Brasilia, June 8 : After last week”s riots, several demonstrations in favour and against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro were held again without serious incident.
However, at around 9.30 p.m., two hours after anti-government and anti-racist protests in Sao Paulo ended, “a group of hooligans” attacked the police with stones and set up barricades in the Pinheiros neighbourhood, in the west of the city, reports Efe news.
“There was a small group that dispersed (at the end of the demonstration). It was the acts of vandals, not protesters,” said Emerson Massera, spokesman for the Sao Paulo Military Police in television statements.
“These infiltrators” also attacked some bank offices, added Massera, who highlighted the peaceful nature of the protest.
The riot police used tear gas grenades while dozens of residents of Pinheiros were hitting saucepans at their homes, apparently against how the agents handled the situation.
The protests brought together significant crowds in several cities of the country.
With 691,758 confirmed cases and more than 35,000 deaths, the South American giant is second in number of infections and third in number of deaths in the world, amid a dispute over the recording of data.
The federal government estimates that deaths from COVID-19 were lower than those reported by regional and municipal authorities, while these authorities claim that infections and deaths are much higher than those officially published.
In the capital, Brasilia, hundreds of opponents of the President gathered in front of the National Library and from there they marched to the Ministries Esplanade, the administrative headquarters of the government.
The demonstration, which brought together around 3,000 people, was called by pro-democracy and anti-fascist movements that denounce an authoritarian lean of Bolsonaro.
They were joined by anti-racism protesters, who added to the international outrage sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd in the US at the hands of a white police officer.
At the other end of the Ministries Esplanade, a group in smaller numbers that usually performs caravans and walks on weekends in favor of the far-right leader, gathered wearing their usual Brazilian football team jerseys and carrying the country”s flag, and this time, symbols of the monarchy.
Minister of the Institutional Security Office Gen. Augusto Heleno greeted some of the supporters and members of the security forces who prevented the two demonstrations from meeting.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, went outside Alvorada Palace, his official residence, to greet some of his supporters without wearing a mask as recommended by health authorities.
In Rio de Janeiro, the president”s defenders marched in the vicinity of Copacabana beach and in Sao Paulo they met on Paulista y Avenue.