SAO PAULO – Several hundred Brazilians protested on Thursday against Interim President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and home turf for the former vice president to Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from office after the Senate decided to impeach her.
Downtown Paulista Ave., the traditional bastion for what until now was the opposition to the Rousseff administration, was the scene of the protests, which began late in the afternoon after being called by unions and social movements.
Demonstrators burned the huge inflatable duck that for months has stood before the entrance to the Sao Paulo State Federation of Industries, the country’s most influential trade association, which had campaigned in favor of Rousseff’s impeachment and the symbol of which had become an icon for its battle to reduce taxes.
The protesters said that they will not recognize the “legitimacy” of Temer’s government, adding that they will take to the streets again in the coming days, not to defend Rousseff but to protect “democracy and social rights.”
The leader of the Homeless Workers Movement and coordinator of the Fearless People’s Front, which encompass some 30 social entities, Guilherme Boulos, said that the Senate’s decision “is very serious” because “starting today, we have an illegitimate president.”
Boulos also said that “those who believe that the Senate’s move will pacify the country, will have the answer on the streets” because the mobilizations will be intensified throughout the country.
In Brasilia, the capital and epicenter of the political crisis, several dozen women also protested against Temer and managed to invade the access ramp to the Planalto presidential palace during his investiture ceremony.
The demonstrators were repelled with pepper spray by police, who prevented them from approaching the entrance.
During the ceremony, Temer announced most of the members of his Cabinet, which will lean to the center-right.