January 6th has impacted other countries

Just two days following the two-year anniversary of the infamous January 6th capitol storming, Brazil took a page out of America’s book. Both nations are large, global superpowers in the Americas, and they also now share failed attempts of citizen-led government insurrections. 

Like former American President Donald Trump in the November Presidential Elections against President Joe Biden, former Brazilian President Jair “Trump of The Tropics” Bolsonaro claimed a rigging in the electronic voting machines had handed the win to his left-leaning opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in October. 

After several months of continuous false and baseless accusations right-winged supporters of Bolsonaro, angered by Lula da Silva’s win, attacked law enforcement and stormed their Congress, Supreme Court, and the presidential palace in the capital city of Brasília, just a week after Lula da Silva’s inauguration. The coup attempt occurred two days after the two-year anniversary of America’s own attempt when Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. capitol in an attempt to restore Trump to power. 

Bolsonaro’s supporters wore green and yellow, the colors of the Brazil flag, similar to how the Trump Mob had donned themselves in the all-American red, white, and blue color scheme. Both waved the flags of their countries. 

Fortunately, neither presidents were physically present for the events, Biden had been in Delaware and Lula da Silva in São Paulo. 

The similarities between the two events are undeniable, and people, like Representative Jamie Raskin, the democrat from Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District, took notice, stating on his Twitter, “These fascists modeling themselves after Trump’s Jan. 6 rioters must end up in the same place: prison.”

The damage done by the Brazilian rioters was intense and severe. They assaulted several police officers, causing multiple injuries, and they vandalized the government buildings, damaging the property so much to the point the attorney general ordered a freeze on $7.7 million of the rioters’ assets in order to cover the repairs. The damages include shattered glass, stolen, burned, and destroyed furniture, the defacing of major artworks, broken ceramics, sculptures decapitated, and carpets soaked in urine and water from the buildings’ sprinklers. One of the destroyed artworks was Balthazar Martinot’s 17th-century clock gifted to the Portuguese king from the French royal court. Only one other Martinot clock exists in France’s Palace of Versailles. 

Americans often forget how much influence they hold. While they tend to be the punching bag of the world, they have popularized the “American Dream,” the idea that anybody can enter the U.S. and accomplish their greatest desires. This freedom and prosperity are what many nations strive for, making them look up to the U.S. and often following their example, from copying American media and products to taking inspiration from extreme events like January 6th. 

“I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil,” stated President Biden, “Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined.” He has not recognized the obvious inspiration from Jan. 6th in Brazil’s insurrection. 

While people often laugh at America’s mistakes and wrongdoings, it is important to consider how influential these same mistakes and wrongdoings are. It should be asked; how can we avoid another January 6th, January 8th, or future 10th, 12th, and so on?