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PROTESTS IN BRAZILOpening with the popular protests of June 2013, the political situation developed continuously through the beginning of mass strikes of workers in 2014 and 2015, followed by school occupations by high school youth at the end of 2015 and in 2016, and then through the big protests against Dilma’s impeachment, and now, against the new government of Michel Temer, massing around the watchword “Fora Temer!” (“Temer Out!”)
http://ccs.ukzn.ac.za/files/BRICS%20Seminar-vol-3.pdf (page 40)
LATEST“Out With Temer” New Protests in São Paulo
Friends of the MST 28 November 2016
“Long live Fidel”, thousands of protesters cried out in São Paulo, during one of the largest mobilizations convened to demand Temer’s resignation. The coupist President is unable to manage a crisis that could threaten his continuity in the position. After a minute of silence in memory of Fidel Castro, who Lula da Silva referred to as his “older brother”, the crowd gathered outside the Art Museum of São Paulo (MASP), which known for having one of the richest collections in works of contemporary painters and for being the preferred meeting point of the resistance against Temer. On the other side, the red-painted MASP is the political counterpoint of the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo (FIESP), which operates just a few blocks away.
More Than 100,000 Protest Against Temer in São Paulo
Friends of the MST 5 September 2016
Over a hundred thousand people attended the protest against the Temer government on Sunday, September 4 on Paulista Avenue. The demonstration, organized as a united action by the Brazil Popular Front and People Without Fear, criticized the process of institutional breakdown in the country and the agenda to curtail rights announced by the PMDB.
Solidarity with attacked civil servants
LSR (CWI in Brazil) reporters
Hired thugs beat rank and file trade union protesters
Last Monday, a group of civil servants in Praia Grande, Brazil, who are in struggle for a wage increase of 12.5%, occupied their trade union (linked to Força Sindical), offices, against the treacherous actions of the union leadership which threatened to sell out their dispute.
After five hours waiting for the Union president, they were surprised by 20 henchmen and they were beaten in a cowardly manner. Please, send urgently messages of your solidarity with these workers against such abuse.
Mass protests against new government begin
LSR 27 May 2016
LSR (CWI) forces participation highlighted
Mass protests have begun against the new neo-liberal government which was undemocratically installed in Brazil. Tens of thousands took to the streets of Sao Paolo on 22 May to demand the fall of the Temer government, which has already been exposed as an attempt by the ruling class to cut across a growing corruption scandal which impacts on all capitalist parties in the country, as well as personally implicating many of Temer’s new cabinet.
The demonstration was organised by the “Povo sem medo” (people without fear) front, led by the MTST, landless workers social movement, in which the LSR (CWI in Brazil) – a revolutionary marxist current in the PSOL party - participates.
STUDENT PROTESTSBrazilian students return to the streets over classroom censorship laws
On August 11, national Student Day, Brazilian secondary students took to the streets of four state capitals in protest against cuts in education and a series of “Schools Without Parties” bills, the latest attack on public education in Brazil.
Brazil Students Occupy High Schools, Demand Education Reform
Gymnasiums without a ceiling, some classrooms with leaks, others without electricity - those are reports about Brazil's public school system from students in different parts of the country.
Brazil, in the midst of a political and economic turmoil, is now facing its own Occupy Movement in public schools, where high school students have taken over more than 300 public spaces and formed committees to demand meetings with state officials.
The government has not identified the number of schools occupied. But the movement, which started last year in Sao Paulo, has now spread to Rio de Janeiro, Ceara, Para, Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul.
The government has not identified the number of schools occupied. But the movement, which started last year in Sao Paulo, has now spread to Rio de Janeiro, Ceara, Para, Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul.
Rio de Janeiro: Teachers on Strike, Students Occupy 76 Schools
Dan La Botz May 9, 2016
Teachers in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and in the state of the same name, have been on strike for more than two months now. More than a month ago students at one high school occupied their school in support. The student occupation spread to other schools and are there are now 76 schools occupied throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro and as many as twenty in other states to which the movement has spread. Students have been joined by parents and teachers and by volunteers from left political parties and individuals.
Student protests stall government shutdown of schools across São Paulo, Brazil After students occupied nearly 200 schools for the past month in protest, São Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin has suspended the planned closures of 94 public schools in São Paulo state. But students say that’s not good enough. They are holding fast in about 145 schools, half of which were slated for closure, the other half are actions of solidarity. In the week leading up the temporary hold on the plan, demonstrations also extended beyond the schools with a wave of student street protests, some of which military police violently cracked down on.
Occupying schools in Brazil: the youngest protest
Contrasting a historically combative teaching sector in Rio de Janeiro, and a university student movement with a long and complex history, the radicalisation of secondary school students is a first in Brazil. In late 2015 students took over more than 200 schools in the state of Sao Paulo. The occupations forced the suspension of a scheme to close nearly 100 public schools. In March 2016 occupations began in Rio growing to 82 occupied schools, and have recently spread to other states in the south and north-east. In Rio and Sao Paulo occupations forced out the state Secretary of Education. The brutality of police repression against school students in Sao Paulo last year has since prompted an investigation by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, whilst school occupations in Rio have faced multiple threats and attempts at de-occupation by the military police, and groups of students organised against the occupations. Students from across different schools in Rio recently occupied the building of the Secretary of Education, and were violently evicted a few days later.
2015–16 PROTESTS IN BRAZIL
Protests in support of impeachment
Anti impeachment protests
In 2015 and 2016, a series of protests in Brazil were held against corruption, denouncing the government of President Dilma Rousseff. The protests were triggered by revelations that numerous politicians, mostly from Brazil's Workers' Party, were being investigated for accepting bribes from the state-owned energy company Petrobras from 2003 to 2010, while Rousseff was on the company's board of directors. The initial protests occurred on 15 March 2015, with protesters generally estimated to number from one to nearly 3 million, taking to the streets to protest the scandal, as well as the country's poor economic situation. In response, the government introduced anti-corruption legislation. A second day of major protesting occurred on 12 April, with the estimated turnout of protesters, according to Globo News of Grupo Globo, ranging from 696,000 to 1,500,000. On 16 August, protests were staged in all 26 of Brazil’s states.in 200 cities.
