I had not imagined opening my blog writing about such a complex and explosive topic (unfortunately, this second attribute can also be understood literally). But well, life is full of surprises, good and bad surprises. So were the last days in Brazil.
To mention, here are some events that occurred during this week in Brazil:
- The biggest demonstrations since 1992, took place in more than 100 cities, with more than a million people.
- Many of them demonstrated against the rise of ticket fares in public transportation, and demanding for a better education and improvements in the health system.
- There were also people who shouted out “Nenhum partido” (Without any party), and claimed for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.
- The human rights commission (Comissão de Direitos Humanos e Minorias – CDHM) of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies led by the evangelical minister, Marco Feliciano, approved a measure to allow treating homosexuality as an illness.
- The majority of protesters were peaceful. However, a violent minority devastated the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro, causing a damage estimated in 2 million Reais. Vandalism occurred also in other cities. Some public buildings got attacked, cars were burnt and stores were plundered.
- Police forces acted brutally violent, and were totally overpassed by the situation during, and especially after, the demonstrations. After situations had got out of control, they started firing teargas and rubber bullets, even on totally peaceful people (obviously not every policeman acted violently, as not every protester acted peacefully). But you can’t speak of a minority here. During and after the demonstrations, some city centers turned into scenarios that seemed as being in civil war.
Those are only some facts and incidents among thousands of others.
I’m here in Niterói (a town 13 km from Rio de Janeiro), trying to understand a bit of what is going on, and so does almost everybody here. But it’s difficult.
Who is fighting for/against what/whom?
That’s an essential question that arose, but by now, I suppose no one can answer it. The media can’t, the politicians can’t, even the protesters can’t.
This has been the first time that I have been following a movement so intensely by social media, reports by friends, participating and also by “traditional” media. And although I theoretically should know it through my studies, I still was surprised how much information distributed by personal conversations and social media, differs from what traditional media tells about the situation.
I’m trying here to relate how I experienced this historical week.
I cannot provide an overview or an opinion about the whole situation. (If you want such, you’ll have to gather as much information as you can, by videos, “official” and social media, etc.)
This post just provides some impressions of what I saw, read and heard here.
It’s designed for those who don’t know much about the protests so far.
In another post, I will report my experiences at the demonstration that took place at the night of 20th June.