Overnight on Friday he was seen waving from the windows of the metalworkers union in the Sao Paulo suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo, about 260 miles away.
Scores of them blocked his auto leaving the trade union building near Sao Paulo where he has been staying.
"I want Lula in prison, I want a better future and with him in the leadership we won't have that", said Maura Moraes de Oliveira, 51, who works as a maid in Curitiba. "I'll come out of this bigger, stronger, more truthful and innocent".
Lula first got into the gray hatchback and appeared about to leave, but activists pushed against the gates, so that they could not be opened and nearly fell down.
The plan to surrender was a stunning reversal for Lula, a leading leftist and the front-runner in Brazil's upcoming presidential election.
Lula was convicted of taking bribes from an engineering firm in return for help landing government contracts, including a three-floor seaside resort that he denies owning. It was unclear how he might turn himself into police, who have been wary to enter the metal workers union so as to avoid clashes.
Lula says his conviction was created to stop him from running for president again.
Protests both in support of and against the former president flared throughout the country over the weekend.
On Saturday, flanked by his impeached successor as president, Dilma Rousseff, the 72-year-old delivered an impassioned 55-minute speech.
During that trial, Weber said that she would vote in favor of Lula if, instead of a habeas corpus, the Court was discussing the two declaratory actions of constitutionality (ADCs) that question if defendants should be arrested before exhausting all their chances of appealing from a sentence.
Lula served as president from 2003-2011. During his mandate, Brazil rode a commodities boom and Lula became an worldwide icon. "By arresting him the other side is saying they don't want to talk to the left". He dreamed of making a comeback and reclaiming his place as the country's leader through October elections. Moro has become a celebrity because of his prosecution of politicians over corruption scandals. His defense said he was a victim of political persecution. "The question is whether he can maintain the activism of his supporters from behind bars".
Rare exceptions have been made in the past, and the final decision would be made by the top electoral court if and when Lula officially files to be a candidate. Brazilian law prohibits a candidate from running for office for eight years after a criminal conviction. Lula could appeal such a decision, though doing so from jail would be more complicated.
He lost his first appeal against the sentence in January, when the appeals court not only upheld his conviction, but increased the sentence to 12 years.
Da Silva rose through the ranks of the metalworkers union. In 1980, during the military dictatorship, he was arrested in Sao Bernardo do Campo for organising strikes. He spent more than a month in jail. The founding member of Brazil's only socialist political party, Partido dos Trabalhadores, the Workers' Party, left office with a 90 percent approval rating.
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