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Brazil Movements Respond to Coup Attempt

Photo by Juliana Barbosa / MST-PR

#Blog#Human Rights Defense
January 2023


On Sunday the 8th, members of Brazil’s far right and their supporters stormed government buildings in the capital Brasilia. Acting on false allegations that the presidential election was rigged, more than 3,000 people attempted a coup reminiscent of the January 6, 2021 right-wing attack on the US Capitol.

But on Monday, Brazil’s social movements responded.

Through the early afternoon, almost 60 cities held mobilizations opposing the coup attempt. The Popular Brazil Front — which includes most of our partners — co-organized the demonstration in Rio de Janeiro. The People Without Fear Front, the Forum of Trade Union Centers, the Front for Democratic Rights and Freedoms, the Black Coalition for Rights and Black Convergence also joined in organizing.

Not only that, but popular movements and trade unions have now adopted a state of “permanent mobilization” in defense of democracy, the legitimately elected government, and against the coup. Movements anticipate the storming of Brasilia as just one step in a broader far-right attempt at overturning the election results. Progressive movements will need ongoing international solidarity to defend democracy.

Below, read a translated statement from our partner Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (Movement of People Affected by Dams, MAB), and see photos from yesterday’s mobilizations.


The actions orchestrated by Bolsonaran fascist groups against the three branches of government, which took place today, 08, in Brasilia (DF), aim to stimulate and create a situation of chaos and national instability to forge a coup against democracy and the majority of the Brazilian people who legitimately elected Lula president.

The groups that led and promoted the terrorist actions were defeated electorally and want to return to power through the use of extreme violence to maintain the interests and privileges granted by the Bolsonaro government to the rich minority.

Bolsonarism is the fascism of our times. It does not accept the sovereignty of the Brazilian people’s vote and the commitment of the new, legitimately elected government to reduce social inequalities. The coup plotters intend to preserve the system of exploitation and oppression against the immense majority of working people.

MAB repudiates the coup attempt in Brazil, promoted by Bolsonaran fascists, and stands in solidarity with the Lula government, while it is willing to fight for democracy and the interests of the working class.

We call on the militancy to remain vigilant in defense of democracy and mobilized to fight all coup attempts.

Water and energy with sovereignty, distribution of wealth and popular control!

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