In March 2016, following allegations that Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, participated in money laundering and a prosecutor's order for his arrest, record numbers of Brazilians protested against the Rousseff government on 13 March 2016, with nearly 7 million citizens demonstrating.
On 12 May 2016, the Senate of Brazil temporarily suspended Rousseff until the Senate reaches a verdict and replaced her with Vice President Michel Temer.
In 2015, approval ratings for President Dilma Rousseff dropped to record lows due to a slowing economy, increasing unemployment, a weakening currency and rising inflation. Upper-class Brazilians stated that Rousseff could not manage the Brazilian economy. They also said that she used class tensions to benefit her political campaign by stating that her political opponents were "enemies of the poor," when, in fact, the poor felt betrayed because she had passed policies to avoid an investment-grade downgrade, which ended up supposedly hurting lower-class Brazilians.
Corruption In February 2014, an investigation by Brazilian Federal Police called "Operation Car Wash" placed the state-owned energy company Petrobras at the center of what became the largest corruption scandal in Brazil's history. On 14 November 2014, police raids spanned six states and netted prominent Brazilian politicians and businessmen— including some Petrobras directors— who were placed under investigation in regards to "suspicious" contracts worth $22 billion. When allegations that graft occurred while President Rousseff was part of the board of directors of Petrobras between 2003 and 2010; Brazilians became upset with the government and called for Rousseff's impeachment. No evidence that Rousseff herself was involved in the scheme has been found, and she denies having any prior knowledge of it. Further investigation found that there were various offshore accounts and collections of art that were held by those involved in the scandal.
In March 2015, Brazil's Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors could investigate about 50 individuals, most belonging to the Workers' Party, for possible bribery and other crimes focused around Petrobras which allegedly allowed Brazilian lawmakers to secure millions of dollars for themselves and for political campaigns. On 16 March 2015, prosecutors charged 27 people in the Petrobras scandal, including Workers Party treasurer João Vaccari Neto and Renato Duque, former head of services of Petrobras. Neto was charged with corruption and money laundering that was possibly related to allegedly illegal campaign donations that was supposedly solicited from Duque. Duque was arrested and denied "having money abroad or moving money abroad," while Neto's lawyer also denied allegations against him. On 15 April 2015, Neto was arrested at his São Paulo home. The Workers' Party charged that Neto's arrest was politically motivated.
Lula da Silva allegations
On 4 March 2016, Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, had his home raided by the Federal Police after charges of corruption were made against him. In the subsequent indictment, Lula was accused of money laundering and misrepresentation, with much of the allegations surrounding a luxury beachfront home with recent, costly additions that he never announced that he owned. He faces ten years in prison if convicted. Investigators believed that this and another country house were possibly involved in the Petrobras funds, while further investigations were made to see if donations were made to his Lula Foundation. Shortly thereafter, protests against Rousseff, who is Lula's protegee, were renewed on 14 March 2016 due to the tensions surrounding the investigation.
On 15 March 2016, in testimony by the former leader of the Workers' Party, it was stated that Lula and Rousseff had been trying to block the Petrobras investigation while also alleging that Aécio Neves, the head of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (BSDP) and member of the Brazilian Federal Senate, may have been involved. The next day, Rousseff appointed Lula as her chief of staff in what "was widely seen as an attempt to protect him from the investigation because ministers and lawmakers can only be tried by Brazil’s Supreme Court". Later, a phone call between Rousseff and Lula was leaked, in which Rousseff called Lula's "terms of office" a "necessity"; prosecutors stated that this wiretap on Lula showed his attempts to impede investigations.
Tens of thousands of Brazilians then began to protest nationwide that night after the recorded call was released, with some instances of violence recorded.
Allegations of PMDB involvement
As investigations grew, allegations that members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) began to arise. Vice President Michel Temer faced impeachment proceedings in December 2015 but his fellow party member, President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha, defended Temer and blocked the motion. Cunha, however, did grant impeachment proceedings against President Rousseff at the time. Months later in April 2016, a Supreme Court judge, Judge Mello, ruled Cunha's actions wrong and that Temer should face impeachment proceedings as well. Cunha, who would be third in line for the presidency, has also faced scrutiny for alleged money laundering through the Petrobras scandal. Fourth in line, the President of the Senate of Brazil and fellow party member of PMDB, Renan Calheiros, is also under investigation for his alleged involvement in the scandal as well.
On 5 May 2016, Cunha was suspended as speaker of the lower house by Brazil's Supreme Court due to allegations that he attempted to intimidate members of Congress, and obstructed investigations into his alleged receipt of bribes.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, "the real strengthened 0.6 percent to 3.2304 per dollar and has fallen 17.7 percent this year" and was the largest drop in value among "major currencies" that were observed by Bloomberg. Bloomberg Businessweek also noted that Rousseff’s government raised taxes and slowed spending to avoid a credit rating downgrade "after years of ballooning spending and subsidized lending", that economic growth had stalled and that "inflation exceeds the ceiling of the target range". The Petrobras scandal had also hurt the economy by causing a slowing of investments in both the industries of energy and construction.
On 13 March, thousands of individuals related to the Workers' Party gathered in support of Rousseff and Petrobras in cities around Brazil. Police stated that about 33,000 participated in the protests while the pro-government organizers[who?] said about 175,000 supporters demonstrated. On 15 March, mass protests occurred across Brazil. Although crowd size estimates differ, most calculations put the number at roughly one million nationwide.
