Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators have taken to the streets of the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo to denounce the riots and storming of key government buildings by supporters of the ultra-right-wing former president Jair Bolsonaro.
Demonstrators carried signs with messages such as “Democracy forever”, as well as banners reading “We are with Lula and for democracy” and “Respect for the people’s vote.”
Young people, labor union activists, and anti-racism advocates were among the protesters, who demanded stringent punishment for rioters.
On Sunday, Bolsonaro’s rioting supporters ransacked the presidential palace, the Supreme Court and the Congress. The riots capped months of tension following the October 30 presidential vote that Bolsonaro lost to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Observers have compared the raids to the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol building by supporters of then-US president Donald Trump, a Bolsonaro ally, and have termed the situation as a serious episode of “political unrest.”
Police arrested 300 over the attack on Sunday, while 1,200 others were detained on Monday as security forces dismantled an improvised camp of Bolsonaro’s supporters outside the army’s headquarters in Brasilia.
Lula denounced far-right “acts of terrorism” as he met the leaders of both houses of Congress and the head of the Supreme Court on Monday.