Bolsonaro Supporters Storm Brazil’s Capital And Clash With Police After Election Loss
Supporters of former far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s capital building in Brasilia on Sunday, a week after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was inaugurated, leading to dramatic clashes with police and scenes reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol riots two years ago.
The protesters, many of whom had been camped out outside the capital since the election, broke down police barriers and shattered windows of the congressional building before breaking into the Green Room outside of Congress’ lower chamber, Interim Senate President Veneziano Vital do Rogo told CNN Brasil, which reported protesters also broke into the Supreme Court and presidential palace.
Images show floods of demonstrators dressed in Brazil’s signature yellow and green converging on the lawn outside the capital building and ascending a ramp that leads to its roof amid plumes of tear gas fired by police.
Lula is in Sao Paulo and was not in the building at the time.
The protesters for weeks have been calling for military intervention to remove Lula, who returned to power 12 years after he last served as president following his narrow defeat of Bolsonaro in an October runoff election, which Bolsonaro has not conceded to.
Lula, leader of the left-wing Workers’ Party, beat Bolsonaro by less than two points in the election on October 30, returning to power 20 years after he first took office and making him the first candidate to unseat an incumbent president since Brazil reinstated democracy in 1985. He has promised “unity and reconstruction” and vowed to fight increasing income inequality. Lula attempted to run in the 2018 election against Bolsonaro, but was unable to do so as he was jailed on corruption charges. His conviction was overturned in 2019 and Lula was released from prison, paving the way for his historic comeback.
Bolsonaro, nicknamed the “Trump of the Tropics,” spread baseless conspiracies in the months leading up to the election that the process was wrought with fraud, while also claiming that government employees had the authority to change the election results. He fled Brazil for the U.S. ahead of Lula’s inauguration to avoid handing over power. His supporters for months have engaged in destructive protests, including blocking roads and lighting vehicles on fire.
Brazil Election: Police Accused Of Pro-Bolsonaro Voter Suppression In High-Stakes Presidential Race (Forbes)
Brazil Election: Left-Wing Lula Narrowly Beats Bolsonaro To Return To Presidency (Forbes)
Bolsonaro Privately Admits Brazil’s Election ‘Over’—But Still Hasn’t Conceded (Forbes)