Police estimated the number at 2.4 million and organizers[who?] at three million, with hundreds of thousands to over a million demonstrators in São Paulo, about 50,000 in Brasília and thousands in other cities, with many protesters wearing yellow and green clothing similar to the Brazil football team and Brazilian flag. In São Paulo, police stated that at the start of the protest, there were approximately 580,000 demonstrators originally participating but the numbers grew quickly by about 4,000 people every two minutes. Datafolha estimated a different number of protesters, stating that 210,000 demonstrators protested at some point and that 188,000 did so at the same time. On Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, thousands protested and collected signatures directed at impeaching President Rousseff. The protest occurred on the 30th anniversary when Brazil's democracy was reinstated after a military dictatorship. Meanwhile, it was possible to see some demonstrators at the protest asking for a military intervention against Rouseff. Many of the protesters on 15 March demanded the impeachment of Rousseff while demonstrating.
Anti-impeachment (left) and pro-impeachment (right) camps protest on the 17th of April. Brazilians protested again on 12 April, with police saying there were about 696,000 people involved while protest organizers[who?] stated there were about 1,500,000 demonstrators. In São Paulo, protesters were numbered between 275,000 by police and 1,000,000 by organizers[who?]. In Rio de Janeiro on Copacabana Beach, there were less demonstrators than 15 March protests but several thousands protesters still demonstrated. Those participating in the demonstrations sang rock songs that dated back to the protests against the Brazilian military dictatorship. The protesters still believed that President Rousseff knew about the scandal beforehand and demanded her to step down or called for her impeachment. Analysts stated that the smaller turnout could show that the protests would eventually come to a halt and the movement would end. Protest organizers[who?] combated such statements saying that the movement had spread to smaller cities in Brazil compared to 15 March protests.
On 15 April, labor organizations protested against a law that permitted companies to treat workers as independent contractors, with the protests spreading through 19 Brazilian states with demonstrators blocking roads.
Fieldwork using quantitative methods conducted in the 12 April protests by researchers based at the University of São Paulo in the city of São Paulo, and by Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais professors in Belo Horizonte showed that several features of the specific profile of protesters out in the streets. In São Paulo, they were composed by a large majority of very high income groups, mostly white, with a large degree of mistrust of political parties, especially those on the left (but with a strong belief in Aécio Neves, the defeated candidate in the 2014 national elections), revealing a preference for ultraconservative political journalism, and with the belief that the Workers' Party has a project for implementing a communist regime in Brazil. In Belo Horizonte, the majority of protesters identified themselves mostly as connected to centrist or right-wing political beliefs; supporting the idea that the federal government's distributive policies and proposing as a desired outcome for the president's legitimacy problem, in first place her resignation, followed by her impeachment, and with a call for military intervention as the third most frequent response, with a majority of protesters agreeing with the need for military intervention (when asked that specific question in a yes or no format).
In what was described as "record Brazil protests", between 3.6 and 6.9 million Brazilians protested against the Rousseff government nationwide on 13 March 2016 following the call for her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's arrest due to money laundering charges. Protests roamed through over 337 cities, from the jungle town of Manaus to the capital city of Brasilia, with demonstrators demanding Rousseff to resign. In São Paulo alone, approximately 1,4 million protested in Brazil's yellow and green apparel according to police officials, the largest demonstration in the history of the city. Though the protests were mainly attended by the middle class, it was reported that support of Rousseff among the poor has dropped due to the country's economic difficulties. Balloons of Lula da Silva in a striped prison outfit named Pixuleco were also seen during the protests.
On 16 March 2016, sudden protests occurred after further allegations were made against Rousseff and Lula da Silva. After Rousseff appointed Lula da Silva as her chief of staff, a move that was seen as defending him from investigation, leaked audio of a call between the two regarding Lula da Silva's appointment was released to the public. With Rousseff describing his appointment as a "necessity", the public grew outraged, with Brazilians suddenly protesting nationwide. In Brasilia, 5,000 people demonstrated outside of the president's palace and were dispersed with pepper spray and stun grenades when they approached the National Congress Palace. In São Paulo, thousands more protested while in another 5,000 protested in Porto Alegre with protests reaching throughout 18 states.
In 18 March 2016, the Order of Attorneys of Brazil, by 26 votes to 2, decided to support the impeachment of Rousseff based on the opinion of the federal advisor Erick Venâncio.
15 March 2015 ~ 1,000,000 – 3,000,000
12 April 2015 ~ 696,000 – 1,500,000
16 August 2015 ~ 900,000
13 December 2015 ~ 83,000 – 407,000
13 March 2016 ~ 1,400,000 – 6,900,000
16 March 2016 +10,000
13 March 2015 33,000 – 175,000
16 December 2015 98,000 – 292,000
18 March 2016 275,000 – 1,300,000
2014 PROTESTS IN BRAZILBackground
The protests were primarily concerned with the spending of billions of reais of public money on stadiums for the World Cup.
Prior to 2014, social movements opposed to Brazil hosting the Cup garnered support during the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013. The Facebook group Movimento Anti-Copa de Decoração de Ruas (Anti-Cup Movement for the Decoration of the Streets) gained more than 15,000 Likes in a little over a month.
On January 25, 2014, protesters clashed with the military police in central São Paulo. According to the organization's official Twitter account, 108 people were arrested by military police and a further 20 arrests were made by civil police, totaling 128 arrests before midnight.
On May 27, 2,500 protesters blocked the streets in central Brasília, near the Monumental Axis, caused traffic congestion. Among the protesters were 300 aboriginals who went to the capital to protest changes in laws concerning the demarcation of indigenous land. The protest ended in a confrontation with the military police, where a cavalryman was struck by an arrow.
