Sunday, August 1

Brazil takes to the streets against Bolsonaro and in defense of vaccines


Updated

The country has exceeded 500,000 deaths from covid-19, and protesters are calling for the president to be held accountable. The opposition occupies the streets for the second time in less than a month and heats up the electoral climate for 2022

Image of protesters in R
Image of the protesters in Rio de Janeiro this Saturday.OTHER BORGESAFP
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The main cities of Brazil hosted this Saturday demonstrations against the Government of Jair Bolsonaro for his denial of the covid-19 pandemic, just when the country has exceeded the barrier of 500,000 deaths. Brazil is already the second country in the world hardest hit by the coronavirus and if it follows the current rate (more than 1,700 deaths a day) it could surpass the US in a few months.

Despite the reluctance due to the crowds, in cities like So Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife or Salvador, the marches were quite numerous. Ro’s march occupied a good part of the city center, with the vast majority of the protesters protected with masks and trying to keep a minimum distance of security. In So Paulo, a brigade linked to the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) distributed more than 2,000 PFF2 masks to protesters.

For many, going out to the streets to protest was taking a necessary risk: “If Bolsonaro campaigns, the democratic opposition, whether from the left or the center, has to campaign too. It is a pity, because there is a virus that has already killed more than half a million Brazilians, and doing politics right now is rare, but you have to do it because the president is on the campaign trail and we have to beat him next year “, explained to El Mundo Julia Godondel, Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

The 2022 elections are already on the horizon, but for many it cannot wait that long to remove him from power. Requests for an urgent impeachment or even a trial in the Hague Criminal Court for genocide They were also present at the march, which took place in a peaceful climate at all times.

The protesters remembered all the times Bolsonaro boycott efforts to contain the virus, even being skeptical about vaccines. Last year, the government ignored a total of 53 emails from Pfizer offering vaccines. In the end, a contract was signed in March of this year, but the vaccines could have begun to arrive at the end of last year, as explained by those responsible for the pharmacy in the special commission of the Senate that is investigating the possible crimes committed by the Executive in managing the health crisis.

“Vaccination is slow, vaccines are not arriving, Bolsonaro repeatedly denied offers to buy vaccines … It is impossible to stay home with this panorama,” he lamented Adriano Monteiro, communication student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (PUC).

LULA, ABSENT FOR STRATEGY

This is the second major day of protests against Bolsonaro during the pandemic, after the strong support on May 29, which even surprised the organizers. The marches are being organized by left-wing social movements and have the support of unions, student organizations and anti-racist groups, LGTBI, etc.

The main opposition political parties, such as the Workers’ Party (PT) or the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), support the protests, but remain in the background. Quite significant is the absence of the former president Lula da Silva, that this same week he commented that he did not want to go out so that his presence would not overshadow the movement: “I do not want to transform a political act into an electoral act, I do not want the media to exploit that as’ Lula appropriating a demonstration called for the Brazilian society, “he noted on his social networks.

Lula’s absence is calculated to the maximum, given that the former president is pulling strings in the political racks to weave alliances with all kinds of forces from the left to the political center, to stand in the 2022 elections as a moderate candidate capable of reunifying the country. At the moment, he starts as a favorite in all the surveys. To stand behind the banner now would be to give Bolsonaro the perfect ammunition to finally light the fuse of the electoral campaign.

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