Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets around the country on Saturday to demand President Jair Bolsonaro's resignation for handling the coronavirus outbreak, among other issues.
As part of the "Bolsonaro Out National Campaign," endorsed by a dozen left-wing political parties and labor unions, large audiences gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and dozens of other towns and cities.
The right-wing president has been chastised for his management of the pandemic, which has killed about 600,000 people in the country.
Hundreds of protesters marched through the Candelaria neighborhood in central Rio de Janeiro, chanting "Bolsonaro out!" written on numerous giant banners.
"We'll get him out of here. The people on the streets are hoping to exert pressure on legislators so that they would call for impeachment "Elizabeth Simoes, a 69-year-old retired professor, said AFP.
The Chamber of Deputies has received over 100 demands for Bolsonaro's impeachment, but its head Arthur Lira, a government ally, has refused to consider any of them.
Bolsonaro and his advisors have been the subject of many investigations by the Supreme Court, notably for distributing false information.
On Saturday afternoon, thousands of people gathered on central Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, including former cabinet minister Ciro Gomes.
"Bolsonaro is destroying the national economy," the center-left leader warned, pleading for cooperation. "He fills Brazil with shame abroad and is responsible for the death of almost 600,000 Brazilians," according to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters gathered along Brasilia's Esplanade of Ministries.
According to local media, protests were reported in 24 of Brazil's 27 states and 84 cities, including 14 state capitals.
Red flags of former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, or Lula, were present Saturday, along with Brazilian banners and placards of many other left-wing and centrist parties, which are frequently seen at protests against Bolsonaro.
'I can't stand this administration.'
Protests headed by leftist movements have called for Bolsonaro's impeachment in recent months, citing his mishandling of the outbreak. However, Saturday's protests were also against a rise in food and fuel costs and assistance for the country's 14.1 million unemployed.
"The population is going hungry, and we can't stand this government any longer," Isadora Lessa, 22, of Rio de Janeiro, said.
"What purpose does it serve to be here? Marcelo Werneck, who joined the Rio protests in remembrance of "friends and relatives," said: "He knows he doesn't have unanimity, and he's going to have a hard time getting elected again." "who died as a result of Covid-19.
"If he doesn't face an impeachment, he loses the election in 2022," Werneck warned.
Bolsonaro's popularity has dropped below 22% in recent months, the lowest since he assumed office in January 2019. Judicial probes and the economic crisis have dogged him.
However, Bolsonaro's supporters have made themselves known in recent weeks, with approximately 125,000 of them gathering in Brasilia and Sao Paulo on September 7 to show their support for the president.
Bolsonaro has 26 percent support, compared to Lula's 44 percent, according to a mid-September opinion poll conducted by the Datafolha Institute, just one year before the presidential election.