On May 31, 200 protesters marched from the Ministries Esplanade to the football stadium before ending the demonstration peacefully.The following day, military police in São Paulo began using specialized suits of armor referred to as 'Robocop', which were intended to maintain control over protests during the World Cup.
On June 3, a group of about 50 protesters in Goiânia gathered in front of the hotel where the Brazilian team was staying prior to an exhibition match against Panamá. The protesters were connected with trade unions and left wing political groups, with pickets demanding fair pay for professors and health professionals.
Events during the World Cup
Protests during the World Cup
Arrest of protesters against the FIFA World Cup 2014 in São Paulo The demonstrations of 2014 were generally smaller than those that occurred during the FIFA Confederations Cup in the previous year, but protesters and police clashed in almost every city hosting the games of the World Cup. In the first week of the Cup, there were more than 20 protests and 180 arrests across the various cities, many resulting in police action.
On June 12, at least six were injured in São Paulo when military police threw gas grenades and fired rubber bullets at protesters. Two CNN journalists were among those injured. Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party justified the aggression of the military police saying that their goal was to prevent the protesters from blocking a major traffic artery leading to the football stadium.
In Porto Alegre on June 24, around 200 protesters gathered in the city center and travelled toward the airport. The group was monitored by police, and disbursed with one protester being arrested for deflating the tires of a car.
Protester holding a sign contrasting the quality of soccer stadiums with the quality of public services. In São Paulo, June 23, an unidentified man in a black shirt fired a gun three times into the air as police were arresting a protester. Protesters say that the man was trying to scare away those critical of the arrest. Police said they would investigate whether the shooter was actually a member of the police.
On July 13, the final day of the Cup, police in Rio de Janeiro injured at least ten journalists with clubs, and shrapnel from tear gas grenades. Police kettled the 300 protesters, preventing them from marching to their destination, Maracanã Stadium. Military Police told BBC Brazil that they would forward reports of police abuse to Internal Affairs.
Reasons of the protest continuation are pointed also by Romário, ex-player and member of the Parliament, that dubbed the World Cup 2014 as the "biggest theft in history", and that the real costs would be over R$100 billion (US$46 billion). Romário now is one of the few parliament members that wants a deeper investigation on the misuse of public funds.
Before the opening game of the World Cup on 12 June, police clashed with protesters in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other host cities. Tear gas was used on crowds in São Paulo.
While covering the protest on June 12, CNN Reporter Shasta Darlington and CNN producer Barbara Arvanitidis were injured. Barbara Arvanitidis was directly hit on the wrist by a tear gas bomb whilst they were reporting the indiscriminate use of riot weapons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_protests_in_Brazil
2013 PROTESTS IN BRAZIL
The 2013 protests in Brazil, or 2013 Confederations Cup riots, also known as the V for Vinegar Movement,Brazilian Spring, or June Journeys, were public demonstrations in several Brazilian cities, initiated mainly by the Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement), a local entity that advocates for free public transportation.
The demonstrations were initially organized to protest against increases in bus, train, and metro ticket prices in some Brazilian cities, but grew to include other issues such as the high corruption in the government and police brutality used against some demonstrators. By mid-June, the movement had grown to become Brazil's largest since the 1992 protests against former President Fernando Collor de Mello.
As with the 2013 protests in Turkey, social media has played an important role in the organization of public outcries and in keeping protesters in touch with one another.
Urban riots in Brazil have been traditionally been referred to as the 'Revolt of [Something]'. An example of this was Rio de Janeiro's Revolta da Vacina in the early 20th century. These particular protests have been referred to as the Revolta da Salada , Revolta do Vinagre or Movimento V de Vinagre after more than 60 protesters were arrested in June 2013 for carrying vinegar as a home remedy against the tear gas and pepper spray used by police.
Piero Locatelli, a journalist for the CartaCapital magazine, was arrested and taken to the Civil Police after being found with a bottle of vinegar. The sarcastic tone dubbing the protests Marcha do Vinagre i.e. "the vinegar march", was a reference to the popularity of an earlier grassroots march for legalizing marijuana named Marcha da Maconha (the Brazilian version of the Global Marijuana March).
Another popular name for the protests is Outono Brasileiro ("Brazilian Autumn", in a playful reference to the events of the Arab Spring). Primavera (meaning "Spring") is also being used by media.
The alternative name "June Journeys" (Jornadas de Junho), used by some sources and adapted from the France use of journées (days) in the sense of an important event, traces a revolutionary pedigree going back to the June Days Uprising, the June 1848 French workers' uprising in the wake of the 1848 Revolution in France.
Protesters in Natal.
The first demonstrations took place in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, during August–September 2012 and were informally called Revolta do Busão or Bus Rebellion. Over the course of these protests, demonstrators convinced their municipal authority to reduce the fare price. Similar protests were carried out in Porto Alegre in March 2013, where protesters tried to convince the local city hall to further reduce the fare price, after it had been reduced by a judicial decision.
In Goiânia, demonstrations started on May 16, before the prices were officially raised on May 22 from R$2.70 to R$3.00. The peak of those demonstrations was on May 28, at Bíblia Square, when four buses were destroyed; two were incinerated and two were stoned. 24 students were arrested for vandalism and disobedience. Another demonstration took place on June 6, when students closed streets in downtown Goiânia, set fire to car tires, threw homemade bombs, and broke windows of police cars. On June 13, the fares were brought back to their previous price when judge Fernando de Mello Xavier issued a preliminary injunction arguing that local bus companies were exempted from paying some taxes as of June 1, but the passengers were not benefiting from this exemption.
