The protests happen amid issues that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro might refuse to just accept election outcomes.
1000’s of Brazilians flocked to a regulation college Thursday in defence of the nation’s democratic establishments, an occasion that carried echoes of a gathering practically 45 years in the past when residents joined collectively on the similar website to denounce a brutal army dictatorship.
In 1977, the plenty poured into the College of Sao Paulo’s regulation college to hearken to a studying of “A Letter to Brazilians”, a manifesto calling for a immediate return of the rule of regulation. On Thursday, they heard declarations defending democracy and the nation’s elections methods, which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked forward of his bid for reelection in October.
Whereas the present manifestos don’t particularly title Bolsonaro, they underscore the nation’s widespread concern that the far-right chief might observe in former US President Donald Trump’s footsteps and reject election outcomes not in his favour in an try to cling to energy.
One manifesto learn at Thursday’s occasion garnered greater than 800,000 signatures and warned that Brazilian democracy was below risk.
“We’re liable to a coup, so civil society should get up and battle in opposition to that to ensure democracy,” Jose Carlos Dias, a former justice minister who helped write the 1977 letter and the 2 paperwork learn Thursday, advised the Related Press information company.
In Sao Paulo, drivers caught in site visitors on one of many essential roads to the regulation college applauded and honked as marching college students chanted pro-democracy slogans. An enormous inflatable digital voting machine by the constructing’s essential entrance bore the slogan “RESPECT THE VOTE.”
Bolsonaro’s dedication to democracy has been scrutinized since he took workplace, largely as a result of the previous military captain has insistently glorified the nation’s two-decade dictatorship, which led to 1985.
For greater than a yr, in actions that look like lifted instantly from Trump’s playbook, Bolsonaro has claimed Brazil’s digital voting machines are liable to fraud, although, like Trump, he by no means offered any proof. Bolsonaro has constantly trailed former President Luiz Inacio da Silva, often known as Lula, within the polls forward of the election.
Bolsonaro additionally started expressing a want for higher involvement of the armed forces in election oversight. Final week, military officers visited the electoral authority’s headquarters to examine the source codes of voting machines. Bolsonaro has alleged that a number of the authority’s high officers are working in opposition to him.
On the regulation college on Thursday, Carlos Silveira carried an indication that learn: “The army doesn’t depend votes.”
“We’re right here as a result of it’s riskier to not do something,” mentioned Silveira, 43. “Bolsonaro has recommended an enormous anti-democratic act earlier than the election, and the army has remained on his aspect, it appears. We wish to present them we’re the bulk, and that our quest for democracy will win.”
When Bolsonaro launched his marketing campaign, he known as on supporters to flood the streets for the September 7 Independence Day celebrations. On that date final yr, he declared earlier than tens of hundreds who rallied at his behest that solely God can take away him from energy.