Riots in Brazil: updates and discussion

Submitted by Davi on June 14, 2013

I'm not sure if it might of interest for other people, and I unfortunately don't have much time to post updates and research about this particular issue, but the city of São Paulo, in Brazil, is going through some major riots these past few days. At first I didn't think it deserved much attention, because rioting like this happens every year when the public transportation fares are adjusted in many cities of the country, but somehow this time things grew to such an extent that public demonstrations were being aired live on TV yesterday.

It all started with the increase in public transportation fares a few days ago, with the price going to R$3.20, roughly about 1.20 euros. Then, as usual, people went to the streets, closed big avenues, and were strongly repressed. However, police brutality is so evident and indiscriminate that things are getting bigger every day, especially since yesterday's demos, when lots of journalists were targeted by the police, even those from the more conservative media. As São Paulo is such a huge city and the economic heart of Brazil, what happens in there hits the headlines with great magnitude, and right now the whole country is talking about it. I'm not sure whether this struggle will manage to hold on its feet or whether it can bring improvements to our lives, but the thing is: just like in Turkey the park was not the only cause, in here a 20 cents increase in prices is probably just the spark as well. Truth is, living in Brazil is getting extremely expensive, especially for those in the main cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, and especially if you take into consideration the fact that half the population earns only up to a minimum wage, roughly 250 euros. Besides, the fact that the Confederations Cup is right ahead, the World Cup is next year, with all the huge amounts of money being spent on stadiums while the economy is not growing and things are not getting better, all of this accounts for a generalized feeling of "things must change". This brief text from CNN international says it better than me, I guess:

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-988431

So far we've had, besides the usual repression, a very interesting case of a policeman breaking his own car to blame demonstrators, caught on video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9cZt9CX72s

Then there were also arrests of people because they carried vinegar with them to cope with the effects of tear gas, which the police said could be used to fabricate explosives. A justification like this is so surreal that some call the current riots "The Salad Uprising". Good overall information in English can be seen on the tumblr bellow:

http://saladuprising.tumblr.com/

Well, I can't write more about the subject right now, and it would be great if someone from São Paulo could give a better account on the situation as a whole, but I just thought it would be interesting at least to let people know that another emergent market is going to the streets these days.

Mark.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fear and loathing in São Paulo

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...

Wiggleston

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.facebook.com/events/183382041822867/

Solidarity demo tomorrow in London

Alf

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If anyone reads Portuguese, our comrades in Brazil have produced this. We will get it translated soon.
http://pt.internationalism.org/node/339

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today was a big day for the current wave of protests in Brazil. A good number of smaller cities joined the protests, including mine, and there were some very symbolic actions so far, like the invasion of the national congress by a part of the crowd in Brasília. I just got back from the local march and it was nice to see about ten thousand people taking an avenue and crossing bridges to try and reach the governor's house. I'm really enjoying to ride the bus on the way to work listening to people talking about the protests with excitement, but I myself couldn't understand very well what was the purpose of what we did today, as it's not clear what we should strive for at the moment. I guess an honest explosion of anger is healthy on its own, though, especially when its timed so well with an international event like the Confederations Cup.

Anyway, a few pictures before I go to bed. I guess tomorrow there will be better images and videos for those who are interested.

Rio de Janeiro:

Brasília's National Congress occupied:

My city, Vitória:

Ed

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Great stuff, guys! Cheers for all the info!

woooo

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

R people linking to turkey ? Greece ?

Alf

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've posted the article here: http://libcom.org/news/brazil-demonstrations-against-transport-price-increases-police-repression-provokes-anger-yo

There is a passage which says:
Without any doubt the movements which have exploded around the world in the last few years, with the strong participation of young people, are proof that capitalism has no future to offer humanity other than inhumanity. This is why the recent mobilisation in Turkey had such a strong echo in the protests against fare increases.

wojtek

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

just went weak at the knees

Ed

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Seriously can't get enough of the gif above..

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I couldn't find decent footage yesterday of what happened in Rio de Janeiro, the place where some of the most disturbing images took place. It was nothing of serious consequences, although it did seem a bit violent, but it was surprising to see people trying to burn the legislative chamber and then chasing police officers. The video bellow shows a bit of this less peaceful part:

[youtube]R4ccslSNV0s[/youtube]

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Porto Alegre fare is reduced from the planned R3.05 to R2.80 (5 cents lower than current rate) following protests! http://noticias.terra.com.br/brasil/cidades/fortunati-anuncia-reducao-na-passagem-em-poa-preco-pode-chegar-a-r-270,598d61475275f310VgnVCM3000009acceb0aRCRD.html

EDIT: trying to keep on top of this at @latinlibnews [/plug] ;)

Steven.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Davi, many thanks for these posts please keep us updated!