People protesting in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The sign reads "Se a passagem não baixar, o Rio vai parar!", which translates to "If the fare doesn't drop, Rio is going to stop!" In São Paulo, demonstrations started when the municipal government and the government of the State of São Paulo, which runs the train and metro system of São Paulo, announced the rise of ticket prices from R$3.00 to R$3.20. The previous hike of bus fares occurred in January 2011, and was also subject of demonstrations. Train and metro fares had been raised to the same price in February 2012. In early 2013, immediately after his election, Mayor Fernando Haddad announced that fares would increase in early 2013. In May, the federal government announced that public transportation would be exempted from paying PIS and COFINS, two taxes of Brazil, so that the increase of public transportation costs would not contribute to ongoing inflation. Even so, the fares were raised from R$3.00 to R$3.20, starting on June 2, sparking demonstrations.
Demands of protesters
Although the bus fare increase was the tipping point for demonstrators, the basis for public disenchantment with the policies of the ruling class went far deeper. There was frustration among the general population's disappointment with the inadequate provision of social services in Brazil. Despite Brazil's international recognition in lifting 40 million out of poverty, and into the nova Classe C with comfortable access to a middle class consumer market, the policies have been the subject of intense political debate. Groups among the protestors argues that "Bolsa Familia" and other social policies were simply an electoral strategy from the Worker's Party aimed at "alming the poor". Political opponents took issue with neoliberal or post-neoliberal traitor of its original Marxist precepts that benefits mostly the old, corrupt and stereotypical elites with black money and shady methods, and only making the life of the traditional, more conservative, middle middle and upper middle classes (that are rejected as a sign of reactionary decadence by left-wing elements, and dominant among the mostly urban, young, white, and educated protesters) even harder while political scandals involving the public money most expensive to this conservative middle class run rampant.
Protesters in Recife.
Meanwhile, mega sports projects such as the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup (to which at that time Brazil had already spent over 7 billion reais and with total expected cost of over 32 billion reais, equivalent to three times South Africa's total in 2010, despite only half the stadiums being finished), as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics, have turned out to be over-budget, and have resulted in a series of revelations about gross overbillings and multibillion-dollar financial scandals. The occurrence of these protests simultaneously with Confederations Cup matches, with sounds of police weapons being audible during the Uruguay vs. Nigeria match on Thursday June 20, have raised serious questions amongst other sporting nations about the capability of Brazil to host the main event in a year's time, based upon its ostensibly severe social problems. Other points of discontent are the high inflation rates and increases in the prices of basic consumer goods, including food, that, as many other things in Brazil, are heavily taxed (at 27%).
Other commonly stated reasons for the malaise include high taxes (tax revenues total 36% of GDP, the highest in the developing world) that do not benefit the poor. The average Brazilian citizen is estimated to pay 40.5% of their income in taxes, yet the country still suffers from various social and infrastructural problems such as poorly functioning health services, a low education rate, inadequate welfare benefits, and a growing but still low rate of employment.
Situation of party seats in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies in May 2013. The PT-PMDB coalition government enjoyed a large majority of support (81.6% of the seats), paralleled with high positive popularity ratings (around 80%). After the protests, the margins of support for the government both in the Congress and with the population dropped sharply, and did not rise again
There is also a feeling of powerlessness due to widespread cases of corruption and embezzlement as well as a lack of transparency and financial accountability. Indicted leaders and politicians often stay in power despite being cited for corruption and collusion in the growing overbilling scandals. The protesters particularly object to a constitutional amendment currently being drafted known as PEC 37 that is seen as a cover-up for corrupt politicians and an attempt to reduce the power of the judiciary in pursuing cases.Though not a main cause for the demonstrations, some protestors also object to socially conservative legislation by the religious benches that is seen as a retrocess to Brazil's LGBT and women's rights, a threat to the state of Brazilian secularism, and even freedom of expression.
June 1 to 14 In June 2013, a series of protests in the Brazilian city of São Paulo were organized against bus and metro fare hikes announced by the city mayor Fernando Haddad in January 2013, who stated that the fares would rise from R$ 3.00 to R$3.20, coming into effect on June 1.
The first large protest was held on June 6 on Paulista Avenue. In ensuing protests, news reports mentioned that police had "lost control" on June 13, when they began using rubber bullets against protesters and journalists covering the events. Numerous civil rights groups have criticized the harsh police response, including Amnesty International and the Associação Nacional de Jornais.
June 17 to 18 An estimated 250,000 protesters took to the streets of various cities on June 17. The largest protests were organized in Rio de Janeiro, where 100,000 attended from mid-afternoon of June 17 to late dawn of June 18.
Although mostly peaceful, the protests escalated with the invasion of the State's Legislative Chamber, causing riot police to be called in. Three protesters were injured by gunfire, reportedly by police forces, while ten others were hospitalized.
State government authorities did not intervene, saying this was an issue for the Military Police. Other protests erupted in support of those being detained by police. Demonstrations were held in a number of cities. The ones held in Curitiba were reported attended by over 10,000 people.
Minor protests staged by Brazilians living abroad were held in several countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
June 19 Protests continued on a smaller scale. Mayors of several Brazilian cities announced reduction of bus fares or cancellation of previously announced increases, including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where the largest protests had occurred.
June 20 Protests in over 100 cities around the country rallied over 2 million people. Special measures were taken to protect main government buildings on major cities like the federal capital Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Manaus, Belém, Recife, Florianópolis, Belo Horizonte, Goiânia, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, among others.
June 21 to 23 President Dilma Rousseff during the national pronouncement to the Brazilian people on TV. Protests across Brazil have drawn millions to the streets in a wave of rolling fury that became the biggest demonstrations in decades. A young man was killed in Ribeirão Preto during the protest when a driver ploughed through a peaceful demonstration, also injuring 11 other people.President Dilma Rousseff addressed the nation, recognizing the demands of the protesters and calling a meeting of state governors and mayors of key cities to discuss the requests of the population and propose solutions to solve the issues.
