Brazilians took to the streets on Sunday, June 7, in Sao Paulo and Brasilia to demonstrate for or against the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, criticized in particular for his management of the coronavirus epidemic.
Thousands of people gathered in the afternoon in Sao Paulo, displaying banners in defense of democracy, against racism and the politics of the Brazilian president. Many protesters were wearing black clothes and masks, Agence France-Presse said.
Gabriela Vitoria, 18, who had never participated in a demonstration, mobilized because “Bolsonaro is against everything”. “He doesn’t want blacks, gays, women, he only thinks of the rich. We are going through a pandemic and he wants to open everything, without looking at the good examples of other countries ”, she denounced.
“We are very worried because no measures have been taken to help the communities of the periphery, which have the most difficulty in respecting confinement”said Yussara Baso, spokesperson for the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), who called for the protest.
On Paulista Avenue, about six kilometers away, around fifty people gathered with Brazilian flags to express their support for Jair Bolsonaro and ask for the end of the containment measures put in place by the local authorities to curb the pandemic . “The disease exists, but it’s not like we are told. It’s time to open up the business. “said a protester who refused to give her name.
“Against racism and fascism”
The regional authorities had asked that the events be organized remotely in order to avoid confrontations, while clashes had taken place last Sunday between supporters of football teams walking “Against fascism” and supporters of Bolsonaro who circulated in the streets to denounce the confinement.
In Brasilia, several hundred people marched in the morning against the head of state. “All for democracy”, “Against racism and fascism”, proclaimed placards. “Retreat fascist, retreat, the power of the people is in the streets”, sang the demonstrators.
At the same time, a smaller group of pro-President protesters also gathered in the capital. Supporters of the far-right president, who downplayed the Covid-19 epidemic, used to demonstrate over the weekend, in the presence of the head of state, to demand an end to the restrictions and attack representatives of the Congress and the Supreme Court.
The country of 210 million people has registered more than 670,000 cases of coronavirus and 35,900 deaths, a number that many experts consider largely undervalued due to the lack of sufficient tests.