On October 12, which is a national holiday in Brazil, a group of roughly 1,000 people took to the streets of São Paulo asking for military intervention in the federal government. “We need strong leadership to promote a cleansing in our political system,” said Fatima Soares, a 55-year-old lawyer who traveled from Rio de Janeiro solely to attend the demonstration. She continued: “We’re fed up with so much incompetence and corruption. No more, we say!”
A group of 1,000 is certainly not representative of a country that features a population of 207 million. Nevertheless, it offers us a glimpse into how radicalism has risen in Brazil. Previously, nostalgia for the military regime was something that people kept quiet – or at least chose their audiences very carefully. Now, it seems that more people are comfortable expressing their desire for a return of the generals. During the 2013 demonstrations against the political class, interventionists made up only a handful of people, and were often ridiculed by other protesters. But in 2017, they’re calling their own demonstrations.