Thousands of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro gathered at the central plaza in Brazil’s capital on the country’s Independence Day to back the right-wing president in his dispute with the country’s supreme court.
On Monday night hundreds of demonstrators garbed in the green-and-yellow of the Brazilian flag breached a police cordon as they advanced towards Brazil‘s congress.
Protesters on Monday and Tuesday were blocked from reaching the supreme court by police barriers. Some fear they may try to occupy the building in a move modelled on that undertaken by supporters of former US president Donald Trump in the US Capitol in January.
Security forces in Brasilia used tear gas outside the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday morning to push back a crowd heading towards the court.
The court has been investigating Mr Bolsonaro’s allies over their alleged organisation of spreading false information online.
Mr Bolsonaro has said the probes are a violation of free speech rights.
It comes as he faces a battle to prove he is the right candidate to be re-elected next year, despite recent falls in his polling figures.
In another echo of Mr Trump’s presidency, Mr Bolsonaro has said he might reject the 2022 election result if he loses.
Tens of thousands of supporters have arrived in Sao Paulo and Brasilia in convoys of trucks and buses.
Mr Bolsonaro is expected to speak at the two largest rallies in the capital.
“From now on I won’t accept one or two people acting outside the constitution,” Mr Bolsonaro told supporters on Tuesday morning.
Footage on social media on Monday showed supporters breaking through police lines and trucks advancing while blaring their horns.
On Tuesday morning, dozens of honking trucks were parked on the mall where only pedestrians are supposed to be.
Mr Bolsonaro’s government has been heavily criticised for its handling of various crises.
The nation has a COVID-19 death toll of more than 580,000 – the second-highest in the world.
Inflation is also approaching double digits, with food, gas and electricity costs high.
As a result Mr Bolsonaro’s ratings have fallen…