Great videos as well, it's so good when the cops have to leg it!

fingers malone

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Used to be massive fare protests in Porto Alegre years ago, unless it was Florianopolis? One of the southern cities anyway. Round about 2006?

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some questions for Davi:

What can you tell us about the demographics of the demonstrators? Looking at the Rio video you posted, they seem to be young, not subcultural, unmasked, etc. There's a distinct lack of party/organisational icons (banners, flags, etc) and I couldn't spot any gas masks. Are they students, unemployed, commuters, etc? What relationship does this have to the favela pacification programme (especially in Rio)? Why hasn't there been more opposition to the pacification programme (or is this it, in part)?

Lurch

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"R people linking to turkey ?"

Yes, according to Reuters, Friday June 14:

"Some said they were inspired by protests in Istanbul - "Peace is over, Turkey is here!" was one chant on Thursday night. Others said they opposed the notion of bus and subway fares at all, arguing public transportation should be free."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/06/14/uk-brazil-protests-idUKBRE95D0J620130614

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio, I'll try my best to answer your questions with my own perceptions of these issues, although I can't really provide deep arguments about anything, as I confess being lost in all the constant turmoils around Brazil.

These protests started the way they do every year: when transportation fares are adjusted because of inflation, etc., a crowd of mostly university and high school students go to the streets and try to pressure for a reduction of the adjustment. It happens in most cities, including mine, and sometimes it's successful. Like Fingers Malone mentioned, the Florianópolis campaign became a reference a few years ago, and with it my own city followed the same path with success. It's the one kind of protest you're sure to have every year. There's a social movement always helping to organize these protests, called Free Fare Movement (Movimento Passe Livre), and they try to defend current prices while pushing for a free public transportation agenda.

For what I understand, this year was about to be the same as every year. A few thousand people go to the streets, we have a few days of protests, some police confrontation takes place, and then life quickly goes back to normal without further consequences. I don't have enough knowledge of the situation to explain why things grew so much as to become the biggest social upheavel in Brazil in 30 years, but it's certainly because it extrapolated the 20 cents issue.

The first protests, like I said, were headed mostly by students, with the usual small group of anarchists and extreme left-wing parties. Then it grew, maybe because of the general indignation to police brutality, maybe because of the well orchestrated campaign in social media, or maybe because of many other things. Working people don't like when the bus gets more expensive, of course, but it's hard to hear someone go beyond the "It's bad, but there's no solution, so we have to take it quietly". In the video bellow you can have a sense of how things escalated (although it's quite long and poorly translated)

http://www.copaemcuiaba.com.br/

So now what it seems is that these initial protests worked as a catalyst to all sorts of problems that accumulated during these last years. There were protests, but now they're all together, and therefore they become massive, even though there's not always much common ground between all causes. And you'll see very little party flags indeed, as the overall feeling is one of disgust over the current political system, and protesters chant "Parties don't represent me" and boo those holding flags. This is good because it opened way for a very diverse public, but it seems hard to explain why, after all, people are on the streets. Some are simply expressing frustration at poverty and at the money spent on entertainment instead of important services, some are protesting against the current wave of Christian fundamentalism in politics, some want to pay less taxes, etc. People are making an effort to remmind everybody that the main issue is definitelly the fare hike, and as it seems to be on a path of success, everybody is enjoying the chance to discuss about other ideas too. And it's really, really interesting to see how there's simply no space for professional political figures, not only because politicians are oddly quiet, but also because they're not being allowed to hijack the causes.

Anyway, I have no idea of what's this going to bring us. I'm quite confident that the fare hikes will be suspended in São Paulo, as they were in other cities already, but asides from this, I guess the rest will be just a peaceful explosion of anger. Perhaps things could become more interesting with more interventions around the stadiums of the Confederations Cup, and there are more protests scheduled this week. There will be one in my city on Thursday, and the people in São Paulo said they'll only stop until they get what they want.

As for the pacification program in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, it's not very much related to the current wave of protests, but it's certainly one of those things that add to the layer of overall mess. There was resistance to it, of course, as poor people know very well that the police is not really a saving force, but on the other hand being controlled by drug lords is even worse, so it's one of those things that are seem as necessary intermediate steps. Violence and corruption, though, are major action triggers for many people protesting these days.

Steven.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Very helpful further info, thanks

Mark.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

woooo

R people linking to turkey ? Greece ?

