SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets yesterday to demand President Dilma Rousseff’s ouster, but the first nationwide protests since formal impeachment proceedings began were smaller than similar events earlier this year.
Pollster Datafolha said 40,000 people turned out in Brazil’s largest city of Sao Paulo, down from 135,000 in an August protest and 210,000 in March. Smaller demonstrations occurred across Brazil from the Amazonian city of Belem to smaller towns in the interior.
“This is just a warm-up, there will be a huge mobilization in January,” said Paloma Morena, a 35-year-old scientist on Sao Paulo’s most famous street, Avenida Paulista, where protesters carried blow-up caricatures of Rousseff and her predecessor, Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva, dressed in prison uniforms.
A large-scale mobilization could increase pressure on lawmakers to vote for Rousseff’s impeachment.
Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha opened impeachment proceedings on Dec. 2, agreeing Congress should consider opposition allegations that Rousseff violated budget laws to increase spending during her 2014 re-election campaign.