More than 1,000 people of all backgrounds participated in a Hillel-organized rally in Rio de Janiero on Sunday, November 22, to protest a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Brazil.
Hillel brought together more than 30 movements, including LGBT groups and Muslims. "Our goal is to show the world that Ahmadinejad's politics are not welcome in Brazil," explained Hillel Rio Director Bruno Bondarovsky.
Hillel member Michel Gherman told JTA: "Ahmadinejad is not only a threat for Jews, blacks and homosexuals, he is a threat for democracy. We're here united to defend a free world."
Marchers walked five blocks along the Ipanema beach lead by a banner that said "Deny the Holocaust, Deny Slavery in Brazil."
Protestors also carried a two-story tall cage filled with balloons representing Ahmadinejad's positions, such as suppression of free speech, persecution of homosexuals and the denial of women's rights.
At noon, marchers opened the cage and freed the balloons representing the freedom of Brazilian democracy.
The event was carried widely in the Brazilian media and in many Israeli news outlets.
JTA: Brazilians protest Ahmadinejad visit
Jerusalem Post: Rio: Hillel Students Protest Ahmadinejad
Yediot Ahronot: 1,000 Brazilians protest against Iranian president
Arutz Sheva:Rio Rallies Against Ahmadinejad Visit
Globonews:Visita de presidente iraniano gera protestos no Rio e em BrasÃlia
EFE: Entre protestos, Lula recebe amanhÃ£ controverso Ahmadinejad
Reuters:Cariocas protestam na praia contra visita de presidente do IrÃ£
O Globo:Cariocas protestam em Ipanema contra visita de Ahmadinejad
Portal G1:Protesto contra visita do presidente do IrÃ£ reÃºne cerca de 300 pessoas em Ipanema
EstadÃ£o:Visita de Ahmadinejad gera protestos no Rio e em BrasÃlia
Folha Online: Manifestantes no Rio de Janeiro rejeitam visita de Ahmadinejad e criticam Lula Flikr page
Informativo do MinistÃ©rio das RelaÃ§Ãµes Exteriores: Visitante Controverso
Portal R7: Religiosos protestam contra Ahmadinejad no Rio