Riots in Brazil: updates and discussion

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Mark.
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Jun 21 2013 10:10

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ocelot
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Jun 21 2013 10:23

From Anarkismo: Polícia Federal invade a sede da Federação Anarquista Gaúcha – FAG (Federal Police raid the headquarters of the Gaúcha Anarchist Federation)

(machine translation from Portuguese)

Quote:
On the afternoon of Wednesday, 20/062 013, between 12-15 undercover agents clad in blazers and black vests, claiming to be the Federal Police broke into and raided the Ateneu Batalha da Várzea, social political space of the Gaúcha Anarchist Federation located in the Travessa dos Venezianos, and took several of our materials. The agents had no search warrant and seized neighbors who sought to learn what was happening. In addition, agents also undercover, sought to detain a companion at his home this morning.

FAG is a political organization with 18 years of public existence. Throughout these years never hide, we have always maintained our public spaces where we perform many activities of a political and cultural as well as our work in the popular field and the gaúcho and national left. The Ateneu is a space where over 03 years we have taken action to these activities, maintaining a public library and performing regular activities.
[...]
Responsible ultimately the municipal, state and federal governments for this cowardly attack on our organization. We will not be intimidated and continue employing all our efforts in building a strong people, a popular field fighting to organize the oppressed of this country and its legitimate demands.

Davi
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Jun 21 2013 13:31

Well, things are getting spooky. I'll abstain from making judgements, for the lack of better knowledge, but strange rumors are coming from everywhere. People from the left are expressing fear of a military coup, as the current situation reminds them the context of the country before the 1964 coup, FIFA is raising the possibility of stopping the Confederations Cup, the President cancelled her trips for the next weeks in order to take care of the situation, and on the marches you hear more authoritarian and right-wing slogans than anything else. It seems like there's a monster roaming on the streets and nobody knows what it's going to do.

What has been posted in this thread so far doesn't give a very precise idea of how big things were during this week. Widespread looting, destruction and confrontations took place every day. There were also attempts to invade political offices, and now it's clearer for everyone that vandalism is not the act of only a spoiled middle class or of police provocateurs, but also the honest expression of the poorest elements of society, those who really know what's like to be under the full force of the State. Right now I don't even want to talk to people about these events, as I fear this whole thing might back-fire. So I'll just post some photos from yesterday's marches, and first I'll translate a brief text from a leftist polititian called Jean Wyllys that usually expresses nice thoughts:

"We can already trace a brief historic of the manifestations: a) they originated from the action of young people from social movements and leftist parties; b) these young people, in São Paulo, had clear goals: reduction of the transportation fares; improvements in urban mobility in general; c) in Rio, besides the transportation issue, there was also the problems concerning the expenses for the Maracanã stadium; d) these young people were strictly repressed by the Military Police, under request of the government, and they were criminalized by the media: treated as "vandals"; e) the police violence hit journalists that covered the protests, forcing the same media to reconsider the criminalization of the movements; f) this change from the press - plus the reaction from social media - took other segments of society to be solidary with those repressed by the police; g) the manifestations then grew, forcing the press to change for real the tone of their stories; it started, then, the viral process... the manifestations grew and became patchworks that include up to fascistic inclinations and coup aspirations (the horror!); i) segments without political thought and full of prejudices towards politics and to the issues raised by the left wish to impose the tone of the manifestations; j) then come criminais and looters making violence; and late patriots that want to make of the protests a udenist march [UDN was the party of the military during the last dictatorship].

The manifestations then became this spectacle for TVs and for Facebook, in which an extensive agenda of insatisfactions is presented. Here's a brief history of manifestations that, now, want to expel those who originated it: movements and partis from the left!"

I'm not an expert on these things, but I think when people protest against polititians while leaving businessmen and capitalistas in general safe and confident, there's danger in the air.

Anyway, now here there are some photos from yesterday. I was particularly surprised to see so many people in my city: around 110 thousand people on the streets! Vitória's metropolitan region houses 1,8 million people. You could see people packed in a 4 kilometers long path! And it was much, much bigger in Rio de Janeiro. Here's a map of some of the protests in Brazil:

Vitória: a group of people enjoyed the opportunity to completely destroy the toll booths of the main bridge.

