on October 30.

“The Brazilian people will never give up on fighting for a stolen election and freedom of speach (sic),” one comment on the Instagram post read.

“Brasil was stollen and the communist wants take the power using corruption in the election (sic),” another wrote. “Australians (sic) next,” said a third.

While there have been several smaller protests following the election, the Reignite Democracy Australia video does not depict a post-election protest.

The same video was posted to Twitter on September 14 here – weeks before the first round of Brazil’s presidential election began on October 2 and more than a month before the result was announced.

Experts told AAP FactCheck the footage is from Brazil’s Independence Day celebrations in the capital Brasilia on September 7.

The now former president Bolsonaro was criticised at the time for using the event to campaign for the election.

Dr Tracy Fenwick, an expert on Latin American politics at Australian National University, confirmed the video was from “the 200th (anniversary) celebration festivities in Brasilia on the 7th of September”.

Dr Kathryn Baragwanath, a researcher at Australian Catholic University with a focus on Latin American politics, agreed the footage was not of the post-election protests.

The footage “is certainly not of the protests around recent election results,” Dr Baragwanath said via email. “You can see some examples of what the protests look like in the video here. They took place in front of army headquarters and were not as large as the protests identified in this video.”

Dr Fenwick added there was no evidence to support claims about the election’s illegitimacy.

“The results and the TSE were evaluated after the elections by the armed forces by request of President Bolsonaro,” she said in an email. “There was no evidence of any irregularities and his cabinet members quickly accepted the results.”

Similar claims about the video been debunked by other fact-checkers here, here and here. AAP FactCheck has addressed misinformation from Reignite Democracy Australia multiple times (see here, here, here, here, here and here).

A similar video was posted by the Rise Up Melbourne Instagram account on November 17.

The caption reads: “Brazil Day 16, Outside The Military Barracks in protest of the Election Results…It would seem the Brazilians have finally had EnoughÔǪ”

The post features two separate videos clipped together.

The first does show a protest over election results held by Bolsonaro supporters. It was filmed on November 2 in front of the Comando Militar do Leste in Rio De Janeiro.

The second clip, featuring the larger crowd, is of the September 7 independence celebrations in Brasilia.

The Verdict

The claim that a video shows a mass protest in Brazil on November 15 is false. The footage instead shows celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Brazil’s independence on September 7.

This is confirmed to AAP FactCheck by video analysis and experts.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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