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  • Worker unions gather in Sao Paulo, where the largest number of demonstrators was registered.

    Worker unions gather in Sao Paulo, where the largest number of demonstrators was registered. | Photo: CUT

Published 20 August 2015

From landless peasants to worker unions, Brazilians took to the streets to stop impeachment efforts by the right wing.

Around 1 million people from all states of Brazil protested Thursday against attempts to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

The marches were joined by Brazil's leading social movements, including the Movement of Landless Campesinos (MST) and the United Workers' Central (CUT), the largest union in the country and in Latin America.

Organizers made it clear that the marches were in support of democracy and against growing impeachment calls from the country’s right wing. Political parties, including the left-wing opposition Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), joined the march.

According to O Globo newspaper, at least 876,000 people participated in the demonstrations across the country. 

RELATED: Understanding Brazil's Political Crisis

A common theme in the marches was the rejection of Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, a former IMF economist, who has pushed forward austerity policies cutting social programs.

Speakers and marchers also targeted Eduardo Cunha, the head of Congress and former government ally who has been leading calls for impeachment. 

Cunha was officially charged by the Attorney General's Office on Thursday for money laundering and corruption. The lawmaker allegedly received US$ 5 million from the Petrobras fraud scheme. Cunha, who was under investigation, had claimed that the accusations against him were politically motivated and thus broke off from his party's alliance with the government. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro expressed his support for Rousseff on his Twitter account, posting pictures of late President Hugo Chavez joined by former Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

In Sao Paulo, social movements, worker unions and political parties gathered outside the Lula Institute to express their solidarity with former President Lula da Silva, who some are trying to link to the Petrobras scandal.

RELATED: Former President Lula Sues Largest Brazilian Newspaper

Amid the marches in favor of democracy, President Rousseff received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Planalto Palace, Brasilia, and signed a series of cooperation agreements between both nations.

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Eduardo Cunha
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