Florianópolis:

Rio de Janeiro:

The police used a military vehicle in Rio de Janeiro against the crowd, the same vehicle they use to enter the slums on their assassination missions:

All political parties were hostilized by the crowd. Militants from the Worker's Party, the one in power since 2002, tried to hold their flags, among others, but faced resistance:

There are lots and lots of other things that happened yesterday, but unfortunatelly I don't have more time to dedicate to it. Besides, hopes are down.

Caiman del Barrio
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Jun 21 2013 14:01

I saw a Reddit article bouncing around Twitter that made vaguely the same claims as Davi, but I rather felt it was probably an attempt to defend Dilma & the PT. I'm a continent away, but what sort of right wing/authoritarian slogans are you hearing? What are the prospects of a military coup, seriously?

I think these situatiosn go right to the heart of our notion of a revolution: all authentic social movements are unstable, volatile and simultaneously politically hostile and impressionable. Moreover, with thousands of police deployed in controlling a public order situation, widespread looting - both as a material/political act and criminal opportunism (mostly a bit of both tbh!) is to be expected.

Is there any evidence of far right puppet master tinkering at the top, or is this just conspiracy theory?

Caiman del Barrio
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Jun 21 2013 14:14

Ah, then again:

@latinlibnews wrote:
#MovimentoPasseLivre cancels #SaoPaulo protests claiming 'conservative groups [have] infiltrated the demonstrations' http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/2013/06/1298903-mpl-suspende-novas-manifestacoes-em-sao-paulo.shtml
fokionasss
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Jun 21 2013 14:21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_AJv7JntCs

fokionasss
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Jun 21 2013 14:24
Mark. wrote:
Fear and loathing in São Paulo
Quote:
Claire Rigby describes the nightmare scenes she lived through in last night’s protest, as well as a society grappling with the idea of protest itself...

AMAZING... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_AJv7JntCs

Davi
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Jun 21 2013 14:35

Yes, I agree, Caiman, most of the suppositions towards the possibility of a coup come from the defenders of Dilma and the PT. There's no leader claiming to represent the people, and it doesn't seem to be much space for the rise of such figures. So far it's just conspiracy theory, probably trying to restore the confidence in the current president, like "It's bad now, but it could be much worse! Remmember 1964!!"

As for the right wing slogans, it's things like "No more taxes", "Down with benefits for lazy people", up to homophobic sayings, more repression against criminals, and even claims for a more authoritarian regime. I think it's mostly the expression of what people already think on a daily basis, but now that they had a chance to express themselves freely, they do so, and it's very unpleasant to walk hearing some pretty awful things.

Well, now that the main demand was fulfilled, and the Free Pass Movement said it won't organise more protests, it remains to be seen whether the vacuum will be filled by other movements or life will just get back to normal.

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Ed
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Jun 21 2013 14:37

Erm, what's with the link to the Greek football fans attacking police almost a year ago? Don't get the connection..

Also, Davi, cheers again for the updates!

woooo
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Jun 22 2013 09:47

Links to the belo monte dams resistance ?

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Devrim
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Jun 22 2013 12:02

I found these statistics interesting:

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/68268000/gif/_68268218_busburnrhs_624afp(2).gif

I don't know how accurate they are, but the percentage of people who have higher education is extremely high. What sort of percentage of people do higher education in Brazil?

Edit: I can get that to work. Anyway the page was this one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22964785
and the stat that interested me was Protestors in San Paulo 77% have higher education

Devrim

Davi
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Jun 22 2013 15:47
Devrim wrote:
I found these statistics interesting:

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/68268000/gif/_68268218_busburnrhs_624afp(2).gif

I don't know how accurate they are, but the percentage of people who have higher education is extremely high. What sort of percentage of people do higher education in Brazil?

Edit: I can get that to work. Anyway the page was this one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22964785
and the stat that interested me was Protestors in San Paulo 77% have higher education

Devrim

I think these statistics express very clearly how student-led the movement was from the beginning. Superior education in Brazil is at about 8% of the population according to the 2010 census, about 11% in the state of São Paulo, giving us some some 4 million people with superior education in São Paulo.

