'We will resist': anti-Bolsonaro protesters vow to defend Brazil's freedoms
Brazil 'We will resist': anti-Bolsonaro protesters vow to defend Brazil's freedoms
Protesters marched in cities to tell far-right president they respect his democratic election but he must protect democratic freedoms
Thousands of Brazilian protesters have marched through the heart of SÃ£o Paulo to tell their newly elected far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, they recognize his demo cratic election but will resist any attempt to erode their freedoms or rights.
âNo one is giving up! No one is giving up! No one is giving up!â the protesters chanted as they began an emotional 3km procession through SÃ£o Paulo past graffiti-scrawled walls that bore the rallying cry of their movement: âNot him!â
Similar protests were held in cities across Brazil including Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Recife.
In Brazilâs economic capital, anti-Bolsonaro protesters returned to the same spot outside SÃ£o Pauloâs art museum where devotees of Brazilâs far-right preside nt-elect celebrated his stunning triumph on Sunday night.
Many carried handmade banners and signs with slogans denouncing Bolsonaro, a former paratrooper notorious for his hostility to human rights, minorities and the environment.'Flowering of hate': bitter election brings wave of political violence to Brazil Read more
âIf you threaten my existence, then I will be resistance,â read one placard.
Others carried less subtle rebukes: âFascist pig,â said one. A second read: âNeo-Nazis No!â
A mood of despondency hung in the air as shellshocked dissenters assembled on Monday evening for what they called the first public act of âresistanceâ to their extremist president who will take office on 1 January.
One protesterâs T-shirt was emblazoned with the words: âEverything sucks.â
âItâs sad for us â" above all as black people â" knowing that you are now considered a target,â said Brenda Richele, 23 , who said she believed Bolsonaro had legitimized violence against groups to which he was hostile.
Tears coursed down Richeleâs cheeks as she described her distress at having a president infamous for his racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.
âWhat we are most feeling is fear: fear of what might happen, fear of what all this might generate.â
But that dejection turned to grit as the protest swelled and its leaders urged those present not to lose hope.
âWe are here to fight and to say that we will resist. We wonât accept being killed or being treated like animals. We wonât accept being treated like a minority because we arenât one,â said Richele.Brazilâs fearful LGBT community prepares for a âproud homophobeâ Read more
âI feel smothered,â said Nina Gabrielle, 19, a trans woman carrying a bright pink sign urging fellow objectors to âfight like a trans girlâ.
âHe preaches hatred â¦ [and] his supporters are attacking the LGBT community. So we are here to fight. Resisting to exist!â
Addressing protesters from the top of a carnival float, feminist campaigner Carina Vitral said she had a simple message for Bolsonaro: âWe will not be banished. We will not leave the country. We will not be arrested. We will continue to fight â" on every single day of your disastrous governm ent.â
Guilherme Boulos, a rising leftist leader, said: âWe do recognise the result of the elections â¦ Bolsonaro has now been elected president of Brazil. But not Brazilâs emperor â" not the owner of Brazil. He doesnât own us.â
âA president has to respect democratic freedoms. A president has to respect the freedom of protest, the freedom of expression. He has to respect opposition and not say that they go either to jail or into exile.â
As protesters filed down SÃ£o Pauloâs Avenida Paulista flanked by military police, some in riot gear, Bolsonaro made his first public outing since being elected on Sunday with nearly 58m votes.
Bolsonaro chose an evangelical church in northern Rio de Janeiro where he appeared on stage alongside Silas Malafaia, a deeply conservative and firebrand televangelist who once called himself âthe public enemy number oneâ of Brazilâs gay movement.
âYou can expect me to be someone who is committed to Christian family values,â Bolsonaro told the congregation.
Emerson Bellini, a 35-year-old civil servant who was at the protest in SÃ£o Paulo, said he feared Brazil could go into reverse under Bolsonaro after years of social advances. âWe feel great anger â¦ there were 80 million people who didnât vote for him. People are worried about losing their political rights and the attack on our social r ights that is coming.â
But Bellini also vowed to fight back and wore a T-shirt stamped with the words: âDictatorship never again!â
âWe donât have the right to be downcast at such an important moment in our countryâs history,â he said.Topics
- Jair Bolsonaro
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