The marchers gleefully chanted “Não é Turquía, não é Grécia, é o Brasil saindo da inércia” (“It’s not Turkey, it’s not Greece, it’s Brazil leaving its inertia”)

Reflections and photos from last night’s protest in Rio
.
.
[youtube]ylwxUGI6qnY[/youtube]

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I liked the text, Mark! Thank you for the link.

There's an interesting video shot yesterday at the brief occupation of the national congress in Brasília, the capital, of a message being repeated by the crowd that gives a good feeling of what's going on in the collective aspirations these days. It's a pity all this desire of more control over our lives is being channeled without resistance to "vote better" slogans or talks of political reform, but I guess this is standard in these times of weak workers' movements.

http://fbcdn-video-a.akamaihd.net/hvideo-ak-frc1/v/854436_10201556530138546_585526924_n.mp4?oh=d78598d3a4c5a2641e191e5aa0c73904&oe=51C29DE9&__gda__=1371797114_78e239e8b6d707048af73ad8b23cd957

Translation:

Guys... pay attention! Our act was victorious... but the movement... has just started! We are a part... of a national struggle... of a world struggle! We can't stop here. Therefore... it's important... that everybody here... will be... at 6 o'clock... on thursday... in front... of the stairway... from the subway... at the bus station. We will continue the movement... because our fight is much bigger than this!! We will only stop... when we put... one million... two million... three million... twenty million... here... to tell them... that it's not right... what they do... with our money, with our health, with our education!! "Tomorrow will be bigger!!"

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

woooo

R people linking to turkey ? Greece ?

Spotted on a Turkish friend's profile:

Davi, thanks for your answers, very thorough. Could you tell us something about the background of Passe Livre? Do they ACTUALLY campaign for free transport? What prospects are there for a fare strike/autoreduzione, which would seem to be one of the most logical ways of bringing this forward.

FYI the state's deploying the military now: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22964785

Chilli Sauce

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devi, thanks for all the updates.

Woj, that gif is great. This is what happens when one of the greatest football countries in the world has to battle the police. I f*cking love it.

Randomly, I saw images of the protests on the bbc and there just happened to be a whole bunch of red and black flags within the protests. I don't know if that's widespread (or even if the bbc intentionally chose a shot with flags to make the protests seem more confined to organised groups), but it brought a smile to my face in any case.

ocelot

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Re the Movimento Passe Livre - MPL (Free Pass Movement). There's a personal recollection cum historical piece on the movement at Anarkismo.net

[...]On the way home, I was seized by a whirlwind of memories that forced me to write (you know what I mean?). It was then that I began to remember the first meeting of the "Free Pass São Paulo" that I participated in at the headquarters of the JOC (Working-Class Catholic Youth) in March 2005, even before that group formally joined the Free Pass Movement, which came about between June and July of that year, shortly before the 2nd ENMPL (National Meeting of the Free Pass Movement). I also remembered that tumultuous and fateful meeting in Campinas: after the "Public Transportation and Free Passes - the de-commodization of public transport" seminar, again in October of that year, when I first had contact with the guy who came to "change everything", Lúcio Gregori, who introduced the idea of the Zero Tariff to us. Then came the National Week of the Fight for Free Passes at the end of the same month, with events where the movement had its local committees and which for me was marked by the first appearance of the MPL Drum Circle and the launch of the first and only issue of the MPL's magazine.
[...]
After that, it is impossible to list everything that followed: the fight against the increase in 2006, when for the first time the demonstrators exceeded the hundreds and we gathered thousands of people in the demonstrations that we called, and many, many more activities. I remember how hard it was to speak about Zero Fares at that time - we were simply labelled as crazy by everyone and it took a huge job of training, preparation and discussion, seminars, lectures, and a myriad of activities until the proposal began to be understood and minimally accepted by different sectors of society, including within even the left.[...]

Anarkismo: We are writing History!

(and, yes, yes, before you instinctively roll your eyes at "drum circle", remember this is Brazil - these guys and gals actually can play drums, samba etc - rather like the footie skills demo'ed by the gas volleyer above)

There's a good number of other related articles from the CAB (Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira) and a number of its various constituents (FARJ, FASP, Coletivo Anarquista Bandeira Negra, etc), but most of them have yet to be translated to English.

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@KetyDC is reporting (and rather comically denouncing) looting in Sao Paulo:

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio, I'm afraid I can't provide more information than what was already indicated by ocelot, as I'm not involved in the Free Pass Movement and have very short time to get to know their ideas deeply.

I'm not so excited about these protests as I wanted to be, but I'm glad enough to know that the fare hikes are probably going to be suspended (like they already were in seven Brazilian capitals this week). That's a victory, not matter how small.