Surprisingly, protests are still going on. The president made a speech on television yesterday night, and the armed forces are now free to contain the mobs.

asb1917
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Jun 22 2013 21:03

First, sorry for the bad english ... I was helped by google tradudor. smile So, I'll post in Portuguese as well.

I read the latest posts. I'm a member of ICC in Brazil. I will comment on the possibility of right-wing coup.

Essentially, this is a discourse stimulated by the PT, which has reached the capitalist left (PSOL, Trotskyites, etc.) and also the organizations and groups that struggle to end capitalism and are out of state influence.

In my opinion, it is a spontaneous movement outside the influence of the left of capital (PT, PSOL, PSTU, PCO etc.), who traditionally control workers' struggles. There is rejection of institutions in general, but there is also a rejection of political debate and a strong nationalism. The parties showing face are being pushed and beaten. The right takes advantage of the rejection of the leftist parties and fills the space lost by them. Infiltrate anonymously and encourage aggression against leftists who raise their flags. Send down the flags of these parties, coming to aggression in many cases. Stimulate nationalism. However, this right is often not organized in the traditional right parties (DEM, PSDB), are neo-nazi, reactionary sects of the church, the military sects etc.. If they submit on behalf of their groups would also be expelled and beaten. It is rather a spontaneous nationalism, which has been stimulated by these nationalist groups.

We will address this issue in a future article, but I anticipate that all that strength on the right is only apparent, and is fed by PT to form around itself a unit of left anti-right, or anti-fascist. Of course, the PT will lose political influence after these episodes. But in my opinion there is no possibility of coup, because the social and political conditions both nationally and internationally do not support it. The current situation is totally different from 1964, but leftist want to convince you otherwise.

In short:
Negative elements: 1) there is a spontaneous nationalism, encouraged by the media and right. 2) in general, youth very depoliticized. 3) Pacifism predominant; 4) Lack of class identity.
Positive elements: 1) Some demonstrations of courage in dealing with the police, 2) The PT further revealing his face bourgeois.

Português

Primeiro, desculpe o inglês mal... fui ajudado pelo google tradudor. smile Por isso, vou postar em português também.

Eu li as últimas postagens. Sou membro de ICC no Brasil. Vou comentar sobre a possibilidade de golpe de direita.

Essencialmente, esse é um discurso estimulado pelo PT, que tem atingido a esquerda capitalista (Psol, trotskistas etc) e também as organizações e coletivos que lutam pelo fim do capitalismo e estão fora da influência estatal.

Na minha opinião, é um movimento espontâneo fora da influência da esquerda do capital (PT, PSOL, PSTU, PCO etc), que tradicionalmente controlam as lutas dos trabalhadores. Existe rejeição às instituições em geral, mas também há uma rejeição à discussão política e um forte nacionalismo. Os partidos que mostra a face estão sendo expulsos e agredidos. A direita se aproveita da rejeição aos partidos de esquerda e preenche o espaço perdido por eles. Infiltram-se anonimamente e estimulam agressões contra esquerdistas que levantam suas bandeiras. Mandam baixar as bandeiras desses partidos, chegando à agressão em muitos casos. Estimulam o nacionalismo. No entanto, essa direita em geral não é a direita tradicional organizada em partidos (DEM,PSDB), são neonazistas, seitas de igreja reacionárias, seitas de militares etc. Se eles se apresentassem em nome de seus grupos também seriam expulsos e agredidos. É mais um nacionalismo espontâneo, que tem sido estimulado por estes grupos nacionalistas.

Trataremos desse tema num próximo artigo, mas já adiantamos que toda essa força da direita é apenas aparente, e é alimentada pelo PT para formar em torno de si uma unidade de esquerda anti-direita, ou anti-fascista. Claro que o PT vai perder influência política depois desses episódios. Mas na minha opinião não há possibilidade de golpe, pois as condições políticas e sociais tanto nacional como internacional não sustentam isso. A situação atual é totalmente diferente de 1964, mas os esquerdistas querem convencer do contrário.

