They are tens of thousands of demonstrators to have invaded the streets of Brasilia, Sao Paulo or Rio, Tuesday, September 7, at the call of the president, Jair Bolsonaro, who promised them to write “A new story” for Brazil.
The country’s far-right president wants to make this September 7, national holiday, a show of force by calling “Gigantic crowds” to give it their support in the midst of an institutional crisis.
Engaged in a standoff with the Supreme Court which has opened several investigations against him, Jair Bolsonaro, at bay and given the loser in the election of 2022, played his all-out Tuesday.
It was in Brasilia, crisscrossed by more than 5,000 police officers, that this atypical independence day began. Bolsonaro flew over the immense esplanade of the Ministries in a helicopter before haranguing the crowd, who greeted him with cries of “Mito, Mito! “ (“The Myth”, his nickname).
“From today, a new story begins to be written in Brazil”, he said to the ovations. “We don’t want a breakup. We don’t want to fight with other powers. But we cannot allow anyone to jeopardize our freedom ”, he added.
Our correspondent in Brazil Bruno Meyerfeld saw in the processions in support of Bolsonaro’s policy a number of army reservists, pro-arms people, evangelists and even monarchists:
“As of today, a new story begins to be written in Brazil,” says Bolsonaro https://t.co/GSfVEoUcf8
Lots of army reservists. We pose with the trellis https://t.co/C90ocBAGgI
Family bikers. “Bolsonaro is one of us” https://t.co/BBmUQsmube
The opposition also demonstrated
The day was under tension, as the opposition was also demonstrating. She calls for the president’s departure, accusing him of threatening democracy, of having pitifully managed the Covid-19 crisis, as well as the economy with near-record unemployment and worrying inflation.
But the processions of Bolsonarists and opponents, weakly mobilized in the morning, should not cross to avoid the risk of violence. In any case, theoretically.
On the night of Monday to Tuesday, hundreds of Bolsonarists, in trucks, broke barriers and entered the avenue leading to Congress and the Federal Supreme Court (STF), which had been closed to traffic by order of security.
“We have just entered! The police couldn’t stop the people! And, tomorrow, we will invade the STF! “, shouted one of them, visibly inspired by the spectacular invasion of the Capitol in the United States by supporters of former President Donald Trump, last January.
Many protesters carried placards demanding the dismissal of Supreme Court judges. One of them called for a “Military intervention with Bolsonaro in Brasilia”.
“I have come to defend our freedom and free the country from this filthy bunch of corrupt Supreme Court politicians who want to take it away from us”, Marcio Souza, a security guard wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with Jair Bolsonaro’s face, told Brasilia.
Last Friday, Bolsonaro did not hesitate to present this day of mobilization as a “Ultimatum” for the Supreme Court. On Saturday, he even raised the possibility of a “Rupture” institutional.
After Brasilia, where the crowd of Bolsonarists diminished at midday, as in Rio de Janeiro, where the demonstrators were massed on the beach of Copacabana, it is in Sao Paulo, in the afternoon, that the president had to galvanize his supporters.
Bolsonarist social networks have relentlessly beat the recall of troops. Hundreds of sympathetic coaches converged on the metropolis of 12 million inhabitants.
Jair Bolsonaro said he was counting on ” two million “ sympathizers on Paulista Avenue, where he is expected to deliver a more heated speech than in Brasilia.
Fear of the presence of armed military police
For political scientist Mauricio Santoro, to judge whether the president has succeeded in his bet, “We will have to wait for the rest of the day, in particular to see how the demonstrations in Sao Paulo will unfold”, he said.
The main procession of opponents to Bolsonaro was to leave three kilometers from Paulista Avenue, at Vale do Anhangabau, in the city center.
Security specialists feared in particular the presence of armed military police during the demonstrations. According to a poll published on Sunday by the daily O Globo, 30% of these police officers intended to take to the streets on Tuesday, even if the regulations forbid them to take part in political demonstrations, including on their days off. This prohibition is ” a crime “ and “Worthy of a dictatorship”, had launched the president.
While 51% of Brazilians do not approve of his management of the country, Bolsonaro has never been so unpopular since coming to power in January 2019. He is widely left behind by left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ( Lula) in the voting intentions for the October 2022 election – projections sometimes give him beaten in the first round.