'Just chaos': Brazilians living in Sask. react to Sunday's riots in Brazil's capital
Some Brazilians living in Saskatchewan condemn the actions of rioters that took place in Brasilia over the weekend.
Thousands stormed government buildings in Brazil’s capital on Sunday.
“I was really apprehensive because whenever violence weighs in, you never know how things may end. So I was worried about the safety of people there and especially about the democratic institutions,” said Rev. Lucas Andre Albrecht.
Albrecht moved to Regina with his wife and kids in 2017, but he grew up in southern Brazil, where his mother and siblings still live.
He said his family members were “bewildered and appalled” by the uprising.
“Everybody is sort of in a waiting mode to see how things will turn out,” he said.
Rodrigo Martin De Oliveira is also from southern Brazil, about 3,000 kilometres from Brasilia.
He has been anxiously following the news out of his home country from Regina.
“It was just chaos and this bothers me a lot,” he said.
“I never thought that would actually happen in Brazil. It’s very sad.”
Sunday’s rioters support former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and demand he be reinstated as leader after he lost the general election in October.
Many compare the uprising to the United States Capitol insurrection.
University of Regina professor Brian McQuinn said there are many differences but the common thread is the combination of right-wing populist leaders, conspiracy theories and social media.
“The similarity is obviously the combination of those forces coming together and realizing the power of election denialism to be able to be a rallying force and a way of actually driving people towards in this case violence, but driving people in a political sense,” McQuinn said.
McQuinn explained that these forces are coming together in several countries and the movement could have implications here in Canada.
“What we see in Canada is the rise and empowerment that social media allows any small group of individuals to fund themselves, to organize themselves, to radicalize those who would not otherwise be able to find each other, but also to create kind of a self-enclosed world where conspiracies and fact really don’t have to play out anymore,” he said.
Both De Oliveira and Albrecht hope those responsible for the uprising will be held accountable and authorities will make sure something like this does not happen again.
“Our Brazilian flag says order and progress,” Albrecht said.
“So that’s why we pray and hope for order, progress and peace for all Brazilians."
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