Massive Protests Against Brazil’s President Seek Her Ouster

By Krishnadev Calamur NPR

The protests against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are growing, with some estimates saying 1 million people have turned up across the country calling for her ouster.

NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is reporting on the protests from Rio de Janeiro for our Newscast unit, says placards on Copacabana beach are calling for Rousseff’s impeachment.

Protesters are chanting that they want not only Rousseff, but also her Workers Party, or PT, out of office. The party came to power 13 years ago; Rousseff was re-elected four months ago in a close election.

“She lies,” Joao Luz, a teacher, told Lulu. “She belongs to a party that lies to people.”

Lulu adds: “The economy here is in deep trouble — the real is the fastest-depreciating currency in the world. But it is a corruption scandal involving the state oil company Petrobras which has implicated her party which has gotten people out onto the streets. Analysts say if these protests gain traction, her government could be in real trouble.”

In a story last week on NPR’s All Things Considered, Lulu explored the Rousseff’s declining political fortunes. The Brazilian president’s popularity is at 23 percent. Lulu added: “It remains to be seen, though, how much traction the movement will get. Pro-government marches took place in cities across Brazil on Friday, garnering a few hundred to a few thousand supporters in each location.

“The anti-government demonstrations will have to mobilize many more than that, if they want to unseat a democratically elected leader.”

Here are some of the images from protests today in Rio and elsewhere.

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