By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Anti-impeachment demonstrations were held Tuesday in at least fifteen states and the capital in Brazil, with protesters blocking major highways and causing chaos for morning commuters in cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia.
The demonstrations were organized by the country’s leading workers’ unions and social movements, all against the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. The blocking of highways was scheduled to occur in the early morning hours and by mid-morning most of the roads had been cleared.
Groups of protesters at each location were small, usually less than fifty demonstrators. Despite the headache caused to early-morning commuting, no major incidents were reported.
In São Paulo, demonstrators closed off seven main highways coming into the city causing at least 121 km of traffic jams in around the city. One of the highways blocked was the road leading to the São Paulo’s international airport, with reports of travelers walking down the road with their suitcases so as not to miss their flights.
The Via Dutra highway that links two of Brazil’s largest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, was also blocked for a few hours with protesters carrying signs reading ‘No coup’.
In Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, protesters burned tires to block off highways leading to Mato Grosso and Salvador.
On Monday, CUT (Brazilian Central Workers Union) called for a day of protests and demonstrations, asking workers to close highways, conduct rallies, occupy schools and universities to protest the impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.