Resumindo:
Elementos negativos: 1) há um nacionalismo espontâneo, estimulado pela mídia e direita. 2) em geral, juventude muito despolitizada. 3)Pacifismo predominante; 4)
Falta de identidade de classe.
Elementos positivos: 1) Algumas demonstrações de coragem no enfrentamento com a polícia; 2) O PT revelando ainda mais sua face burguesa.

Harrison
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Jun 22 2013 22:42

Thanks for that, really appreciating all the comrades from Brazil posting updates here !

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Goti123
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Jun 23 2013 18:35

A bit unrelated, but why do you or the ICC consider the PSOL left of capital? The little I know about them, they seem closely related to libertarian socialist ideologies.

asb1917
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Jun 23 2013 20:02

The PSOL meets several trends.
Here recounts his origin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism_and_Freedom_Party

Participation in parliament and elections, trade unions, defense of the capitalist state, support for Chavez and Cuba etc are features that in my opinion puts the left of the capital.

An information: the entire left participating in elections and in parliament and the extra-parliamentary organizations linked to them are advertising and calling for an anti-fascist front. Trotskists parties, as the PCO and PSTU, which usually do not hang out with the PT, now calls forward with it.

http://www.brasildefato.com.br/node/13320

Some organizations of the front: “Marcha Mundial das Mulheres (MMM), a Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), a Via Campesina, MST, Consulta Popular, União Nacional dos Estudantes (UNE), Intersindical, Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado (PSTU), Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOl), Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), dentre outros”

Here article by PCO: http://www.pco.org.br/nacional/diante-o-ataque-aos-direitos-de-manifestacao-e-organizacao-unificar-todos-na-luta-contra-o-inimigo-comum/aios,j.html

PT is the strongest political force on this front. The same PT that supports repression in São Paulo, and ordering repression in Porto Alegre, Salvador, ordering the repression of anarchists who reported in a previous post etc.

Baderneiro Miseravel
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Jun 24 2013 11:54

Most genuine anti-capitalista organizations are not participating of this supposed anti-fascist front, basically, because the organizations which are now launching this 'anti-facist' scare talk have been the basis of the government against which the transport fare struggle has been undertaken, the Worker's Party Government. These organizations include this MMM, Consulta Popular (student wing of the MST), UNE (The "Student's Ministry") and other alike organizations.

The groups in this list which are not basis of the government have bureaucratic practices which have undermined all previous transport fare strrugles in the other years. And now that this struggle has been victorious and the media is trying to take over the movement they want us to protect them against the furious crowd, which is not just fascist but also angry at the practices of cooptation of movements by these parties. This includes PSTU, PSOL, Intersindical.

These struggles have the very curious caracteristic of being undertaken against both major political parties in Brasil, PSDB (Social-Democrat Party of Brasil) and PT (Worker's Party), both of which have been in power as President, Governor and Mayor in most cities with protests. And they have been victorious in practically ALL CITIES.

I have been participating in the struggle against transport fare increase in the last two months. We created a Front Against the Fare Increase, which included various student groups and teachers, and we established a method of struggle which was horizontal, equal participation equal acess to information, autonomous, self-financed and without the interference of external institutions, and "apartidaria", that is to say, without a political party directing the movement but allowing individual participation of party militants. We undertook a struggle of over two months, massive calumny campaign by the media and very very violent repression, undertook many direct actions which included confronting the police and burning buses, and the legitimacy and participation in the movement was just increasing more and more.

After the victory against the fare increase and the possibility of a massive incorporation of poor worker's from the poorer parts of the city in the struggle, here in Goiânia we faced a major change of behavior by all the media channels (TV, Radio, Newspaper) in which they started telling the populaceabout our next demo and saying how people should behave in our demonstration ("pacifically"), how they should dress (all white of peace), what they should demand (against corruption, for "education" (and not for a concrete gain in education), for "safety" among other things) and basically they have taken upon themselves the role of demonstration organizers. It is something that I never imagined would be possible. Of course, they managed to take over one of our latest demos and it was a mostly nationalist-conservative combo that took over. We have not yet recovered from this attack and are now building more momentum within the poorer parts of worker groups and the students which we actually have moments to discuss and build struggle together.

