Supporters of defeated Brazilian president storm congressional building
Supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s capital in December.
By JACK NICAS and ANDRE SPIGARIOL
Supporters of Brazil’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed Brazil’s Congress and presidential offices Sunday to protest what they falsely believe was a stolen election. It was the violent culmination of incessant rhetorical attacks by Bolsonaro and his supporters against the nation’s electoral systems.
Thousands of protesters ascended a ramp to the roof of the congressional building in Brasília, the capital, while a smaller group invaded the building from a lower level, according to witnesses and videos of the scene posted on social media.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in October and took office Jan. 1, was in Sao Paulo, and Congress was not in session. Both Congress and the presidential offices were largely empty Sunday.
Thousands of protesters stood and shouted from atop the Congress building, in view of thousands more running over toppled fences to get to the presidential offices. Protesters complained of tear gas, while security guards stationed at Congress took cover behind the building.
The invasions capped months of protests by supporters of Bolsonaro, who have been camped outside military bases across the country and had called on the armed forces to take control of the government and halt the inauguration of Lula.