More than a Million Government Supporters shake Brazil

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If on 13th March, over 3.6 million Brazilians across 326 cities took to streets demanding the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff; the arrest of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and an end to corruption, March 18th  brought about a bigger surprise. Over a million Brazilians swamped the streets to defend Rousseff’s government and the former president, and to show support for democracy.

Most of the protesters on March 13 were white, wealthy and conservative. Hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on March 18 were black, white, gay, workers, leftists, artists, and teachers. In short, the pro-government supporters were much more diverse than the anti-government protesters.

The two massive heated protests within a span of one week hint at nation’s growing political chaos.

Newton’s Third Law

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Friday’s rallies were organized in reaction to the growing movement to oust President Rousseff, citing her alleged involvement in a massive corruption scandal in the state oil company Petrobras.

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Despite the serious allegations, pro-government supporters, who saw the March 13 protests as an attempted coup against Rousseff’s government, insisted that Rouseff and Lula had helped lift many Brazilians out of poverty.

“I defend them because as a black person, I need to protect my space in the universities and in the schools. The other (political) parties, PSDB, PMDB, and the right think that the place of black people is in the favela, and in the slaves’ quarters,” said Felipe Santos Cabral, an 18-year-old college student.

“The people who are against this government are elite people who not are accustomed to taking of their own house. They can no longer afford to hire domestic servants who live in their houses and work in a state of semi-slavery,” said Camila Hochman Mendez, a 34-year-old professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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“You can have nuances, but politically you have to choose a side. I can’t be on the right because it represents homophobia and xenophobia,” said Felippe Moraes, a 27-year-old artist.

Lula addressed the crowd later in the night, saying “I will show this picture to President Rousseff, so she knows that there are a lot of people here wanting her to stay in power.”

The Lula Connection

Lula – the two-time former president – was briefly detained and questioned on March 4, over allegations of money laundering connected to Operation Car Wash, a massive investigation into corruption at Petrobras. Lula denied the allegations, saying they were aimed at preventing him from running for president again in 2018.

Untouched by the massive Sunday rally against her and Lula, Rouseff appointed him as her new chief of staff on March 16, “to help her rebuild her political base in Congress and fight the impeachment proceedings.”

On March 17, the federal police released an explosive secretly recorded phone conversation between Rousseff and Lula, in which she seemed to suggest using his new post as a shield against prosecution. Lula’s swearing-in took place amid chaotic scenes in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, with anti-government protesters shouting “shame,” and demanding her impeachment; pro-government supporters sung “Lula” to the tune of a soccer chant.

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Rousseff went on the offensive, calling those pressing for her removal “putschists” and accusing Sergio Moro, the judge who is leading the corruption probe at Petrobras, of violating the constitution and acting in a partisan manner.

“Shaking Brazilian society on the base of untruths, shady maneuvers, and much-criticized practices violates constitutional guarantees and creates very serious precedents. Coups begin that way.”

Pro-government protest rallies were announced for about 45 cities across the country, on March 18. However, minutes after the March 18 protests, a Supreme Court judge stripped Lula of his new ministerial role until at least March 30. Calling his appointment a type of “laissez-passer issued by the president”, Justice Gilmar Mendes said in the ruling: “The goal of Mr Lula da Silva’s nomination is clear: preventing a judge from a lower court from carrying out a preventive arrest warrant.”

Was Rousseff Aware Of Wrongdoings?

On March 19, Senator Delcidio do Amaral revealed that Rousseff and Lula knew of wrongdoings but tried to block investigations and that Rousseff’s successful presidential campaigns in 2010 and 2014, were financed with money from the graft scheme.

Amaral was Workers’ Party leader in the Senate and a close Rousseff ally until he was arrested in November 2015 on charges of attempting to bribe a former executive of Petrobras, in exchange for his silence in the investigation.

“Lula negotiated directly with parties the appointment of directors at Petrobras and knew how the parties used them, especially in campaign financing. Dilma inherited and benefited from the scheme, which financed her political campaigns. Dilma also knew about everything,” Amaral told Veja.

Brazil In Crisis

Under Lula, Brazil became the world’s eighth-largest economy, more than 20 million people rose out of acute poverty. A percentage of Brazilians belonging to the consumerist middle class rose from 37% to 50% of the population, and Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Summer Olympics – the first time the Games will be held in South America. Rousseff’s supporters praise her commitment for social inclusion and her championing of Bolsa Familia, a social welfare scheme that has benefited 36 million Brazilians.

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Nonetheless, the long-running corruption probe has divided Brazilians; the catastrophic last week has shaken the country to its core. The current political turmoil comes as Brazil prepares to host the Olympics in August; the country is at the center of an outbreak of the Zika virus and the economy has sharply contracted by 3.5%.

So, is Brazil​  in danger of turning the clock back on democracy? The Guardian has an answer:

After one of the most extraordinary seven days in Brazilian politics, predicting developments over the next few hours, let alone weeks or months, is a fool’s errand.


Sources:

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Impeachment-Bid-Begins-in-Brazil-as-Protesters-Defend-Democracy-20160318-0012.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35848210

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/03/18/turmoil-on-streets-brazil-as-pro-and-anti-government-protesters-face-off/

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/17/americas/brazil-rousseff-lula-tapes/index.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/03/18/brazilian-pro-government-protests-signal-nations-growing-political-chaos/81995100/


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9 COMMENTS

  1. u guys fight agains the sistem and buy their lie?
    plz, check all the info before putting some like this….
    1º & 2° link: the number of the protesters by police
    http://www.paraiba.com.br/2016/03/19/65932-manifestantes-fazem-maiores-atos-a-favor-de-dilma-desde-2015-jp-contou-com-20-mil-segundo-pm
    http://www.correiobraziliense.com.br/app/noticia/politica/2016/03/18/internas_polbraeco,522957/manifestantrs-pro-governo-se-reunem-em-protestos-pelo-pais-siga-ao-vi.shtml
    if u doubt u can research further conparing photos of the places and peoples
    3° link: shows the protesters didnt know why they were there, their only was paid to be there
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_hRkBe4MgI
    4° link: ambulance being used to bring public aghent to the protest.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2pOWF1SB-8
    and there is a lot more…plz next time dont go over the big media, so here a bonus for u: how much the gov pay to sites that speak the truth and to the one to say pro-gov
    http://www.canaldootario.com.br/blog/como-ganhar-dinheiro-com-blogs-sites/

  2. Read the text Indian journalist based in São Paulo for the magazine The Wire. Very full and enlightening. Brazil is experiencing a media legal scam that aims to dispose of a president who has committed no crime. what is at stake is the delivery of oil reserves for the Big Oil Companies, flexible and abolishment of labor law, the setback in social achievements.

    http://thewire.in/2016/03/25/a-coup-is-in-the-air-the-plot-to-unsettle-rousseff-lula-and-brazil-25893/

  3. This from a brazilian in facebook: “Silas Macedo I’m Brazilian and I will tell you that there was 4 million agains the government and those pro government where paid 30 reais to attend it , mostly poor people who had no idea why they where there, I can show videos of people getting paid and videos where people there tell why they’re there. More over the government gave free buses for them to get there. They are buying support. I love this page but I’m disappointed by this”

    And according to my brazilian with education friends that’s the truth, so don’t fucking lie anonymous!.

  4. This is a bogus story… 7 million people protested against corruption, and they are still protesting… The leftist propaganda, are posting pictures of South Korea, as if it was in Brazil in support of the existing corrupt government, please do your research, maybe ask Brazilians, what is going on there before posting this garbage….

  5. What? All of you are retards?
    BRASIL (YES IS BRASIL not “BRAZIL”, respect our country name!) is passing through a time where people are cheated by government and all the media are finally noticing what is really happening here!
    First of all PT (Worker Party) is BUYING “Pro-government” protesters!
    YES! THEY ARE FUNCKING USING OUR (Brazilian) money to fucking PAY those “BLACK and POOR” people to defends Dilma Roussef!
    YOU ARE STUPID! I said, YOU ALL ARE REALLY FUCKING STUPID! Because here we are fighting a SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT who is trying to keep us in a fucking Social/Communist country!
    Over than a million defending this piece of shit called Dilma? Are you sure? Are you HERE in this fucking shit (Country)? Here We just see a little of faggots saying loud (“Will not have coup. Will have democracy”). Okay, but DEMOCRACY is not what we are seeing here!
    First of all:
    •Vote machines (URNAS) were ALL manipulated to give votes for PT (Worker Party)!
    •PT is using ministers to buy and pay some people to “represents” all of us (What means, if you’re student you are represented by ‘UNE’ National Student Union, but this fucking shit is in favor of this communist government!) And As a Student and WORKER, I’M NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS FUCKING SYSTEM!
    •Dilma tried to put Lula as a Minister. Here Ministers have “Privilege Foro” what means you cannot be judged by a referee unless this is from Ministerial Court. Where most of referees are corrupted and receiving money to stay on the government side!
    •Dilma have 90% of population disapprove. So, 3 million of people claiming for impeachment to over a million claiming for “democracy” is not viable!
    •Brazilian media who most defends the government are change side as Globo for example. Why? Because THE GOVERNMENT is trying to SHUT UP all of us using “laws” and censure to shut us up!
    •People are unemployed because this corrupted government! Most of corporations are closing they doors and getting out of here! (You need to read some articles before write shit here!).
    •The protest pro-government included “ARTISTS” who are receiving money from “Rouanet law” a law what gives a considerable mount of money (+million) for artists to them “keep alive our culture”. What a fuck? Most of the adepts of this fucking law really aren’t artists! They are SHIT! They not produce anything good and are using Brazilian worker’s money to living they lives out of Brazil like for example: Chico Boarque de Holanda (This shit of oldman who doesn’t say anything better than a lot of SHIT)!

    So ALL WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN HERE ARE LIES! Try to study our fucking country before write some bullshit!

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