February 1, 2023

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Brasilia Like Capitol Hill, Bolsonaro Supporters Attack – The World

“Peaceful demonstrations, according to the law, are part of democracy. The looting and sweeping of public buildings such as the current ones, as well as those practiced by the left in 2013 and 2017, are illegal.” This was stated on Twitter by the former Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, referring to the attack on the power buildings in Brasilia. “I reject the accusations leveled at me by the current CEO of Brazil, without evidence,” Bolsonaro asserts, referring to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s comments. And the former Brazilian president adds: “Throughout my tenure, I have always been within the limits of the constitution, respecting and defending laws, democracy, transparency and our sacred freedom.”

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva plans to return to Brasilia, where he went to witness the looting of the presidential palace and the Supreme Court by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro. The head of state, who has only been in office for a week, had earlier said in a speech from the state of Sao Paulo that his far-right predecessor had “encouraged” “fascist saboteurs” to invade places of power in the capital.

Thousands of former Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s ultras stormed the buildings of the highest state institutions in Brasilia in a raid reminiscent of one two years ago on Washington’s Capitol Hill by Trump fans. Visibly alarmed, the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said it was a “subversive and fascist” attack against democratic institutions, assuring that the “terrorists” would be “punished in an exemplary manner”. An attack that lasted for hours ended with the intervention of federal forces after an emergency meeting between Lula and the government, and after he ordered the closure of the center of the capital. After evaluating the possibility of deploying “the army to lift the siege”, the police, even firing rubber bullets from helicopters, after the control of the Supreme Court, managed with difficulty to recover even the grounds of Planalto, the seat of the presidency. , even those of Congress. The first toll is the arrest of 150 people, also for the former security secretary in Brasilia Anderson Torres, who was relieved of his post at noon. After the chaos erupted, the arrest was requested immediately. But tensions in Brazil, where supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro do not accept the victory of the new President Ignacio Lula da Silva, are still very high. According to initial estimates, at least 15,000 supporters clad in a gold-green flag took part in Capitol Hill in carioca sauce, donning images from the Dante set on global televisions, while a unanimous chorus sprang up from the European Union to Italy in solidarity with Lula. US President Joe Biden told reporters in Elbas, Texas, that the violence by supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is “horrible.” During the day, the police used tear gas to try to push back the thousands of people who nevertheless managed to break through the security cordon around the parliament in Brasília at the end of a demonstration in support of the former president. Many people climbed the building to occupy the roof and entered from there. The current president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is not in Brasilia at the moment, but he returned to the capital in the evening from the state of Sao Paulo where he was visiting some of the flooded areas. The demonstrators, dressed in yellow and green, carried out acts of vandalism. Videos posted by people inside the court show people dismantling benches in plenary. In the Palazzo Planalto, in the square where the presidential residence, the Brazilian Parliament and the Supreme Court are located, “windows were broken.” Police forces, in riot gear, ready to storm the occupied parliament, moved in only after the new president signed the decree while government officials were evacuated by air. Exactly two years after the attack on Capitol Hill, the same thing was repeated, with practically identical modalities and alliances: Bolsonaro’s right-wing fighters, like Trump loyalists, decided not to respect the response of opinion polls that gave a victory to the ‘left’. And it is passed on to the armed offensive at a point when Bolsonaro risks arrest for managing the Covid emergency. Against the former president, at the time the subject of a parliamentary commission of inquiry (CPI) on the pandemic, senators first in the opposition and now in the government intend to re-submit complaints: in fact, the leader of the right no longer enjoys a privileged forum, the right of the highest offices of the state not to be prosecuted criminally by the general courts. But Bolsonaro, who did not congratulate Lula on his election, left Brazil on December 30, two days before the end of his term, and boarded the presidential plane of the Air Force to Florida, in the United States. “This futile attempt to impose the will by force will not prevail. The government of the Federal District says there will be reinforcements. The forces at our disposal are working. I am at the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice,” tweeted Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino, who intervened shortly after the attack on the institutions’ offices.

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