Jair Bolsonaro Hangs Out in Florida as His Riot Minions Try to Overthrow Brazilian Government
It appears the pro-Bolsonaro momentum hasn’t faded. Despite losing the October 30 runoff election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, supporters of far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro are still attempting to overthrow the new government, staging numerous rallies in the country’s capital over the weekend.
Videos circulating on social media show Bolsonaro supporters arriving by the bus-load to Brazil’s capital Brasília, forcing their way into the nation’s Supreme Court and Congress buildings, as well as the president’s office in the Planalto Palace, smashing windows, attacking police, and calling on Lula’s resignation via military intervention.
Police, in response, fired tear gas into the crowds, failing to dismantle the demonstrators. In fact, some police officers and military personnel have taken a laissez-faire approach to the riots, refraining from intervening when pro-Bolsonaro protestors turned violent.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, is currently in Florida, where he fled following Lula’s inauguration on January 1st to evade arrest after losing immunity from prosecution. The Brazilian politician last week appeared in cheerful spirits, grocery shopping and greeting residents of an Orlando gated community. Indeed, on December 30th, Bolsonaro appeared to have come to terms with the election loss, telling followers he did everything in his power to contest the results via the constitution, refraining from taking responsibility for any forthcoming violent acts carried out by his supporters.
The former president faces numerous criminal and electoral investigations, pertaining to using federal police to protect his adult children, spreading distorted election information, and running a troll farm within his presidential office to spread misinformation. Still, right-wing activists are refusing to accept Bolsonaro’s election loss, as many collected in camps across Brazilian cities ahead of the inauguration in protest of Lula, who promised to restore democracy in Brazil and dismantle the anti-environmental policies introduced by the former far-right leader.
Lula, who is currently out of the presidential office on an official trip to São Paulo state, called the demonstrations an act of “barbarism” in a televised address, declaring a federal security intervention and vowing to punish all those involved. “these fanatics have done something that’s never before been done in this country,” he said, even taking aim at the police officers who refrained from taking action against the riots. “The police didn’t do anything at all. They just let the protesters in.”
US President Joe Biden also condemned the riots on Brazil’s government buildings, throwing his administration’s full support behind the South American country’s new left-leaning government. “Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined,” he tweeted Sunday evening.
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Caught on camera: