Far-Right Protesters Storm the Brazilian National Congress

Far-Right Protesters Storm the Brazilian National Congress

The right-wing insurrection trend has landed in Brazil.

On Sunday, supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country's National Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential offices in the capital of Brasília. The violent uprising took place a week after the inauguration of president Luiz Inácio Lula, as right-wing extremists refused to accept the outcome of the recent election in Latin America's largest country.

The event has drawn instant comparison to the January 6, 2021 insurrection in Washington D.C. following the loss of former president Donald Trump to Joe Biden. For weeks, Bolsonaro supporters, known as Bolsonaristas, have camped out at military bases, calling for the military to oust Lula, who was not present at the presidential palace at the time.

For five hours, rioters knocked down security barriers, smashed glass, and in some instances attacked police officers. The groups involved had control of the premises for hours until the government forces were able to bring things back to normal Sunday evening at around 5pm local time.

According to the Washington Post, protesters, who numbered in the thousands, wrapped themselves in the green and yellow Brazilian flag and sported the jersey of the Brazilian national soccer team, which has been coopted as a symbol of the far-right.

Bolsonaro, who was in Orlando at the time, condemned the protests via Twitter, denying responsibility. Meanwhile, Lula, who visited the site of the protest Sunday evening, addressed the nation on television, saying, "There is no precedent for this. All the people [who stormed public buildings] will be found and punished."

As of Sunday night, over 400 arrests had been made in connection to the protests. "We continue working to identify all the others who participated in these terrorist acts this afternoon in the Federal District," tweeted Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha. "We continue to work to restore order."

Photo via Getty Images / Joedson Alves / Anadolu Agency