We are also struggling for the liberation of four political prisioners of the demos, which are being charged with "quadrilha formation", basically, association to commit crimes, which is a serious felony. Basically, a demo, a collective action, is now considered association to commit crime if any serious act against order is commited and people get caught.

pikatron
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Jun 24 2013 12:05

short film about why people are protesting: http://en.labournet.tv/video/6569/sao-paulo-17th-june

Reg Presley
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Jun 24 2013 17:13

I couldn't see the following article posted in this thread and it's well worth reading: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/06/201361973028606352.html

Harrison
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Jun 24 2013 18:37
Goti123 wrote:
A bit unrelated, but why do you or the ICC consider the PSOL left of capital? The little I know about them, they seem closely related to libertarian socialist ideologies.

the term libertarian socialist is sometimes highjacked by radical liberal / social democrats ie. 'Tony Blair the libertarian socialist' - Peter Hain

there are a few of these parties scattered about the world, i do not know much about them but they seem to be the equivalent of a fusion of old radical liberalism with social democracy or leftist politics. i wouldn't say it has much to do with building a grassroots independent workers movement, but much more to do with sewing together a new set of clothes for social democracy.

Mark.
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Jun 26 2013 10:46

Protests in Salvador:

.

AJE talking heads program on the background to the protests:

.

Guardian: Nine die in shoot-out after Rio favela protest

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Ed
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Jun 26 2013 22:05

Video from a few days ago:

Mark.
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Jun 26 2013 23:09

Updates from http://www.riogringa.com/

Quote:

June 25

Changes are afoot in Rio's favelas. In Rio on June 25, between 1,000 and 2,500 people marched from the favelas of Rocinha and Vidigal to the upscale neighborhood of Leblon to protest in front of Governor Sérgio Cabral's home. I am not sure if this has ever happened before, but certainly not in recent memory. It is a big deal, and it's because of the power unleashed from the countrywide protests.

Following the protest, columnist and TV personality Marcelo Tas posted a samba song on his blog called "The Day the Morro [Favela] Comes Down and It's Not for Carnival." An excerpt: "There's no official body, nor government, nor League/nor authority that could buy this fight/nobody knows the power of these people/it's best that the Power gives the people their happiness back/because otherwise everyone will dance the day/that the morro comes down and it's not for Carnival." [basic translation]

Davi
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Jun 27 2013 00:13
Ed wrote:
Video from a few days ago:

The city where this fight happened is Belo Horizonte, where the game Brazil vs Uruguay happened today for the Confederations Cup. I was particularly interested in knowing if there would be any attempt to disturb the match, and in fact a big mob of about 50 thousand people walked towards the stadium to protest. I still didn't find good information on what followed the march, but things got pretty violent in there. Car dealers in the neighborhood were set on fire, and I heard a curfew was set to everybody. I'm afraid I can't say more, but there are some pictures to illustrate a bit of what happened:

I wish I could post more interesting updates more often, as there are new things happening every day, but it's being tough to follow all the scattered information and trying to make sense of everything. I recommend the reading of the recent text in Mark's link above, as it gives a good idea of how much the government was already forced to conceed to the protesters. A few of the topics demanded by the masses are being discussed and put into practice. Marches continue, with or without resistance to the police, and social movements and poorer people are starting to show up in big numbers and with more organisation.

Mark.
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Jun 27 2013 11:17

The Brazil effect: thousands protest ‘for a better Paraguay’

baboon
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Jun 27 2013 12:35

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/27/chilean-protesters-street-battles-police

100,000 protest in Chile.

Lucca
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Jun 27 2013 17:26

Davi, i'm from São Paulo. Your posts were all pretty accurate untill this one. I think it's a bit exagerated to say that the army is planing a coup. It's true that many media channels spoke of the resemblance between the present political panorama (in Brazil) and the one just before the 1964 coup. But in spite of the similarities i really don't believe that we should fear another dictatorship. It's just not coming our way right now. Actually, besides that one point in common, i didn't see any other leads to the conclusion you drew out of the facts.