June 24 As protests continue on a smaller scale, President Dilma Rousseff along the 27 state governors and the mayors of the 26 state capitals, among other authorities, agree to take measures related to improve funds management, public transport, health care and education. Also announced is a proposal for congress to approve a referendum on widespread political reform.
June 25 Almost all members of National Chamber reject controversial law limiting the powers of the Public Ministry to investigate criminal activities in the government, thus accomplishing one of the demands of the protests. President Dilma Rousseff announces that plans for a special constituent assembly on political reform were abandoned, but there are still plans to submit the constitutional amendments in discussion to popular vote.
June 2 Protester pleads for understanding of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State Almost all members of National Chamber approved the destination of petroleum royalties to education (75%) and health (25%). The congress also approved the end of secret vote for forfeiture of office and the recognition of all forms of corruption and embezzlement as heinous crimes; and the end of all Taxes regarding Public transport, including metro, train, bus and ship. A large protest of 120.000 people is held in Belo Horizonte where the 2013 Confederations Cup semifinal match between Brazil and Uruguay was occurring, and ran with no incidents until small riots began. A young man died after falling from a viaduct.
June 30 Protesters in Brazil clashed with police during the Confederations Cup final match between the host nation and Spain in Rio de Janeiro. Earlier that day, a group of demonstrators tried to storm a Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) building in Rio. Police kept them back and the group settled outside the building. In a separate protest, several thousand people marched on the Maracanã stadium banging drums.
The protesters demanded free public transport, carrying placards reading "FIFA - you pay the bill". The demonstrators also called for an end to corruption and the resignation of the Rio State governor.
July 2 The "Gay cure" Bill, PDL 234, which would have authorized psychologists to treat LGBT people was voted down by the National Congress. In 1830, eight years after the end of Portuguese colonial rule, sodomy laws were eliminated from the new Penal Code of Brazil. Since 1985 the Federal Council of Medicine of Brazil has not considered homosexuality as deviant. In 1999, the Federal Council of Psychology published a resolution that has standardized the conduct of psychologists to face this norm: "...[regulated] psychologists should not collaborate with events or services proposing treatment and cure of homosexuality." In 1990, five years after Brazil removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
PDL 234 dealt only with lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons, as Brazil still pathologizes transgender people. Doctors do not allow hormone therapy for transgender people before age 16, allow gender reassignment surgery for those who have "normal or healthy" genital conditions other than third party- confirmed trans people above the age of 18, and does not ban sexual assignment surgery for intersex newborns and young children. Doctors with parental consent may alter a child's ambiguous genitals without his/her consent and much before gender behavioral characteristics and/or identification would naturally appear.
July 5 In Seattle Justin Jasper, an armed local was arrested for planning action in support of Brazil protesters.
Later demonstrations Although smaller than the June demonstrations, another wave of protests occurred in many cities around Brazil on September 7. Protesters organized to challenge military parades that were celebrating Brazil's 1822 independence from Portugal. There were also demonstrations to question government spending on World Cup stadiums and government corruption.
Over 2 million 300,000 in Rio de Janeiro
100,000 in São Paulo
100,000 in Manaus
100,000 in Belo Horizonte
60,000 in Natal
50,000 in Recife
45,000 in Florianópolis
40,000 in Cuiabá
30,000 in Brasília
30,000 in Campo Grande
25,000 in Ribeirão Preto
20,000 in Salvador
20,000 in Porto Alegre
20,000 in Belém
20,000 in São Luís
20,000 in Maceió
15.000 in Fortaleza
The EJ Atlas is a teaching, networking and advocacy resource. Strategists, activist organizers, scholars, and teachers will find many uses for the database, as well as citizens wanting to learn more about the often invisible conflicts taking place.
1.Coal mining pollution, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Coal mining has generated, over the last century, a series of negative environmental impacts in the municipalities of the Southern state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, and these impacts have been the subject of protests from environmentalist entities and lawsuits filed by Federal prosecutors. However, due to its economic importance, the companies in the sector have received support from the State Government and the Federal Government. Coal has been defended by businessmen and some sectors of the State as an energy alternative in times of prolonged drought in Brazil, whose energy matrix is highly dependent on power generated by hydro power plants, as well as a product to be exported to Chinese industry.
2.Phosphate mining in Anitpolis, Brazil
Around 1920, it was discovered that the Pine River Valley, near the municipality of Anitapolis, had one of the largest phosphate reserves of Brazil. Studies carried out since 1960, described the characteristics of mineral existing in the region. In 1987, the Adubos Trevo company, then part of Bunge group, began buying land in the region aimed at exploiting existing ore. About 1.800 hectares were acquired since then. In 2001, the Industria de Fosfatados Catarinense (IFC), a joint venture of Bunge and Yara Brasil Fertilizantes, asked for environmental licenses for exploitation of a deposit of 300 hectares of phosphate in that area for a period of 30 years.
3.Barra Grande Dam on River Pelotas, Brazil
The Barra Grande Hydroelectric Plant is currently running up on the border between the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. It was built and is operating by the Brazilian business consortium called Barra Grande Energetica S/A (BAESA Inc), which includes the US aluminum giant ALCOA. The participation of ALCOA in this project is not surprising given that the aluminum industry is the world’s largest industrial consumer of electrical energy, using about 1% of all the electrical energy generated globally, and about 7% of world industrial consumption. In the case of Brazil, the aluminum industry accounts for roughly 8% of the country’s total electricity use.
4.Fracking in the Parana Basin, Brazil
In 2013 a consortium of Brazilian companies won licences to explore for gas in four onshore 'blocs' in Parana state. The consortium plans on conducting investigations to determine whether fracking is a necessary and appropriate technique to extract unconventional natural gas in the blocs located in the Parana basin. There is strong opposition to the plans from the local population who have marched in the streets to protest the plans. Local residents have also taken to the streets to raise awareness among the population of the dangers of fracking. Public meetings have been held to debate fracking.
