Brazil, assault on Parliament, over 1000 arrests. Bolsonaro: “I have nothing to do with it”. Lula calls emergency meeting

Elizabeth Smith

Afternoon and evening of clashes and high tension in Brazil. Thousands of supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, recently narrowly defeated by Lula in Brazil’s presidential election, stormed the Parliament area in Brasilia.

And they entered the buildings. Breaking through security cordons and damaging institutional buildings as numerous online videos show.

President Lula called an emergency meeting and branded the attackers as “vandals and fascist fanatics.” Police have now regained control of the buildings. Here is the updated situation.

Brazil, assault on institution buildings by Bolsonaro supporters

The assault in manner and almost also in date is very reminiscent of the one two years ago on Capitol Hill in Washington. Then by supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro supporters on the Brazilian afternoon today managed to get through security cordons around the Parliament in Brasilia at the end of a rally.

Many managed to climb the building’s ramp and occupied the roof. From there they then broke into the Parliament building and the Planalto building, home of the Executive and also the Supreme Electoral Tribunal building.

Incidents of vandalism were carried out inside the buildings. At the Planalto Palace, where the presidential residence, the Brazilian Parliament, and the Supreme Court are located, the assaluters broke window glasses.

Brazil, Police intervention clearing buildings of Bolsonaristas

Hundreds of police in riot gear prepared to storm the Parliament in Brasilia, occupied by Bolsonaro supporters.

President Lula signed the decree authorizing the Federal Police to intervene. With the goal of clearing out Bolsonaristas still inside Brasilia’s power palaces.

Lula’s statements, as Open reports, also included accusations against the Brazilian police. “It is the police who must guarantee security and they have not done so. Due to incompetence and bad faith of the people in charge.”

The latest reports according to O Globo, state that Brazilian police have retaken control of Congress, the Presidential Palace, and the Supreme Court. Security forces expelled Bolsonarists by firing tear gas bombs.

However, protesters are still on the Esplanada dos Ministèrios lawn behind a cordon set up by the military, according to reports.

The country’s parliament would then be officially free from occupation. There are at least 1000 supporters of Brazil’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro who have been arrested since the storming of the palaces of power in Brasilia. But the number looks set to grow.

President Lula’s words: ‘Vandal and fascist attack’

From the state of São Paulo, where he went to monitor the devastation caused by the floods, Brazil’s newly elected president-elect Lula condemned the violence and held an emergency meeting with executive ministers. Local media report that the ministers of Defense, Justice and Institutional Relations attended the meeting.

Lula condemned the attack, calling it “vandalism and fascism”. And decreed the intervention of federal forces in security in the Brasilia district until January 31.

Security in the federal district will thus come under government control and will be removed from the governor’s responsibility. The president as mentioned pointed the finger at the police deployed today in Brasilia, condemning them for not taking timely action.

“This has never happened in the history of this country”, Lula said. “All rioters responsible for terrorist acts against the headquarters of institutions will be identified and punished.

Lula has left the state of São Paulo, after addressing the nation, and is returning to Brasilia. O Globo also reports that security for the head of state has been tightened in the interior of the city of São Paulo and around the hotel where he is staying in the central area of the capital.

Read also: Democracy decline, is the world becoming less democratic?

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