| 23 June 2021, Wednesday |

Brazilians stage nationwide protests against President Bolsonaro’s COVID response

Brazilians protested on Saturday in at least 16 cities across the country against the handling by President Jair Bolsonaro of a COVID-19 pandemic with signs like “Out with Bolsonaro” and “There is now an Impeachment”

During the coronavirus crisis in which more than 460,000 Brazilians were killed, the popularity of Bolsonaro collapsed when its extreme right-wing leadership reduced their severity, dismissed masking, and questioned the importance of vaccines.

Saturday’s protests in Brasilia, the capital and in Rio de Janeiro, organized by left-wing political parties, unions and student associations, were quiet, but the police threw tear gas in northeast Recife and fired rubber bullets.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, thousands of mask-wearing people blocked one the largest city’s avenues. One large balloon depicted Bolsonaro as a vampire.

Some protests, like the one in Rio, included images of former leftist president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva wearing the presidential sash.

Earlier in May, Lula met centrist Fernando Henrique Cardoso, also a two-term former president, for lunch in a public show of their common purpose to block Bolsonaro from gaining a second term in next year’s presidential election.