5.Klabin plantations, Brazil
Klabin is one of the oldest tree plantation and paper producing companies of Brazil, starting their activities in Paraná and now active in 8 Brazilian states and in Argentine. In Paraná, peasant populations and rural workers started in 2011, in collaboration with a Federal Education Institute, to survey the problems and conflicts around industrial tree plantations expansion in the region, especially in the Imbaú municipality (40% of municipality occupied by eucalyptus and pine plantations providing the mills of Klabin), also in relation to Klabin´s expansion plans.
6.Petrochemical Complex in Itaborai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The project of the Petrochemical Complex of Rio de Janeiro State (Comperj) is considered to be one of the greatest single investments of Petrobras, a Brazilian state company, and marks the return of the company to the petrochemical sector. It is inserted in the Plano de Aceleracao do Crescimento (PAC) of the Federal Government. Petrobras promises to generate an annual turnover of around $2 billion with the export of high value-added products, in addition to the generation of 200 thousand direct and indirect jobs during construction and 50 thousand jobs in the operation phase. Despite the promise of employment and income generation, various sectors of the population in the region have struggled against the installation or against the adverse effects of other projects related to the complex. Some of these are the installation of a waterway in Guaxindiba river basin or the construction of a submarine outfall to discharge liquid effluent from the complex on the coast near the city of Marica.
7. Conflict in the Horto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Greener or richer? Resistance to "green gentrification" in the low-income neighborhood closed to the upper middle class area of the hill sides of the Serra da Carioca
9. Fibria and Eldorado Brasil project in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
Fibria, a Brazilian company, took over eucalyptus plantations and a pulp mill which started functioning in 2009. Eldorado Brasil project was launched a bit later and has bought lands and planted eucalyptus.
10. Gold mining in Paracatu, Minas Gerais, Brazil
In 1987, the Rio Paracatu Mineracao (RPM), authorized by the National Department of Mineral production-DNPM and the Government of the State of Minas Gerais, began the industrial exploitation of gold in the region. Later the RPM was acquired by Kinross Gold Corporation (KGC). Since then, the company has been accused of many irregularities and socially and environmentally negative impacts. First, the destruction of two existing Quilombola communities; the lands of the Machadinho and Amaros communities were in fact acquired by the company and its members were forced to migrate to the periphery of Paracatu.
11. Samarco Tailings Dam Disaster, Minas Gerais, Brazil
The Brazilian governments under Presidents Lula and Rousseff pushed forward an exporting extractivist economy largely based on iron ore exports by the Vale S.A. company (formely Vale de Rio Doce) and also on soybean exports. To the Brazilian policy makers (both in government and in the neoliberal opposition) the tailings dams failure at Samarco's Germano mine (Samarco is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton) in Mariana (not far from Ouro Preto), in Minas Gerais’ iron belt on 5th November 2015 was something of a shock. This is one of the largest iron ore mines in the world. The Rio Doce (the Doce River) was polluted for over 300 km downstream. The burst dam unleashed 40 million cubic meters of mud on the valley killing not less than 30 people and wiping out the village of Bento Rodrigues and reaching very quickly Barra Longa and other villages. About 800 people lost their homes. Many villages downstream were left without drinkable water. The toxicity of the discharges was still under discussion weeks after the event. The Fundão dam and partly the Santarem dam had failed.
12.Impacts of iron ore mining in Conceicao do Mato Dentro/MG, Brazil
The Minas-Rio Project is a big business owned by Anglo Ferrous, a subsisidiart of Anglo American (this project originally belonged to MMX) that provides for the installation of a mine to extract iron ore in Conceicao do Mato Dentro, Minas Gerais, a pipeline of 523 km, which will go through 32 counties to deliver the ore in São Joao da Barra in Rio de Janeiro. In São Joao da Barra the construction of a private port complex is planned (under the responsibility of the company LLX) which will distribute part of the ore to steel mills to be installed inside the complex and another part is exported through ships to Europe, United States and China.
13. Land dispute Fibria and quilombolas, Brazil
The quilombola community of Deziderio Felipe de Oliveira, Municipality of Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, faces the resistance of rural producers of soybeans and corn for the dermarcation of its territory. The 15 families occupy 41 hectares located in the remnants of the Cabeceira de Sao Domingos Farm and are fighting for recognition of 3,738 hectares of land belonging to descendants of Felipe Dezidério, many of who reside in peripheral neighborhoods of
14. Thermal Power Plants in Sapeacu, Brazil
The project of three heavy oil fired power plants by the company Multiner in the town of Sapeacu, State of Bahia, has been the target of protests and popular mobilization. These plants are designed with the objective of forming a reserve in energy infrastructure. In this way, the Federal Government intends to guarantee the supply to industrial plants in the region even in case of prolonged droughts that may impede the use of dams and to compensate for increased demand. The population was organized and founded the Termoeltricas Jamais Movement. This movement campaigned to prevent the licensing of the project, held protests and pressed state prosecutors to intervene in the case.
15. Xakriaba territorial struggle, Brazil
Since 2006, Xakriaba began to occupy an area known as Morro Vemelho and also sue for its demarcation. This occupation has intensified prejudice and discrimination already suffered by the Xakriaba in the region. Since then, several members of the ethnic group have been killed, either as a result of the struggle for the demarcation of their land or as a result of prejudice fuelled by the farmers among the local population. In addition, Xakriaba leaders has been threatened with death, and the Chief Santo Caetano Barbosa has been a victim of an ambush.