Perhaps you were led to it by the media: we all know that the main brazilian news papers and tv channels (GLOBO) are controlled by the elite. That being said, it's obvious that you're not gonna see and hear too much about the left wing arguments and propositions, even if their militants are taking them to the streets. Journalists are just not puting to much enfasis on it. That's true.

But between not hearing about the left wing's proposals and actual participation in these riots and fearing a military coup by the extreme right wing there is a long, long way.

I haven't heard about any "authoritarian and right-wing slogans" coming from the streets. Actually i've heard and seen of the opposite: feminists, anti-homofobic, anti-privatization, etc..

On the other hand, though, i can understand the fear (i would like to point out that the same fear was shown not exclusively by left wing adepts): the movements have no specif leadership or cause.

And that is sometihng to be feared because of its massive proporitions. Basically we've had a gigantic display of popular power and no banner, no specif objective attached to it. And no that its legitimate to speak in it's behalf.

Now political parties have already tried to do so (to claim and/or to take part in it) and failed.

And you just cannot say that this MPL is responsible for it either. They were responsible for the first wave of protests and the (shared) organisation of a few others and can only legitimately speak on behalf of the Free Fare cause.

It sounded really absurd to me when i heard on the news that the government (PT) was discussing the people's claims (including health, education and political reform) and what measures to adopt towards them with the MPL. The other complaints that brought probably 90% of the participants in the riots to the streets just WEREN'T IN THEIR AGENDA TO BEGIN WITH therefore THEY ARE NOT LEGITIMATED TO DISCUSS THEM.

Their agenda was the reduction of the increase and the gratuity of fares in spite of their clear aliegeance to the left wing parties. And that's it. They cannot claim the whole movement.

Actually, if it weren't for the police brutality, things would have probably stayed as the were on the first day: 5 or 6 thousand people on the streets and that's it.

Again, i didn't see any fascist or authoritarian slogans in the protests. I'm actually curious to see them, now that you've mentioned them.

What may have "pissed of" some of the brazilian left wingers was the great amount of slogans with the word "APARTIDÁRIO", wich means "NO POLITICAL PARTY" or "no specif political party". But then again: nothing fascist about that.

And what about this aledged "UDNist" march? Did you really see that? Please, send some pictures of that too.

In my humble opinion this "fear of a military coup" is really just a few old fashioned left wingers trying to gain the attention of the press and with it, their 15 minutes of fame. There is no actual threat.

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Alf
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Jun 27 2013 17:30

From the article Baboon linked to: an interesting form of active abstentionism:

"While riot police battled a flurry of rocks and molotov cocktails, students seized an estimated 30 locations scheduled to be official voting sites for Sunday's presidential primary vote.

[i]The president, Sebastián Piñera, warned the students that squads of riot police were prepared for massive raids if the students refused to peacefully surrender the voting areas. "We are not going to let a minority, jumping over the law, pretend to usurp the 13 million Chilean citizens who have a democratic right to participate [in elections]," he said.

"They are not students, they are criminals and extremists," the interior and security minister, Andrés Chadwick, said. "They have acted in a co-ordinated and planned way to provoke these acts of violence[/i]."

Davi
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Jun 28 2013 23:15

Hey Lucca, thanks for the words! I have really nothing to disagree with you, as I think your comments are spot on. I had my shields down when all that fear mongering started last week, and Caiman del Barrio pointed that to me in here too. I think I'm not the right person to share news about anything, as I'm just a regular guy who happens to be an anarchist, but there was nothing about Brazil on libcom.org when I started the thread and I thought that someone had to do it. If you could write a few things in here once in a while from your perspective, I'm sure we all will appreciate whatever you have to say. It will certainly be more valuable than anything I can post in here.

By the way, two very cool pictures from the riots on Wednesday, the first one from Fortaleza and the other one from Vitória:

orange.ruffy
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Jun 30 2013 22:52

Hey Davi, I also disagreed with some of the analysis you offered, but I also appreciated a lot of it, as well as the sense of how things were feeling there. I would love it if you continued to post news and thoughts, and all of us can strive for a comradely tone when it comes to critique and discussion.