– Bolsonaro supporters besieged the Congress grounds
Hundreds of supporters of far-right former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro besieged Congress, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court. Police used tear gas shells.
Images recalling the attack on the US capital January 6, 2021: Bolsonaro supporters besiege the congressional center in Brasilia.
Photo: Evaristo Sa (AFP)
Hundreds of supporters of far-right former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro besieged Congress, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court in the capital Brasilia on Sunday. Images posted on online networks showed scores of demonstrators dressed in yellow and green storming central places of Brazilian democracy. Hardline Bolsonaro supporters do not recognize the election victory of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in office since earlier this year.
Images commemorating the attack on the US capital in Washington on January 6, 2021. Videos circulating on online networks show Bolsonaro supporters defying police restrictions and entering the Congress building. They smashed the doors and windows and then poured heavily into the building.
You can see devastated MP offices and protesters climbing onto seats in the Senate. Footage also shows protesters besieging the nearby Planaldo Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court. Many of the invaders were dressed in yellow and waved the Brazilian flag.
The damage to the three buildings, considered icons of modern architecture and containing numerous works of art, appeared to be considerable. A video shows a crowd outside Congress pulling a police officer from his horse and beating him.
The area near the Square of the Three Armies, close to Congress, the presidential palace Planaldo and the Supreme Court, was cordoned off by authorities. However, Bolsonaro’s supporters managed to overcome the obstacles. The security forces were completely overwhelmed and tried in vain to push the people back by firing tear gas shells.
Several Bolsonaro supporters ran up the ramp to the Congress building to occupy the building’s roof, an AFP photographer observed. There they unfurled a banner that read Calling the Brazilian Army – Intervention.
Scores of Bolsonaro supporters gathered in the surrounding lawns and squares and in front of the Planaldo presidential palace. “We have to restore order after this fraudulent election,” Sara Lima, a 27-year-old Bolsonaro supporter who came to Brasilia from Goanesia, 300 kilometers away, told the AFP news agency.
President Lula did not come to the capital on Sunday, but visited the city of Arracura in the southeastern state of São Paulo. It was destroyed by a flood in late 2022. In a press conference and tweet, he condemned the attack on the Congress by “fascist saboteurs”. “All vandals will be found and punished,” the head of state said on Sunday. We will also find out who funded it. By decree, Lula ordered the central government to assume responsibility for public security in Brasilia.
Flavio Dino, the new Minister of Justice and Security, condemned the increase in violence. “This ridiculous attempt to force one’s own will will not succeed,” he wrote on Twitter. The Brasilia district government will send reinforcements. He had already approved sending special police units to various states on Saturday in case of threat to public peace.
Bolsonaro condemns attack on government district
Brazil’s right-wing former president Jair Bolsonaro has condemned the attack on hundreds of his supporters in a government district in Brasilia. Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter on Sunday evening (local time) that “looting and breaking into public buildings like what happened today” violates the “norm” for “peaceful demonstrations”. He himself is defending himself against “baseless accusations” by current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – accusing Bolsonaro of “encouraging” the attackers.
Overnight, security forces appeared to gradually bring the situation back under control in the Brazilian capital. They held back the demonstrators with water cannons. Dozens of Bolsonaro supporters were on site, however, and the situation was unclear. According to Brazilian media, at least 200 Bolsonaro supporters have been arrested.
Bolsonaro’s supporters have already demonstrated in front of military barracks after his election defeat. They called for the military to intervene to prevent Lula from running for a third term. The left-wing politician was the state president from 2003 to 2010. In the days after the second round of elections, some Bolsonaro supporters protested the results and blocked the country’s main roads.
Lula, who has long been an idol of the Latin American left, won the Oct. 30 presidential runoff by a razor-thin margin over Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro did not concede his election defeat and traveled to the United States two days before Lula’s inauguration.
Biden Says Attacking Brazilian Congress Is Outrageous
The United States and the European Union have condemned attacks by supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro on Congress, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court in the capital Brasilia. US President Joe Biden, who visited the US state of Texas on Sunday (local time), called the attack “horrific”. EU Council President Charles Michel wrote on Twitter that he “condemns the attack on Brazil’s democratic institutions”.
US President Biden later took to Twitter to condemn the “attack on democracy and the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil”. “Brazil’s democratic institutions” enjoyed the “full support” of the United States, and he looked forward to continuing to work with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
French President Emmanuel Macron called for “respect for democratic institutions” in Brazil. In a tweet written in French and Portuguese, the president reiterated France’s “unwavering support” for Lula. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Argentine President Alberto Fernandez also pledged their support to the Brazilian president.