By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Three days after pro-impeachment rallies were seen all around the country, it was Rousseff supporters’ and anti-impeachment demonstrators’ turn to take to the streets. According to government press, thousands of government supporters gathered in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília to call for the end of impeachment proceedings.
In São Paulo, the crowd gathered outside the MASP museum on famous Avenida Paulista. According to police the crowd was estimated at 3,000 and not only chanted pro-Rousseff slogans but called for the ousting of Chamber of Deputies President, Eduardo Cunha, and changes in the current economic policies. Protesters stated that the impeachment was a ‘coup-de-etat’ against a democratically-elected government.
“The coup is not against Rousseff, but against workers’ rights. The same people who are supporting this coup are also those who proposed outsourcing measures, the end of social security, policies against women, etc.,” Vagner Freitas, President of the CUT Workers Union was quoted by Agencia Brasil.
In Rio de Janeiro, police say at least 10,000 gathered in the Cinelandia, center of town to protest against the impeachment. More than fifty social movements and unions were present at the rally. A stage was set up in front of the city’s legislative building for leaders to speak to the crowd. A part of the crowd stopped to protest outside Chamber President Cunha’s Rio de Janeiro office. There were as many pro-Rousseff banners as there were anti-Cunha signs in the protest.
In Brasília, according to police, approximately 2,500 protesters gathered outside Mane Garrincha football (soccer) Stadium and walked to the Congressional lawn. With shouts of “There will be no coup” demonstrators called for the ousting of Cunha and the end of impeachment proceedings against President Rousseff.
“In all of Brazil we are holding demonstrations, all in favor of democracy, calling for changes in economic policies and defending a project for this country. This thirteen-year-old legacy can not be threatened,” PT party president Rui Falcão was quoted as saying by Agencia Brasil during the march.