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Bolsonaro supporters demonstrate against bans on worship, call for return to dictatorship

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro gathered in demonstrations in several cities this Sunday, April 11, against the ban on in-person religious services to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Brasilia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Campo Grande, and other cities hosted protests and rallies by relatively small groups.

On social networks, the demonstrations were called the Christian Family March for Freedom. The name echoes the March of the Family with God for Freedom, a movement in March and April 1964 against João Goulart’s government and in favor of the military dictatorship.

On social networks, the demonstrations were called Christian Family March for Freedom. (Photo internet reproduction)

A website calling for this Sunday’s protests used an image of the 1964 marches and explained that the goal was to make “a rereading of the grandiose and important popular event that marked the history of Brazil.”

According to records of the rallies on Brasilia’s social networks, a poster read that the people and the Armed Forces “saved the nation from communism” in 1964. In São Paulo, the gathering on Avenida Paulista played the song “I love you, my Brazil”, popular during the military dictatorship.

In Belo Horizonte, the newspaper O Estado de Minas reported that the movement called for “a new Constitution that criminalizes communism” and intervention by the Armed Forces.

Federal deputy Carlos Jordy (PSL-RJ) from Bolsonaro’s support base posted photos of the demonstration held in Niterói. The images show dozens of people. The deputy posed for selfies with supporters without a mask. Participants wore Brazil national soccer team shirts and carried national flags.

Family March

Demonstrators called for military intervention and the release of deputy Daniel Silveira, currently under house arrest.

On Thursday, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) authorized mayors and governors to ban masses and in-person services during the pandemic. The Justices recalled that social isolation measures are important tools to fight Covid-19.

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