Sao Paulo: Thousands of people took to the streets in Brazil to protest the candidacy of presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro, shouting “Not him!” which has become the rallying cry against the far-right former army captain. On Saturday, in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and 24 other cities, large crowds filled avenues and squares a week before the October 28 second-round vote polls suggest Bolsonaro may win. Bolsonaro, who has angered many Brazilians by praising the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship and making comments offensive to gays, women and blacks, won the first round of voting on October 7, getting 46% against 29 for Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party.
In front of the Sao Paulo Art Museum, people beat drums and waved gay pride flags as they denounced Bolsonaro. Many carried cardboard signs bearing Haddad’s name and photo. Philosophy teacher Tiago Silva, 27, said Bolsonaro “represents the fascism, intolerance and violence we are seeing in Europe and in the US”. “It will be a disaster if he wins, and it looks like he will,” he added.
Vinicius Bento, a 27-year-old lawyer, said voting for Haddad is “the only way to stop Bolsonaro and his racist, misogynist and fascists views from reaching the presidency.” “We have to get Haddad elected,” he said, acknowledging he didn’t vote for him in the first round because he’d “lost faith” in the Workers’ Party as a result of the corruption scandals it has been involved with. The left-leaning party governed Brazil from 2003 to 2016, and has been dogged by the massive “Carwash” corruption investigation.