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Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gathered in the thousands Sunday outside the headquarters of the Army in Brasilia, the South American nation’s capitol clad in yellow and green, the national colors. Within mere hours, they would march the nearly five miles to the Three Powers Plaza, the seats of Brazil’s Congress and Supreme Court and the Presidential offices.

According to international reports from Reuters, the assembled protestors rioted and forced their way inside the Congress, Supreme Court, and Presidential palace. Once there they destroyed offices, artwork, windows, and doors essentially ransacking the capitol that was largely vacant due to Congress being out of session. According to Breitbart, the damage to the priceless artifacts of Brazilian history was described as “irreparable.”

According to video reports, the rioters set the Congress building on fire in some areas.

Leftist Brazilian publication O Globo called the damage to the Supreme Court and its “historical heritage,” “irreparable.” The rioters were protesting against self-described socialist and convicted felon President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva known popularly as “Lula.” The president, sworn in seven days before the riot, rose to power in a highly controversial election that mirrored the ascent of American President Joe Biden with broad-scale reports of corruption and electoral fraud.

Breitbart reports that Lula was out of the capitol touring flooding in Sao Paulo state. In a later statement, he called for “federal intervention” in Brasilia as he consolidated the powers of multiple independent security agencies into the hands of a select few of his top supporters. He has also accused the local police of acting in “bad faith” and failing to prevent the protestors from breaching the federal buildings.

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The Governor of Brasilia, Ibaneis Rocha, a Bolsonaro loyalist has since been removed from power by the Supreme Court on allegations that he failed to stop the riot deliberately according to The Week. Rocha “not only made public statements defending a false ‘free political demonstration in Brasilia,'” Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes claimed but “also ignored all appeals by the authorities to carry out a security plan.”

According to Tom Phillips reporting for The Guardian, 60-year-old businesswoman and protestor Carla Coutinho da Rosa told him “The idea was to get rid of Lula.” She added, “He’s a corrupt thief”

As police descended upon the capitol and tore down the tents of the Bolsonaristas Rosa explained,

“It was a peaceful protest,” in a scene that mimicked the January 6th Capitol riot of 2021. “We pay our taxes. None of us are terrorists – nothing of the sort,” she told The Guardian.

Rosa was emotional as she told the reporters about how the October election had been rigged in Lula’s favor, echoing months of serious allegations about Brazil’s lack of election integrity.

“I feel so angry. It’s all so cowardly. We are patriots. We love our flag. These people only think about stealing,” she said, she described the populist Bolsonaro, often referred to as a Latin-American Trump, as leading a noble patriotic revolution.

She continued, “When I was at school we used to sing the national anthem … these days all they talk about is homosexuality and I don’t know what else. The values have changed. It’s all wrong.”

When the reporters asked how she felt about Bolsonaro leaving Brazil for Florida before Lula’s January 1st inauguration, Rosa was pragmatic. “They want to arrest him – of course he had to go.”

In the aftermath of the riot, over 1,000 Brazilians have been arrested per CNN and at least 1,200 detained according to The New York Times. Lula has claimed that the rioters were “fascists, the most abominable thing in politics,” via Twitter.

He wrote, “You must have followed the barbarism in Brasilia today. Those people we call fascists, the most abominable thing in politics, invaded the palace and Congress. We think there was a lack of security.”

“Whoever did this will be found and punished. Democracy guarantees the right to free expression, but it also requires people to respect institutions. There is no precedent in the history of the country what they did today. For that they must be punished,” the socialist leader added.