(Brasilia) To the cheers of tens of thousands of supporters in Brasilia, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro spoke threateningly to the Supreme Court on Tuesday at the risk of exacerbating the institutional crisis on the day of protests across the country.
Posted on Sep 7, 2021 at 9:03 am Updated at 2:58 pm
Valeria PACHECO and Pascale TROUILLAUD in Rio de Janeiro Agence France-Presse
The far-right president wanted to turn the national holiday on September 7th into a show of force by calling on “huge crowds” to support him.
This atypical independence day began in Brasilia, criss-crossed by more than 5,000 police officers. Bolsonaro flew in a helicopter over the huge esplanade of the ministries before he greeted the large crowd with “Mito, Mito!” “(” The Myth “, his nickname).
“As of today, a new story begins in Brazil,” he said to an ovation.
He then violently attacked one of the Supreme Court judges, Alexandre de Moraes, who ordered an investigation into him and his entourage, particularly for the dissemination of false information.
“Either the head of that power (the Supreme Court) will put (that judge) in his place, or that power will suffer consequences no one wants,” he said.
Clearly threatening statements, while Jair Bolsonaro had already presented this day of mobilization as an “ultimatum” against the Supreme Court.
“We don’t want a separation. We don’t want to fight with other powers. But we cannot allow anyone to endanger our freedom, ”he added to the applause of the demonstrators who wore the green and yellow flags of Brazil.
Virtually none of them used a mask while the pandemic is far from under control despite advances in vaccination in a country where more than 580,000 people have died from COVID-19.
Many protesters carried posters demanding the dismissal of Supreme Court judges. One of them demanded: “Military intervention at Bolsonaro in Brasilia”.
“I have come to defend our freedom and rid the country of this filthy bunch of corrupt Supreme Court politicians who are trying to take them away from us,” Marcio Souza, a T-shirt security officer, told AFP in Brasilia Face of Jair Bolsonaro.
“Most worrying since the return of democracy after the military dictatorship of 1964-1985 are these speeches by the President against democratic institutions, especially the Supreme Court,” complains political scientist Mauricio Santoro.
“It’s a bit like Hungary, Poland, Venezuela or the USA in Trump’s time: an authoritarian discourse that weakens democracy from within,” he concludes.
The day was in jeopardy, as the opposition demonstrated. She is calling for the resignation of a president accused of threatening democracy, pathetic coping with the COVID-19 crisis, and the economy with near-record unemployment and worrying inflation.
But the parades of the Bolsonarists and anti-Bolsonaro, which were weakly mobilized in the early afternoon, should not cross each other in order to avoid the danger of violence. In any case, theoretically.
In the early afternoon, demonstrators began to disperse in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, where they gathered on Copacabana Beach, without any serious incident.
On the way to São Paulo
But on Monday night, hundreds of Bolsonarists in trucks broke through barriers and entered the avenue leading to Congress and the Supreme Court, which they threatened to “invade”.
The mobilization in Brasilia was strong, but some political commentators said at lunchtime that they were expecting a larger crowd. And above all, “given the sums invested to mobilize the President’s supporters,” including a major campaign on social networks, says Mauricio Santoro.
But in the afternoon in Sao Paulo the president hoped to mark the ghosts: He announced that he would expect “two million” sympathizers on Avenida Paulista, where he would give a more heated speech than in Brasilia. “
With 51% of Brazilians not doing his management well, Bolsonaro has never been so unpopular since he took office in January 2019.
He is largely left behind in voting intentions for the elections in October 2022 by the left ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula), sometimes even defeated in the first ballot.