Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the recently elected PM of Brazil, has vowed to punish all those who support the country’s ex-leader, Jair Bolsonaro, after they stormed Congress.
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On Sunday, thousands of supporters of the former PM gathered outside Congress, bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs, smashed windows, and invaded all three buildings of Congress, which were believed to be largely vacant on the weekend.
Some of the demonstrators called for a military intervention to either restore the far-right Mr Bolsonaro to power or oust Mr Lula from the presidency. It took hours to regain control of the buildings in the capital. Following the takeover, PM Luna himself visited the Supreme court to check for damages. Brasilia’s police claimed that nearly 300 people have been arrested.
Mr. Bolsonaro, the former PM who is believed to be in Florida, himself condemns the attack and has denied encouraging the takeover he said on Twitter over six hours after the attack. Following the elections in October, Bolsonaro refused to accept defeat and last week he didn’t show up for the inaugural ceremony which would have seen him hand over the iconic presidential slash.
Ibaneis Rocha, the city’s governor, has been suspended for 90 days by the Supreme Court under the pretense of his inability to prevent the riot and for staying “painfully silent” in the face of the attack. Mr. Rocha has apologized for his negligence.
Details of protest against PM Lula on Sunday
On Sunday, the Congress building saw thousands of protestors clad in yellow Brazil football shirts and flags overrun police and ransack the heart of the Brazilian state. Lula was forced to use his emergency powers and ordered the dispatch of the national guards into the capital to restore order.
Before arriving at the site, Lula said that there was “no precedent in the history of our country” for the scenes in Brasilia and called the violence “the acts of vandals and fascists.” And he took aim at the security forces, whom he accused of “incompetence, bad faith, or malice” for failing to stop demonstrators from accessing Congress.
“You will see in the images that they [police officers] are guiding people on the walk to Praca dos Tres Powers,” he said. “We are going to find out who the financiers of these vandals who went to Brasilia are, and they will all pay with the force of the law.”
Video shared online showed some officers laughing and taking photos together as demonstrators occupied the congressional campus in the background.
Views of World leaders
Many the leaders around the world condemned the action of the protesters
Chilean President Gabriel Boric said Brazil had his country’s “full support in the face of this cowardly and vile attack on democracy.”
Colombian President Gustavo Petro said, “Fascism [had] decided to stage a coup.”
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico expressed “full support for President Lula’s administration, elected by popular will.”
US President Joe Biden said he condemned “the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil,” while Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the “attack on democracy… cannot be tolerated.”
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “President Lula and his government have the United Kingdom’s full support, and I look forward to building on our countries’ close ties in the years ahead.”
China and Turkey are among other countries that have also condemned the rioters’ actions.