What's mostly fascinating about all this, though, is that the Confederations Cup became a mere secondary or tertiary subject on the news these days, which is something huge considering how obsessed with football people in here are.

And I found this short set of graphs that help illustrating the overall rise in prices in Brazil in these past years:

Caiman del Barrio

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Davi, that graph explains more than a thousand word. Someone tell Choccy... ;)

Protests outside Brazil-Mexico in Fortaleza attacked with tear gas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljhshXH9NNQ

People on Twitter are claiming members of Brazil's refused to sing the national anthem in protest, but this seems rather dubious. Scolari isn't singing it for example. David Luiz is, having presumably realised that he'd already sold his soul by joining Chelsea. ;) Decide for yourselves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P89pP4ZaQ08

Also hearing that Sao Paulo looks like being the latest city to drop the rises. How far are people willing to take this?

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Caiman del Barrio

Also hearing that Sao Paulo looks like being the latest city to drop the rises. How far are people willing to take this?

Actually the suspension of the fare rises in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro was just announced minutes ago :) Tomorrow's march will be one of celebration, now that the main demand was answered. It remains to be seen whether all this energy is going to be dissipated quickly or if people will use to push for other projects. There's no lack of reasons to protest in here!

However, next year there will be new rises, like always, and I wonder if we will see the same kind of mobilizations again. One thing the government learned is that they will certainly not do it during the World Cup :P

wojtek

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Occupy Santa Fe: Brazilian boy hit in face by a rubber bullet at protest, luckily the mask took most the impact.


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=647734521920971

slothjabber

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fucking bastard cops.

Nothing more political to say than that really. Fucking bastard privilege-protecting cop scum.

Mark.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ocelot

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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)

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, then again:

@latinlibnews

#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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

fokionasss

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Fear and loathing in São Paulo

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Ed

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Links to the belo monte dams resistance ?

Devrim

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

First, sorry for the bad english ... I was helped by google tradudor. :) 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. :) 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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Goti123

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Reg Presley

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Goti123

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.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Protests in Salvador:

[youtube]3D19h3jJ2DU[/youtube]

.

AJE talking heads program on the background to the protests:

[youtube]tidkzWbGp44[/youtube]

.

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

Ed

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Video from a few days ago:

[youtube]_p3DvkDsicM[/youtube]

Mark.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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]

[youtube]mr0ZUETRnJk[/youtube]

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

Video from a few days ago:

[youtube]_p3DvkDsicM[/youtube]

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.

baboon

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

100,000 protest in Chile.

Lucca

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Alf

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

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
."

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok, I thought I wouldn't have much else to tell about the current wave of protests around Brazil, but things keep happening and new qualities are joining what's already happening. Again, please, I can only speak for myself and my short-sighted perceptions, so if anybody can correct me or write down some more consistent opinions, I'll be glad to learn.

Across the country, this past week had its usual street marches, much, much less crowded compared to the ones two weeks ago, and I thought they would be over soon. Other than this, there were bus and truck driver's strikes in some cities, which caused significant delays in transportation. On July 1, something really bizarre took place: an ordinary guy decided to invite the country for a general strike from Facebook, without any connection to unions or whatever, and more than half a million people signed it. However, being a mere Facebook event, it confused many people. I myself didn't give it much attention, even though my bosses at work seemed a bit excited about the possibility of such an event, and I really didn't expect anything unusual on Monday. But my brother didn't go to work, a few commercial places were kept closed (I can only talk about my own city), and many schools decided not to open. It was really, really bizarre.

Speaking of general strike, on July 11 the biggest Brazilian unions, CUT, Força, UGT, CGTB, etc., are calling for a day of protests, strikes, marches and more in order to push for their own agenda with many items, including the reduction of work hours from 44 to 40 a week. I think it's going to be a big day, as hopefully there will be lots of people on the streets. Everyday I'm hearing of new professional categories joining the general strike.

I don't know very well what's going on in the main cities of the country, but in Vitória the latest protests focused a big part of their attention to a very specific situation: the toll fees we have to pay to use the main bridge connecting Vitória to Vila Velha. It's a very important connection, and not only it's expensive to cross it, it also causes a lot of congestion in very important parts of both cities, as it's not on the outskirts, but in quite central areas.