16. Murta dam, MG, Brazil
Since 1998, rural communities in the region of Coronel Murta, in Minas Gerais, had been mobilized and had been resisting against the project of an hydroelectric plant on the rio Jequitinhonha. The Murta hydroelectric power plant project aimed to produce 120 MW of energy. The cost of the project was estimated at $ 300 million. The reservoir of the dam would inundate 20.6 km2 of land, being a significant portion consisting of trays and cultivated areas. The dam lake threatened about 900 families, 22 communities of the municipalities of Coronel Murta, Virgem da Lapa, Berilo, Grao Mogol, Josenopolis, which in addition to being expelled from their traditional territories, would lose their farming fields, fishing, plants and fruits in the cerrado and caatinga.
17. Chongquing Soybean Growing and Manufacturing in Bahia, Brazil
Chongqing Grain Group is one of Chinas largest state-owned grain corporations. In accordance to China's 'Strategic Plan for Agricultural âGoing Out'', Choingqing Group announced in April 2010 plans for a US$300-million soybean project in Bahia, Brazil, that would include infrastructure construction and control over 100,000 ha of land, with potential to expand to 200,000 ha. Brazilian authorities publicly denied that the deal involved the transfer of lands, but in an interview with state TV channel CCTV in February 2011, Huang Qifan, the mayor of Chongqing, reiterated that the company had been allocated the land and that the project would be managed by a joint venture company 70% owned by Chongqing Grain and 30% by Brazilian investors, and partnerships with local producers.
18.Lead contamination in Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil
The impacts generated by the activities of Cobrac go beyond the consequences for the health of the population. Testimonials from local people and studies bring economic and social consequences. The land is devalued in the surroundings of the factory and in the affected areas. Tourism, which has represented a source of resources and activities in the city, declined. The death of the infected animals and decreased soil productivity unfold in the loss of traditional planting conditions and livelihoods, reducing the food supply and increasing food insecurity for a not negligible portion of the rural population
19. Waste dump, Gameleiro in Olho Dagua das Flores, Brazil
Since 2002, about 60 families of the quilombola community of Gameleiro, located in the countryside of Olho Dagua das Flores, have been fighting against a waste dump located only 300 meters from their houses. Although the quilombola community of Gameleiro have been living on those lands for over 300 years, only in March 2008 it was officially recognized by the Brazilian State. But the City Government does not act as per the national and international law on this issue. Traditional communities should in fact be consulted and informed about the risks of any infrastructure projects that have direct or indirect impacts on their traditional territories. Not even the national legislation on solid waste was honoured by the city of Olho Dagua das Flores.
20. Shrimp farms v. fishermen in Santa Rita, Brazil
The community of Forte Velho (Old Fort) has been struggling for years against the advance of shrimp farming on their traditional territory. It is one of the oldest fishing communities in the State of Paraiba. The beginning of Portuguese colonization in the region occurred at the river Paraíba delta, in the vicinity of Forte Velho community. Its name refers to an old fort on the site, an observation point built by the colonizers.
21. Residents of Piquiá de Baixo, Maranhao, Brazil press Vale and pig iron companies for resettling them in new neighborhood due to intense pollution.
The case involves about 380 families (1,100 people) living in a village surrounded by 5 pig iron industries: 1) Vienna Steel S / A, 2) Steel Maranhao S / A - SIMASA, 3) Co. steel Valley Pindare 4) Pig Iron Maranhao Ltda. - FERGUMAR; and 5) Gusa Nordeste S / A, beyond the railroad and warehouse ore of Vale SA. The town was founded in the 70s. The industries came in the second half of the 80s.
22. Timber Exploitation in Porto de Moz & Prainha, Brazil
Timber exploitation, often illegal, has triggered violent land related conflicts between communities and companies. Between August 2014 and January 2015, the State of Para has lost at least 571km².
23. Conflict between Indians and miners in the Cinta Larga lands in Rondonia, Brazil
Since the 60s there are conflicts between the Cinta Larga Indians and groups of artisan miners interested in exploiting diamond deposits in their traditional lands, an area of more than 2.6 million hectares designated by the Brazilian State as TI Roosevelt. According to studies conducted by the Departamento Nacional de Producao Mineral - DNPM, this deposits has the capacity to produce at least one million carats of diamonds. Although the Brazilian Constitution considers mineral exploitation on indigenous lands as illegal, there are bills seeking to revise it and regulate mining in this lands. The Agencia Brasileira de Inteligencia - ABIN estimates that at least 10% of the full potential of the deposit has already been removed illegally over the last fifty years.
24. Jirau and Santo Antonio Dams on Madeira River, Brazil
The two mega hydroelectic power plants, fueled by the Jipau and Santo Antonio dams on the Madeira River are to be completed by 2015, despite local opposition violation of human rights. In Jan 2016, Nilce de Souza Magalhães of MAB was assassinated.
25 Lumber companies threaten extractive communities of Lábrea, Brazil
Located 610 kilometers from Manaus, Labrea is a town with approximately 38,000 inhabitants and is situated in the so-called arc of deforestation (an area with the highest rates of deforestation of Brazil). Its territory is disputed by lumber companies, large soybean producers and ranchers. The municipality is crossed by highway BR-319. Because of this, the Federal Government has supported the creation of two extractive reserves in the municipality, within a mosaic of conservation units of more than nine million hectares, designed to minimize the environmental impacts of the expansion of the highway. The struggle of communities of Lábrea for the creation and defence of Extractive Reserve (Resex) of middle Purus and Ituxi river (started in 2001) is the main front for the sustainable use of natural resources in the region. About 3,500 extractives were benefited by the establishment of extractive reserves in 2008, but to this day it remains vulnerable to loggers and land grabbers working in the region.
26.São Luiz do Tapajós hydroelectric dam, Brazil
Strong opposition, legal flaws and demarcation of land by indigenous communities led to the cancellation of the first of the dam projects on the Tapajós river. Big victory for environmental justice now challenges the future of other projects.
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