Sunday, September 25, 2022

Thousands are protesting against President Bolsonaro in Brazil

By AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO: Tens of thousands of people in Brazil held another day of protest against President Jair Bolsonaro, especially for his chaotic handling of the pandemic that has claimed more than 461,000 lives here.

In downtown Rio de Janeiro, about 10,000 people wearing masks marched through the streets, shouting “Bolsonaro genocide” or “Go away Bolsovirus.”

Similar gatherings were held in other major cities, most recently in a wave of anger against Bolsonaro that began several months ago. After the United States, Brazil has the world’s second highest death toll from coronavirus.

At the beginning of the pandemic, far-right Bolsonaro dismissed Covid-19 as “a little flu”, and as the number of deaths has risen steadily, he continues to infuriate people in other ways and opposes domestic measures and masks proclaiming ineffective drugs , refuse offers of vaccines and fail to anticipate oxygen deficiency that left patients suffocating.

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One of the themes for Saturday’s demonstration was how many lives could have been saved if the Bolsonaro government had started Brazil’s vaccination drive earlier. The drive runs slowly and has often splashed for lack of supplies.

“We must stop this government. We must say ‘enough is enough,'” businessman Omar Silveira told AFP at the Rio demonstration.

About Bolsonaro, he said: “He is a killer, a psychopath. He has no feelings. He does not feel the way we do. He cannot perceive the disaster he is causing.”

Protesters also attacked Bolsonaro for allowing deforestation of the Amazon and land grabs from indigenous peoples, saying he encourages violence and racism.

The rally was held Saturday in other major cities such as the capital Brasilia, Salvador in the northeast and Belo Horizonte in the southeast.

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In the northeastern city of Recife, police firing tear gas and rubber bullets scattered a street rally, news site G1 said.

Brasilia experienced its biggest meeting since the start of the pandemic as people marched toward Congress, where a Senate commission is investigating Bolsonaro’s handling of the health crisis.

Over the past two weekends, supporters of Bolsonaro have held demonstrations in support of him – and at his request – as his approval rating dropped to a record level of 24 percent, according to a poll conducted by Datafolha.

About 49 percent of respondents prefer Bolsonaro to be removed from office, while 46 percent are against, the poll said.

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Nation World News Desk
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