Protesters in Brazil burned US philosopher Judith Butler in effigy on Tuesday, all while yelling "burn the witch!"
The scene took place outside of the Pompeia branch of SESC, a Brazilian nonprofit institution that funds the arts, in São Paolo. Things were pretty much nuts from the jump.
The hullabaloo was organized by a few small conservative groups, like the TFP (Tradition, Family and Property) — a far-right group founded in 1960 — and a group led by former D-list actor Alexandre Frota, which has a strong online presence. On the other side, supporting Butler in greater numbers, were leftist groups, some of them carrying antifa flags.
For those less familiar with Butler, a professor of gender studies at UC-Berkeley, please let America's reigning drag superstar Sasha Velour give you a quick rundown:
Since SESC announced that she'd be taking part in a seminar titled "The Ends of Democracy," conservative groups have been posting on Facebook and other social media calling for the event to be cancelled.
Tensions have been building in Brazil for months, as debates rage over art, museums, and events that conservative groups consider inappropriate.
Earlier this year, São Paulo’s Museum of Art (MASP) — the most prestigious in Brazil — banned underage visitors from seeing an exhibition about sexuality in art, even if they showed up with their parents. It was the first time in MASP’s history that such a ban had been put into place. (Under threat from São Paulo’s state prosecutors, the museum reverted the decision earlier this week.)
Which brings us to Tuesday, when the military police had to put up a barricade to keep the pro- and anti-Judith Butler protesters away from each other.
Around 11 a.m., SESC closed its gates. Protesters there to support Butler took the opportunity to taunt their opponents: "Hey, you fucks, the talk is happening!"
In response, the anti-Butler crowd pulled up a car and blasted the Brazilian national anthem.