Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday called on Brazilians to defend their country’s democracy and mobilize against the coup that saw her suspended from office.
“I call for the people to remain mobilized, together, in peace … It is a fight we are going to win, it depends on all of us, let’s show the world the millions of people who defend democracy in our country,” said Rousseff in her first comments from the presidential palace since the country’s Senate voted to proceed with impeachment proceedings.
Rousseff, who as a young activist was arrested and tortured for her efforts to organize against the military dictatorship that previously ruled Brazil, said she “never thought I would have to fight against another coup in our country.”
The ousted president walked out of the presidential palace to a crowd of thousands of anti-coup and pro-democracy demonstrators.
“I am ready to resist through all legal means,” Rousseff told the crowd who answered with chants pledging to resist as well.
“Over the course of my life, like all women, I confronted many challenges, now what hurts most is this situation that I’m living now, the pain of injustice,” said Rousseff.
She thanked all those who had been marching to denounce the coup in the lead up to the Senate’s vote on Wednesday.
“I am certain that together we are going to remain united, mobilized, and in peace,” concluded Rousseff.
Rousseff Dissolves Government
The ousted president dissolved her government after the Senate voted to proceed with an impeachment trial, requiring her to relinquish power for a period of 180 days, teleSUR’s correspondent in Brazil Andre Vieira reported.
Rousseff condemned the actions of the Congress, which she called a “coup” against her government, she also said she would “fight with every legal instrument at my disposal to ensure I complete my mandate on Dec. 31, 2018.”
Her vice president, Michel Temer, became the interim president once he received notification from the Senate that the impeachment trial would proceed.
Social movement leaders have pledged to remain ina state of permanent mobilization, according to Guilherme Boulos, national coordinator of the Homeless Workers Movement.
Widespread protests are expected on Thursday calling for the arrest of Eduardo Cunha, the former speaker of the lower house of Congress who spearheaded the impeachment process against the president, and for the ouster of government of Michel Temer, which assumed power after Rousseff’s ouster.
“There are two main ideas: first, to denounce the institutional coup … and demand the departure of Temer: he was elected to be vice president, not president. Second, ask for the arrest of Eduardo Cunha, whose corruption is proven,” said Laryssa Sampaio from the Popular Youth Uprising, which is organizing protests.