Power

Pro-Bolsonaro protests no game-changer, but the president remains strong

September 7 protests showed that Jair Bolsonaro is strong enough to create political havoc at least until the 2022 election — but not enough to topple democracy

Bolsonaro addressing the São Paulo crowd. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

Temperatures in Brasília topped 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit), with a cloudless sky, and dangerously low humidity levels. Regardless, crowds decked out in the green, yellow, and blue of the Brazilian flag flooded the streets of the capital and seemed more fired up than ever. This was a mix of everyday Brazilians — some bringing their entire families and pets — supporting a president they adore, side by side with extremists willing to do whatever it takes to defend their leader.

A speaker on the main protest stage talked about how far-right President Jair Bolsonaro — currently trailing...

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