Two weeks ago, on the biggest march of all, all the toll booths were smashed by protesters, and the company responsible for its operation was forced to liberate traffic without charging anything (they tried to charge the prices manually and even advised drivers to avoid using the bridge), so people had the chance to experience the crossing without the annoyance of paying for it and I guess it opened the path for new hopes. I'm probably exaggerating it, but that's how I felt, I can't deny. Anyway, somehow, one day, it started to spread the news that there was a project to be voted on the State's Legislative Assembly (I'm not sure if I can translate these terms correctly, I apologize for it) that could eliminate the need to pay the toll of the bridge, and all attentions then turned to the deputies in the Assembly. I really cannot tell the real nature of this decree, as it all came too sudden and I couldn't find reliable material on it, to know if it's really, really possible to do what it says, as the company in charge of the bridge (Rodosol) would never accept such a thing peacefully, but the thing is: on the day the project was to be voted, the Legislative Assembly was packed with people aggressively watching on all politicians in there.

When it was the time to vote it, though, the first one to speak said they needed more time to consider it, and so the voting was postponed. The people watching became really angry, broke doors and invaded the House Presidency Office, keeping an occupation in there since then. They said they'll only leave it when the project is voted. Politicians said they'll only vote it if the office gets freed. People are taking food and more stuff to the occupiers every day.

Yesterday there was a new march from both Vitória and Vila Velha, set to reunite on the Legislative Assembly, which is right next to the bridge of discontent. I couldn't go there, but people say the arrival at the occupation gave everybody a great sense of unity, even though there were just about 2,000 people in the crowd. They then marched to the toll booths, now heavily guarded by the police, and amazingly five toll booths got smashed again, even with all the police repression that took place. In fact, police brutality is again pissing everybody, probably because now that there are less people on the streets, they have to make sure to kill the movement once and for all, even though police violence has always been there anyway. You can read a short description of yesterday's drama on this link:

http://revolution-news.com/police-repression-vitoria-brazil-74-changebrazil/

The most amazing thing yesterday is that the police started forcing a part of the people to cross the bridge, speeding them up with a rain of tear gas canisters, surrounding them and even turning the lights off in the middle of the bridge!!

They then began searching for people, erasing photos, harassing others and the usual police stuff. So now it remains to be seen what will happen in Vitória in the next days, as there will be new marches next week, on the same day of the general strike, and people will certainly keep trying to push for the extinction of the bridge's toll fee.

rooieravotr

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Davi, thanks! In my opinion, your comments deserve a place on Libcom as saparate articles/ blog pieces or whatever. Keep it up, and stay well!

fingers malone

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Your stories are great, keep writing!

Chilli Sauce

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Agreed, blog it up, comrade.

fidel gastro

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah you're posts are awesome Davi, I read them alot. You should have your own blog mate.

Steven.

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, thanks very much Davi for these continued updates, and no need to be so apologetic: we are all just ordinary people who happen to be anarchists!

I hope you don't mind but your comment deserves a wider readership so I have turned it into a blog entry here:
http://libcom.org/blog/brazil-protests-continue-strikes-occupations-begin-08072013

if you want to post future updates in detail you now have a libcom blog so you can just click "submit content - blog entry" to post more. And I hope you do, especially with what happens with your local protests against the toll bridge and with the strikes

Davi

9 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh, wow, thanks guys for the feedback! I had never thought about this possibility of a blog, so it was surprising to see it suggested to me. There will probably be some stuff happening on Thursday, so I'll try to go to the protests here in Vitória and then read whatever news I find to let you know how this situation will come to an end. It's a bit sad to see the movement fading, as it would be great to see it growing even more, but as its main focus was transportation, and as there were victories and new discussions brought by it (including the case of my city's bridge), I guess it was a very, very positive and remarkable event to us all.

wojtek

9 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Paulinia, Brazil is the first city to enact a zero transportation fare following wave of protests across the country:

http://noticias.uol.com.br/cotidiano/ultimas-noticias/2013/07/17/paulinia-sp-e-primeira-cidade-do-brasil-a-anunciar-tarifa-zero-apos-protestos.htm

Well done everyone! So jelly lol.

Mark.

9 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Over the past few years unprecedented large-scale movements have challenged states across the globe. From Tahrir Square in Cairo to Zuccotti Park in New York City, and most recently, the streets of Brazil. Common to all is the widespread use of social media in organizing and articulating protests. Through Twitter and Facebook, local movements now have the technological ability to transcend limits of space, time and resources. With its stark inequality and low quality public services, Brazil, given its hyper-connectivity, as the world’s second biggest user of both Twitter and Facebook, was a shoe-in for next-in-line.

How does the use of social media change the structure of today’s social movements and Brazil’s in particular? On June 3, Zeynep Tufekci posted on DMLcentral, in the midst of Turkey’s wave of demonstrations, eight preliminary characteristics of what she calls the “networked movement.” Here we use Tufekci’s chacteristics as a starting point for analysis of what is happening in Brazil...

Read on: 'eight characteristics of social media fueled movements'