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10 Aug, 2016 04:43

Pro-Rousseff protests hit Sao Paulo as Senate votes for her impeachment (VIDEO)

Pro-Rousseff protests hit Sao Paulo as Senate votes for her impeachment (VIDEO)

Brazil saw protesters come out en masse in Sao Paulo to support suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, as the country’s Senate voted for her impeachment. Protesters called for Acting President Michel Temer to step down.

Activists rallied in support of Rousseff, holding large banners, signs and chanting slogans. 

Ruptly’s video showed the crowd marching through Sao Paulo in southeast Brazil, waving red flags and singing, as they demanded Temer leave office. During the protest, people also lit fireworks and used whistles. 

Activists even blocked the Paulista Avenue, the city’s central highway, newspaper Jornal do Brasil reported.

Coordinator of the Popular Movements Union, Raimundo Bonfim, said that more protests are planned. “We are hoping to reverse, so we are fighting. We believe in increased resistance and increased rejection of the interim president Michel Temer,” he told the newspaper. “The world is witnessing that what is happening in Brazil is a coup, the international press is reporting.” 

A recent wave of pro and anti-Rousseff protests overwhelmed Brazil, as people anxiously awaited the Senate’s decision on Rousseff’s impeachment.

On Tuesday, Brazil’s Senate voted for an impeachment trial for Rousseff after the majority of senators supported the move, TASS reported.  

A majority of at least 41 of 81 Senators needed to vote in favor of the trial for it to actually begin, which would probably take place in late August or early September.

After 10 hours of debate, the majority of senators seemed to be in support of the impeachment, EFE news agency reported. 

So far, 59 senators announced their support for impeachment, while 21 said they were against it.

Rousseff is in the midst of a colossal spending scandal and is facing changes charges of breaking the budget law.

She, however, denies all of the allegations against her and has repeatedly called the impeachment a “farce.” According to the suspended Brazilian president, her alleged crimes amount to no more than “routine acts of budgetary management.”

The Brazilian Senate also rejected an appeal filed by Dilma Rousseff’s defense lawyers, who had requested a halt in the impeachment process, while arguing that acting President Michel Temer should be investigated for corruption, EFE news agency reported.

However, Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski rejected the appeal, saying that allegations against Temer are irrelevant to Rousseff’s case.

In the meantime, Acting President Michel Temer is facing allegations of his own, having been recently linked to a $3.2 million illegal campaign donation by the Veja magazine. Temer’s administration had already suffered a blow when three cabinet members resigned due to a corruption probe known as Car Wash.

At the Olympics opening ceremony, Temer witnessed boos from the crowds as he was declaring the games open. Meanwhile, Rousseff said she would stay away from the opening ceremony, writing on Twitter that she was “sad not to be at the party ‘live and in color’ but I will be following it, rooting for Brazil.”

Locals staged various peaceful protests against Temer at Olympic venues, drawing criticism from the Rio Olympics organizers.

“This is a global event, and we think and we hope that the stadiums would not become a platform for political debate,” International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams said Tuesday.

However, a Brazilian federal judge has ordered the Rio Olympic Committee to allow peaceful protests inside the sporting venues.