Brazil will be observing nationwide protest on March 15 by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far-right president, who is zealously supporting the protests in an attempt to suppress democratic institutions. 

His supporters are currently busy planning the nationwide protests and using social media to spread videos and fliers attacking members of Congress, as well as promoting the return of military rule under Bolsanaro’s administration. As per one of their recent adverts for the #SomosTodosBolsonaro (We’re all Bolsonaro) rallies, Bolsonaristas are being urged to pressurize lawmakers by attending what it calls “Fuck You Day.”

These activities have sparked unease and outrage in the world of politics as lawmakers are wary that if the demonstrations are not stopped it will only serve as a step towards the return of dictatorship in Brazil, something which Bolsonaro, a fan of authoritarian rulers, is in favor of. He sanctioned the protests this week and also shared a video with friends and associates on his personal WhatsApp account, wherein he urged his followers to “reject the enemies of Brazil.”

“He is fighting the corrupt and murderous left for us. He endures smears and lies because he’s doing his best for us … Let’s show that we support BOLSONARO and reject the enemies of Brazil,” he said in the video. 

Former Brazilian presidents are also not in favor of Bolsonaro’s anti-democratic stance. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil’s president from 1995 to 2002, believes that the country faced “an extremely serious institutional crisis” if the protests against democracy are carried out. 

“To remain silent would be to concur,” Cardoso tweeted. “We must shout while we still have a voice.”

“Bolsonaro has never gotten on with democracy. He’s a false patriot who is surrendering our sovereignty to the US and condemning the people to poverty,” tweeted another former president, Bolsonaro’s leftwing nemesis Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

“The last time they closed Congress we got 21 years of torture, rape, murder, squeezed wages, debt and a regime that broke the country. We will not allow a repeat of this tragedy,” added Marcelo Freixo, a leftist politician from Rio de Janeiro.

It is imperial to note that Brazil achieved democracy after two decades of dictatorship in 1985 and as São Paulo’s rightwing governor, João Doria, puts it, Bolsonaro’s “deplorable” move only “disrespects this country’s democratic institutions and pillars.” 

Jair Bolsonaro Jair Bolsonaro, presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party, attends an interview for Correio Brazilianse newspaper in Brasilia, June 6, 2018. Getty Images/ EVARISTO SA