Workers repair damaged windows following Sunday's anti-democratic riots Workers repair damaged windows following Sunday's anti-democratic riots 

Thousands attend pro-democracy rallies in Brazil

Following Sunday’s assault on government buildings, thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators took to the streets. Meanwhile, buses full of rioters were taken to prison.

By James Blears

Thousands of people have held pro-democracy rallies in Brazil, following the storming of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace on Sunday.

The biggest rally was in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, with supporters of democracy demanding justice and no amnesty for those who took the law into their own hands.

More than fifteen hundred rioters were arrested on Sunday. Many have since been transferred to prison, and the authorities confirm they're going to prosecute a thousand of them. 

Justice Minister Flavio Dino says he’s seeking the masterminds behind this planned criminal action.

He’s also investigating the lack of appropriate and prompt response by some Federal District Police, who idly stood aside and laughingly allowed rioters to move in to wreak havoc. Camps established outside army barracks by extremists who steadfastly refused to accept the presidential election result have now been dismantled. 

Former President and ex-army captain Jair Bolsonaro, who lost that very tight presidential election, went to the United States prior to the riots, which he’s condemned, saying they exceeded peaceful, legitimate protest. 

He’s been treated in a Miami hospital for abdominal pain, a residual legacy of when he was stabbed, while campaigning for his previous, successful election bid. 

President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva has condemned the actions of the extremists as “terrorism”, and vows punishment according to the law.

The delicate balance in the shaken democracy of Brazil will be to seek justice while setting aside revenge, as one is legal and legitimate, while the other would be political. 

Listen to James Blears' report

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10 January 2023, 17:11