By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With less than a week before the second round of elections in Brazil thousands of Brazilians took to the streets over the weekend to protest or support one of the two presidential candidates.
On Saturday demonstrators gathered in several cities throughout Brazil calling for votes for PT candidate Fernando Haddad and protesting against candidate Jair Bolsonaro. The nationwide demonstrations, organized by several women’s movements denounced Bolsonaro as being racist, homophobic and chauvinist.
Carrying signs and chanting “Not Him” and “Never Him” protesters in São Paulo gathered around the city’s iconic MASP (São Paulo’s Art Museum).
In Rio de Janeiro the demonstration was held in Cinelandia, with demonstrators carrying signs stating “We want a country for everyone” and “More love and less hatred”
“Today we return to the streets of Brasilia to say that we want to bar the candidate who represents the fascist positions in course in our country. There are women, trans, men, young people, old people, people from all surrounding cities (around Brasilia) in this demonstration,” journalist Leonor Costa, one of the organizers told government-run news agency Agencia Brasil.
On Sunday it was Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters turn to take to the streets. In yellow and green t-shirts thousands marched down São Paulo’s Avenida Paulista carrying Brazilian flags, posters with the sayings “PT Never Again” and “My (political) party is Brazil” and calling for the end of corruption.
“We do not want corruption any more, but rather representatives who work for Brazil and not for themselves,” said Adelaide Oliveira, one of the leaders of the Vem Pra Rua (Come to the Streets) movement in São Paulo.
In Rio de Janeiro, the crowd gathered along Copacabana Beach with organizers accusing candidate Fernando Haddad of planning to transform Brazil ‘into another Venezuela’.
“Our goal today is to show that Brazilians are tired of thirteen years of PT government and we really want a change. We believe that the only name capable of uniting Brazil is Jair Bolsosnaro,” said Fábio Constantino, coordinator of the Nas Ruas (In the Streets) movement and one of the organizers of the Sunday’s demonstrators.