Thousands of Brazilians returned to the streets on Saturday to protest the Jair Bolsonaro government’s response to a pandemic that has killed nearly half a million people in the country, most after the United States.
On the second day of demonstrations in less than a month, the anti-Bolsonaro mobilization is gaining momentum amid a rising curve of Covid-19 infections, while only 11% of the 212 million Brazilians have been fully vaccinated, according to local media.
The Brazilian president, who has undermined the pandemic and resisted containment measures, is under investigation by a congressional investigation as his administration has lagged behind in procuring vaccines but has pushed for the use of ineffective drugs such as chloroquine.
Teacher Paola Queiroz, 46, said that the pandemic “has been one of losses: of friends, of joy, of hope for the future.” Despite this, he took to the streets of Presidente Vargas Avenue, in the center of Rio de Janeiro, using “humor as a weapon” in what he called the “president’s zero response” against the coronavirus. Queiroz wore a disguise criticizing Dr. Nise Yamaguchi, whom he called the “pseudoscientist who advised Bolsonaro” to adopt ineffective drugs.
“I’m dressed as’ Dr. Chloroquine ‘, which is an accessory to these 500,000 deaths, ”said Queiroz, while carrying a sign that mimicked the drug package with sayings as“ free medicine ”and called for the impeachment and imprisonment of Bolsonaro.
Unlike Bolsonaro supporters, who have taken to the streets in demonstrations over the past year, anti-Bolsonaro protesters have refrained from meeting, preferring to hit pots in their homes. However, as the death toll continues to average 2,000 a day, public outcry has increased.
“The reasons given by this government under the leadership of this plague called Bolsonaro make me leave home,” said Oswaldo Pinheiro, a 75-year-old retired engineer. “I, even at this age, will be in the fight against this genocidal government, without respect for the poor. Whenever there are other marches, I will go ”.
Pinheiro attended the protest in Rio with his daughters Débora and Bárbara Amado. “He is vaccinated and in the first protest we realized that everyone was wearing masks and that we could keep our distance,” Débora said.
Last Saturday, Bolsonaro and his motorcycle supporters marched through the streets of São Paulo, in a sign of an increasingly polarized political landscape as the 2022 elections approach. The president was fined for not wearing a mask in violation of local restrictions and has been saying that it will not vaccinate against Covid-19.
The anti-Bolsonaro demonstrations that occupied the largest cities in Brazil were called by social movements and political parties that opposed his government. Political science student Thaiane Souza, 22, and her girlfriend, doula Juliana Candido, 32, carried flags in LGBTQIA + colors.
“I think it is important to show our resistance as a gay black woman,” said Souza, to which Cándido added: “LGBTs are also very threatened in this Bolsonaro government, and we are here to mark who we are and what we should vaccinate. population and fight the pandemic adequately. “
Sitting on a sidewalk on the avenue, primary school teacher Sarah John da Silva rested with her two children, Estela, 4, and Helena, 8. “There are many people who say that you should not mix children with politics. But politics is in. everything, ”Silva said, as the girls held up homemade banners. “They need to learn that when there were acts against the president, we were in the street fighting to get him out.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism