Bolsonaro supporters attempt to storm police HQ in ‘January 6-style’ rampage | Brazil
Fanatical supporters of the outgoing president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonarotorched cars and buses and attempted to storm federal police headquarters in the nation’s capital in what one commentator called a failed attempt to spark a January 6-style unrest.
The violence erupted on Monday evening after the left-wing politician who beat Bolsonaro in historic October election – former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – had his victory officially ratified by Brazil’s electoral tribunal.
Several hours later, hardline Bolsonarians who want the result overturned have been unleashed in the heart of Brasilia, after a member of their radical group was arrested for allegedly trying to incite violence that would prevent Lula to be sworn in on January 1.
Reuters said witnesses saw extremists, many wearing yellow Brazil shirts that symbolize the president’s far-right movement, clashing with security forces outside a federal police headquarters. Police used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Footage posted to social media by bystanders and local journalists shows militant Bolsonaro supporters setting fire to a bus.
“The center of Brasilia… looks like a war zone”, tweeted Alan Rios, a reporter for the local Metropoles news site, alongside footage of the destruction. “Busted buses and cars, destroyed buildings and street signs, garbage cans and gas canisters strewn on the ground after being used as weapons,” Rios wrote.
Political commentator Thomas Traumann tweeted his sentencing, saying, “Bolsonarismo has turned from a popular far-right movement into a terrorist cell.”
“It’s an attempt to [replicating] the Capitol,” Traumann added in reference to the storming of the US legislature by die-hard Donald Trump supporters on January 6, 2021. “It won’t work, but it’s an attempt.
The outbreak of violence, which reportedly subsided on Tuesday morning, raised fears of further upheaval ahead of Lula’s inauguration. Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected at the event, where some of Brazil’s best-known artists will perform, including Pabllo Vittar, Paulinho da Viola, Martinho da Vila and Maria Rita.
The man Lula appointed as his future justice minister, Flávio Dino, tried to reassure Brazilians on Monday evening by telling reporters: “Are there, unfortunately, people who want an undemocratic and illegal chaos ? Yes there is. But these people did not prevail today and they will not prevail tomorrow.