images from the event

January 8th, 2023 Storming of Brazil Congress

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Updated Jan 10, 2023 at 12:42PM EST by Zach.

Added Jan 09, 2023 at 04:56PM EST by Mateus.

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January 8th, 2023 Storming of Brazil Congress, also known as the Brazilian Invasion Of Congress, refers to the rioting of supporters of Brazil’s far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro that invaded the country’s Congress, Presidential Palace and Supreme Court on January 8th, 2023. The riot came after the 2022 Brazilian General Election in which former president Lula da Silva was elected. Bolsonaro supporters asserted their dissatisfaction with the pool results, calling it a fraudulent election and asking for army intervention.

President Lula da Silva[1] announced a federal security intervention in Brasília[2] as the protesters started a rampage inside the government's buildings, setting fire to furniture, and vandalizing sculptures and other works of art that were on display around the sites. As of January 9th, 2023, 300 terrorists have been arrested.[3] The attack is also being referenced as similar to the January 6th, 2021 Storming of the United States Capitol.


Groups of supporters of Brazil’s far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro had been stationed for weeks in front of the army headquarters, seeking military intervention after the results of the Presidential election on October 30th, 2022, in which Bolsonaro lost to the leftist former president, Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro's supporters appeared in memes ever since the end of the election due to their enthusiastic belief that military intervention was being planned by the former president's supporters. In the meantime, former president Bolsonaro was seen shopping at a supermarket in Orlando, where he is living. A tweet by @GabrielKustow[4] on January 5th, 2023 jokes about Bolsonaro being spotted at a supermarket with the caption "Trump nominates Bolsonaro for market replenisher vacancy. Shy, Bolsonaro presents himself for training." The post received 811,000 views and 16,900 likes in four days.

On January 8th, 2023, a rally was organized by Bolsonaro's supporters on social media, who called Brazilians from all over the country, enlisting about 4,000 people to walk around 5 miles toward Congress, escorted by military police. A video of the event uploaded to YouTube[13] on January 8th by The Times and the Sunday Times earned over 47,000 views in less than two days.


Protesters Storm Brasília

Things escalated quickly in the afternoon after the protesters arrived at Congress facing a comparatively small number of police officers guarding the buildings. The barrier was easily overcome by the rioters, who went up the Congressional ramp and into other institutional offices like the Supreme Court and Presidential Palace. A video posted by the Metrópoles YouTube[14] channel on January 8th shows the rioters breaking through to the buildings and forcing their way inside. It earned 265,000 views in less than two days (seen below).

A video from Twitter[5] user @Metropoles posted around 2:12 p.m. showed part of the protesters arriving at the Congress building (seen below). The original clip earned thirteen thousand views within two days.

In another clip posted by @Metropoles, the protesters invaded the ramp to Congress at 2:50 p.m. and stormed inside the buildings.[6] The tweet earned over 117,000 views in less than two days.

Inside Congress, halls of the House and Senate were vandalized. Then, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace, located in "Praça dos Três Poderes," were also invaded. The journalist @reporterenato[7] shared a video of the rioters breaking the windows and other properties of the office, which gained over 1.3 million views in two days.

Videos of policemen being taken down from calvary and other violent attacks flooded social media on Sunday, January 9th. One moment in particular has taken the spotlight, showing a protester defecating on a Supreme Court Judge's table. A screenshot of the video shared by @arigatougozei[8] received 55,800 likes and 7,400 retweets in less than 24 hours (seen below).

Lula's Statement and Response

After continued wreckage on Congress by the protesters, Lula tweeted[9] a video of his response, in reference to Jair Bolsonaro, that "this genocidal not only provoked this but who knows is also stimulating through social networks" the terrorist acts promoted by supporters of the former president in Brasilia.

Bolsonaro's Statement and Response

On the evening of January 8th, Jair Bolsonaro shared a statement on Twitter [10] saying that the acts that took place on the 8th were an "exception" and compared them to previous left-wing protests in Brazil. His tweet, seen below, received over 196,900 likes in just under two days.

Online Reactions

Infuriated Brazilians went to Twitter to mock the protests and the lack of police officers during the invasion, posting memes like the one below, uploaded to Twitter[15] by @mahagess, which shows what the police were doing at the time. The video has 339,300 views and 20,600 likes in one day.

In a January 8th Twitter[16] post by @megrassmann, a video shows how the police handled the "Bolsonarista" invasion in the Brazilian Congress. Her post, seen below, garnered 51,000 likes in one day.

Several images of the protesters walking around Brazil's Congress, entering offices, the Supreme Court and breaking or stealing items also began circulating social media during the event. Many of these later evolved into an array of meme formats.

Food Sellers During the Invasion

Images of people selling food while the Brazilian Congress was being invaded went viral on Twitter. A man holding a stick filled with bags of cotton candy was spotted @odanielscott,[11] and @senaitalo98[12] noticed an individual with a popcorn cart while police were pressing the protesters with gas bombs (reuploaded images seen below).


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Top Comments

Moby The Duck
Moby The Duck

For context, the election votes were really REALLY close, like 51%/49%.

So the obvious thing for the followers of Mr Genius ex-president to do was squirm like a toddler, say the election was stolen and try to take stuff into their own hands (ie. breaking stuff) instead of wondering that just MAYBE Genius Man wouldn't have lost like half of his electoral base and the election if he didn't let the pandemic kill like 500k people, try to call the pandemic a hoax, advocate untested and unverified "medicine", try to associate himself with Orange Man, have his sons associated with illegal militia, fire most of the ministers that didn't want to lick his boots, get himself caught with cannibalistic and pedophile stories (not kidding), insult anyone that didn't blindly follow him and then fly to the US using tax payer money just to avoid having to personally give the presidential ribbon to the winner of the election.


My favorite part was when a (male) protester was arrested with a bag full of dildos, which he first claimed he stole from a Supreme Court Judge's office, only to backtrack and admit the dildos belonged to himself when the police tried to take the goods away.


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