Brazil’s January 6th

The world watches as Brazil has its January 6th. Bolonsarist continue to riot in a country currently packed with chaos.

In early January 2023, thousands of Brazilians took the streets of Brasília and raided government offices in protest of their most recent election. In October, left-wing candidate and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva defeated the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, a right leaning candidate, in what has been said to be one of the closest elections in the nation’s history.

Braizlians take the streets of Brasicila. (Credit: Diane Jeantet, Assoicated Press)

Many supporters of Bolsonaro claim the election was fraudulent and that votes were inaccurately counted. To demonstrate their frustrations, they have taken Brazil by storm in an event that is now being referred to as Brazil’s January 6th.

Landmark institutions such as the Brazilian Supreme Court, Presidential Palace, and Congress – all of which played a role in the election – have been stormed and raided by protestors. In addition to the over 1,000 arrests that have been made, at least two people have been confirmed dead and 18 have been severely injured. The protesters, now being called “Bolsonarist” have continued to riot even amidst a strong police retaliation.

Moreover, “Bolsonarist” truck drivers have added another dimension to the chaos: blocking roads. Aside from the Federal District itself, 23 other Brazilian states have recorded some form of road blocking. In total, at least 267 roadblocks remain stagnant on Brazilian cement. As for Bolsonaro himself, he has fled to Florida and has made little effort to shun the protest.

Many Bolonasrist fight in what they believe in a fight for democracy. (Credit: Agencia Brasil/Wikimedia Commons)

To make matters worse, Bolsonaro hasn’t conceded the election to Lula, and doesn’t show any sign of doing so anytime soon. Many political scientists draw parallels between President Bolsonaro and President Trump.

Lula has declared that protestors, who he thinks are “fanatic fascist”, will be pushed for their destructive actions against the law. On a television broadcast, he said, “They destroyed everything they came across. All of these people will be found and punished for this antidemocratic movement”.

Supporters of Lula have also argued that Bolsonra’s persona and policy aspire to authoritarianism – a direction they have attempted to move away from since 1985.

Here at home, people had some interesting things to say. “I think the protest in Brazil right now closely resemble the January 6th protest, as both masses portrayed violence in support of right-leaning leaders. I’m curious to see what will happen next. I think the Brazilian congress should create committees similar to the Jan 6th committee that the US Congress recently established,” Junior Liam Klebanov expressed in regards to the protest.

Boloarinst Protesters raid the Brazilian Presidental Palace. (Credits: Eraldo Peres, Associated Press)

“While freedom of speech is great, and really should be prevalent in every nation, I rarely think violence is the tunnel people should take to express it – this case is no exception,” Senior Avishai Aghelian argues.

While consensus has begun to establish in the Southern-American nation, the historic story continues to unfold in Brazil – and you bet we will keep you covered. Until next time, Jacob Shirazi.