Bolsonaro attends supporters’ rally in Brasília

After suggesting the rally, the president asked to have it postponed

Published in 16/03/2020 - 12:52 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

From outside the Planalto presidential palace, President Jair Bolsonaro watched as his supporters staged a rally on Sunday (Mar. 15). Demonstrations were carried out across the country.

The president’s supporters took to the streets of Brasília even after a Federal District decree banned events gathering more than a hundred people as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Wearing clothes and carrying green and yellow flags as well as banners with slogans against Congress and the Supreme Court, marchers rallied up the Esplanade of Ministries all the way to the grass outside the Congress building, joined by a convoy of cars.

The vehicles with Jair Bolsonaro’s entourage left the Alvorada presidential residence at around 12:20 pm to drive around the downtown area. On Eixo Monumental, one of the capital’s main thoroughfares, his allies were accompanied by the cars taking part in the demonstration.

Next, the president proceeded to the Planalto palace. From the top of the entrance ramp, he observed those gathering outside the building. This was broadcast live on his Facebook page. After that, he went down to be closer to the public. Separated by  a fence, the president talked, greeted, and took pictures with demonstrators for a little more than an hour, with a one meter distance between the leader and his supporters.

“What these people are doing is priceless. Even though I suggested it, I can’t order them to put it off—it’s not my demonstration,” the president said on his live broadcast. He also showed support for the rally, which he referred to as “spontaneous.” “We politicians can change the destiny of Brazil. It’s not a movement against anything. It’s a movement for Brazil.”

On his social media, Bolsonaro shared a number of videos and photos of the demonstrations in cities throughout the country. Last Thursday (12), in a statement broadcast nationwide on television and the radio, the president described the marches as “legitimate” and “the expression of freedom,” but recommended that people reconsider the decision to take to the streets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Graça Adjuto / Nira Foster

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