Bolsonaro Supporters Storm Brazilian Congress, Supreme Court

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Alyssa Blakemore Contributor
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Just one week after the inauguration of Brazil’s newest president, supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Supreme Court and Congress Sunday, surrounding the presidential palace.

Thousands gathered in protest of the October 30 run-off election results that yielded a win to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Reuters reported. His opponent, Bolsonaro, narrowly missed a second term in office and refused to concede his loss for weeks after the election. The former president tried without success to contest election results, citing voter machine malfunctions.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters took up the former president’s charge, both literally and figuratively, in scenes likened by some to the January 6, 2021 invasion of the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Protestors have been camped outside the capital in the weeks following the presidential election, according to CNN. Local media estimated that about 3,000 people were involved, according to Reuters.

A massive crowd could be seen ascending the ramp to the congressional building, and thousands stood and shouted from the roof of the Congressional building, according to the New York Times. Protestors reached the Senate chamber, with some jumping onto seats and others using benches as slides, the BBC reported. Police responded with tear gas, but failed to repel demonstrators, according to the BBC.

Smoke is pictured as supporters of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro demonstrate against President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia, Brazil, December 8, 2023. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

The Supreme Court building also appeared to be occupied, as protestors could be seen breaking windows inside, Reuters noted.

President of Lula’s Workers Party, Gleisi Hoffman, declared the breaches “a crime announced against democracy” and “against the will of the polls,” CNN reported.

Newly elected President Lula was away from the capital on an official trip to Sao Paulo state, according to Reuters. Lula blamed Bolsonaro for the invasion, and stated that rioters would be identified and prosecuted. Bolsonaro left Brazil for Florida 48 hours before the end of his term, missing his successor’s January 1 inauguration, the outlet noted.