Photo via AFP

In the first weekend since Brazil’s Senate impeached Dilma Rousseff from the country’s presidency and Michel Temer was sworn into power, it became clear that many will not take what they describe as a coup sitting down. While in China for the G20 Summit, Temer minimized the demonstrations, saying participants amounted to “no more than 40, 50, 100 people.” It turns out that was nothing short of wishful thinking on his part. Protests took place in major cities across Brazil throughout the weekend, but none were as large as the demonstration last night in São Paulo, where as many as 100,000 demonstrators packed the iconic Paulista Avenue, according to organizers.

"A protest of 40 people." (Photo via AFP)
“A protest of 40 people.” (Photo via AFP)

The police used tear gas to try to break up what by all accounts appeared to be peaceful protests, and unleashed a wave of violence against demonstrators that was shocking to many of those present. Some of the aggression was caught on video and has been making the rounds on social media since last night. Here is a small sample of the videos that recall some of the darkest times in Brazil’s history:

  1. Abuse of power. Several police officers beat and restrain an unarmed protester

2. BBC Brasil reporter Felipe Souza is attacked. “Get out of my face you piece of trash,” a police officer said as Souza showed his media credentials.

BBC Brasil posted the video on its official Facebook account, noting that Souza was beated by police even after he identified himself as a journalist. Law enforcement officials have vowed to investigate.

  1. Horror in a Subway station. A mother gets help from a subway worker to try to protect her kids from tear gas that police fired on the Faria Lima station.

    1. Attacking bystanders. You apparently didn’t have to even take part in the protests yesterday to be a victim of police aggression. The video below appears to show police use what looks like pepper spray against a group of people drinking outside a bar.

      1. “Kidnappings?” More than 20 people were arrested before and during the demonstrations. Their lawyers have said they were not given access to their clients, which would amount to a violation of constitutional rights.

And two bonus videos that serve to illustrate the tense moments that are being lived in Brazil.

– Police car running over protesters as they run in São Paulo. The below video is from September 1 but continues to receive a lot of play on social media because it is so downright shocking.

– The light at the end of the tunnel. Even though protesters were left in the dark during a part of the protest (some say the Sao Paulo city government cut the power as protesters hit the Paulista-Rebouças Tunnel) protesters carried on and used lights from their mobile phones to guide the way.