Thousands of protesters have gathered this Saturday morning (19) in different cities across the country in protests against President Jair Bolsonaro. Among the largest protests are those in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasília.
The demonstrations have taken place on the same day that the country has hit 500,000 people killed by Covid and less than a month after the protests of May 29, which attracted thousands of people. The national protests are for the president's impeachment, more Covid-19 vaccines, and emergency relief.
The protests were called out for and supported by local social movements, political parties, union Centrals, student entities, sports organized support groups, and groups involved in social causes such as feminism and anti-racism. The organization is centered on the National Campaign 'Fora, Bolsonaro' ( Out with Bolsonaro!).
The number of organizations that have endorsed the carrying out of the protests and the number of cities with scheduled activities increased compared to late May. In general, in the big cities, the organizers had a bigger audience in the demonstrations this Saturday compared to the events of May 29th.
In Brasília, the protest was bigger than the previous one, and same in Rio, where the organizers have estimated about 70 thousand people in the demonstrations this Saturday, against 50 thousand in the one on May 29th. In Recife, even with the rain this Saturday morning, the event was bigger than the one in May.
In São Paulo, where the protest started at around 4 pm on Avenida Paulista, the organizers celebrated the increase in attendance, estimated by them at 100,000 people, against 80,000 at the May demonstration.
Although the protest has as its agenda the impeachment of the president, street vendors were selling shirts of former president Lula (PT) and banners with the inscription "Lula 2022". There were also people wearing masks personalized with the PT's candidate name. Lula had considered participating in the events this Saturday, but in the end, he chose not to attend.
In the federal capital and in Rio, protesters included in the event's agenda, a protest against the privatization of Eletrobras, which should be approved by the congress at the beginning of next week. Unlike the protests in favor of the government, the protesters were not allowed to go down to the Três Poderes square and have concentrated on the lawn in front of the National Congress.
In Recife, the protest also brought together representatives of left-wing parties that are fighting for space in the 2022 electoral race, such as PT and PDT. The state and city are governed by the PSB, which also had representatives at the protest.
Bolsonaro downplayed the impact of the marches against him in May and resorted to a strategy of labeling the initiative as one of Lula's campaign events. The opponent, who was not present at the protests this Saturday, currently leads the polls for voting intentions for the 2022 elections.
Translated by Cassy Dias