Police search strategy lax at Brasília demonstration

Pro-Bolsonaro protesters arriving in Brasília. Despite promises of thorough searches, citizens have largely been left to their own devices

Despite promises that police forces would carry out searches of demonstrators arriving to protests in Brasília this morning, in order to seize weapons and other illicit material, The Brazilian Report’s journalists on the ground have witnessed a severe lack of consistency in security policies, with waves of protesters arriving at the Esplanade of Ministries without inspection.

On Monday evening, groups of protesters invaded the Esplanade, breaking through police barricades with little resistance. In the early hours of this morning, police numbers were reinforced with riot squads, pushing protesters back with the use of pepper spray.

Large crowds are already gathering in the capital, and President Jair Bolsonaro is currently on his way to address demonstrators. The head of state attended an Independence Day flag-raising ceremony earlier this morning, arriving in the presidential Rolls Royce, driven by former Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet.

Mr. Bolsonaro is set to address the crowd at 10 am, before traveling to São Paulo, where he plans to speak to demonstrators at 4 pm.

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