Brazil’s Insurrection

Supporters of Ex-President Jair Bolsonaro Stormed the Seats of Power

The anti-riot police responded to the rioters in the streets.
Credit: The Washington Post

The anti-riot police responded to the rioters in the streets. Credit: The Washington Post

Katherine Conner , Staff Writer/Editor

Brazil is still shocked after hundreds of supporters of Ex-President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the Seats of Power in Brasilia, which is the capital. More than 1,000 of the rioters have been arrested as of January 9, according to Justice Minister Flavio Dino. The attack began on January 8, when massive crowds in Brasilia approached the congressional building, where they reached the Green Room, which is located just outside the lower House of Congress’ chamber.

Other sources have reported that Bolsonaro supporters were seen entering the Supreme Court and the presidential palace, where CNN showed the arrival of anti-riot police and the Brazilian Armed Forces. Shortly afterward, the floor of the Congress building was flooded, as the sprinkler systems activate to put a fire that rioters started on the carpet. Other videos showed some protestors inside the building taking gifts. By the same night, all the buildings were cleared of any protestors, and at least 400 protestors were arrested the same night

The current president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that he would bring to justice the rioters who vandalized the country’s National Congress, Supreme Federal Court, and the presidential office. “The terrorists who promote the destruction of public spaces in Brasilia are being identified and punished. Tomorrow we will resume work at the Presidential Palace. Democracy forever. Good night.” he tweeted on January 9.

Rioters storming the Seats of Power in Brasilia.
Credit: CNN

Despite the shock that the Brazilian government and people are experiencing, some had to suspect that the attack would be coming. In the months leading up to the election, Bolsonaro repeatedly doubted the legitimacy of the votes being counted, without showing any evidence to show that this was the case. In the final rounds of the attack, which was close, Bolsonaro stepped up the claims but struggled to find any solace in Brazilian regulators and institutions. The Washington Post reports that these actions and many more were quickly compared to the January 6 insurrection that happened in the US just over two years ago. Ex-President Donald Trump and Bolsonaro both use similar strategies in the months leading up to the election and even afterward. However, Bolsonaro hasn’t claimed that the attacks had anything to do with the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden made a tweet later on, supporting Lula da Silva and his response to the attack. He wrote on Twitter: “I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined.” 

The Brazilian government has also pledged to find out how these breaches in the security of the government happened. The MPF (Brazil’s attorney general) said that it was investigating all who were involved in the breach, as reported by AP News.  They released a statement saying that, “The Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, monitors and follows with concern the act of vandalism to public buildings that occur in Brasilia on Jan. 8.” It remains to be seen what Bolsonaro or the government does next.