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In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro harangues his supporters and threatens institutions

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In Brasilia, Sao Paulo or Rio, tens of thousands of demonstrators invaded the streets Tuesday, at the call of President Jair Bolsonaro who promised them to write “a new history” for Brazil.

Acclaimed by tens of thousands of supporters in Brasilia, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro adopted, Tuesday, September 7, a threatening tone towards the Supreme Court, at the risk of aggravating the institutional crisis on this day of demonstrations throughout the country.

The far-right president wanted to make the national holiday of September 7 a show of force by calling “gigantic crowds” to support him.

It was in Brasilia, crisscrossed by more than 5,000 police officers, that this atypical Independence Day began. Jair Bolsonaro flew over the huge Esplanade of the Ministries in a helicopter before haranguing the large crowd who greeted him with cries of “Mito, Mito!” (“the Myth”, his nickname).

“From today, a new story begins to be written in Brazil,” he said to ovations.

>> To read also: “In Brazil, the military police between duty of reserve and unconditional support to Jair Bolsonaro”

The Head of State then fiercely attacked one of the Supreme Court judges, Alexandre de Moraes, who ordered the opening of investigations against him and his entourage, in particular for disseminating false information.

“Either the head of this power (the Supreme Court) puts (this judge) in his place, or this power will suffer consequences that nobody wants,” he said.

Clearly threatening remarks, while Jair Bolsonaro had already presented this day of mobilization as an “ultimatum” against the Supreme Court.

“Defend our freedom”

“We do not want a break. We do not want to fight with the other powers. But we cannot allow anyone who jeopardizes our freedom”, he added, to the applause of the demonstrators belted in the flags. green-yellow from Brazil.

Virtually none of them used a mask, while, despite the progress of vaccination, the pandemic is far from being controlled in the country, where more than 580,000 people have died from Covid-19.

Many protesters carried placards demanding the dismissal of Supreme Court judges. One of them called for “military intervention with Bolsonaro in Brasilia”.

“I have come to defend our freedom and free the country from this filthy bunch of corrupt Supreme Court politicians who want to take it away from us,” Brasilia Marcio Souza, a security guard wearing a T-shirt, told AFP. the face of Jair Bolsonaro.

>> To read also: “In Brazil, the electoral justice will investigate President Bolsonaro”

“What is most worrying are these speeches by the president against democratic institutions, in particular the Supreme Court, unprecedented since the return of democracy” after the military dictatorship of 1964-1985, laments political scientist Mauricio Santoro.

“It’s a bit like Hungary, Poland, Venezuela or the United States during Trump’s time: an authoritarian discourse that weakens democracy from within,” he concludes.

The day was at high risk as the opposition also demonstrated. She calls for the departure of a president accused of threatening democracy, of having pitifully managed the Covid-19 crisis, as well as the economy with near-record unemployment and worrying inflation.

Threats of invasion of the Supreme Court

But the processions of Bolsonarists and anti-Bolsonaro, weakly mobilized at the beginning of the afternoon, were not to cross, so as to avoid the risk of violence. In any case theoretically.

In the early afternoon, the demonstrators began to disperse in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, where they were gathered on Copacabana beach, without any serious incident having been deplored.

But on the night of Monday to Tuesday, hundreds of Bolsonarists, in trucks, have broke down barriers and entered the avenue leading to Congress and the Supreme Court, which they threatened to “invade”.

>> To see: “Lula da Silva, former Brazilian head of state: ‘Jair Bolsonaro is a genocidal president'”

The mobilization in Brasilia was strong, but some political commentators nevertheless said at midday that they expected to see a larger crowd. And above all “in view of the sums invested to mobilize the supporters of the president”, including a major campaign on social networks, said Mauricio Santoro.

But it is in Sao Paulo, in the afternoon, that the president hoped to mark the spirits: he announced to count on “two million” of sympathizers on the avenue Paulista, where he should deliver a speech more inflamed than in Brasilia.

With 51% of Brazilians unfavorable to his management, Jair Bolsonaro has never been so unpopular since coming to power in January 2019. He is largely left behind by the left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in voting intentions for the October 2022 election, and sometimes even beaten in the first round.

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