An interesting point about the riots in Brazil

They\’re against a centre left government. One run by an ex-Marxist guerrilla (or at least sympathiser).

Odd that The Guardian et al haven\’t been mentioning this, isn\’t it? After all the praise that has been heaped on Lula and his acolytes and policies over the years. You know, that march of the left across the South American continent?

11 thoughts on “An interesting point about the riots in Brazil”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    And look what they are protesting about – Big inefficient corrupt government wasting money on grand projects.

    The positive view would be this is a bit like the Tea Party and one Latin American country is putting traditional clientalist politics behind them.

    Needless to say I am not this optimistic.

  2. It’s a bit more complicated than that, the state and local governments aren’t all left wing. There’s some locals posting in this slashdot thread. Most interesting one so far imho:

    brazilian here:

    The main problem, as far as I see, it’s not the federal government: are the states and municipal ones.
    The main riots begun against the price of the bus in the main cities (first in Porto Alegre in April, and took a big shape after Sao Paulo tried to raise the price of the bus ticket in may-june). People are beat by the local polices without clear reason (plus rubber bullets and moral gas) and lots of arrests are being made without a reason (in Sao Paulo the local police arrested hundreds of people with possession of VINEGAR*).

    But look how crazy this sounds: the mayor of Sao Paulo (the city) is a left-wing (or center-left) workers party. The governor of Sao Paulo (the state) is a right-wing almost tea-party-look-a-like. The riots were against the mayor, but the state used its force (police). In porto alegre, the mayor is a center-right-wing and the state government is a left-wing workers party. The same: the riots were against the mayor, and the police (controled by the governor) was used in a brutal way (not so hard as sao paulo, but brutal) against the rioters.

    Now that the main cities agreed to lower the price of the bus ticket (porto alegre in May and several other cities in the last few days), the riots looks more like french 68 riots than anything else. It’s not about the price of the bus ticket anymore, but about the political and social culture in Brazil (corruption, a lack of social control, etc).

    *Vinegar is used to decrease the effects of tear gas.
    ** One last thing: be careful with brazilian newspapers. Most of them will stand for its own agenda and they are part of the problem, not the solution.

  3. Well the protesters have stated time and again they are above party politics.
    This is about 500 years of the elite taking most of the cake and leaving Brazilians with f all.When i lived there i was frustrated and angered that they only went to the streets for carnival and football.
    Remember its still mainly students so where are the other 150 milion
    Hardly ar revolution is it
    \

  4. If the Graun should be pointing out that the protest is against a lefty, surely you and the Telegraph should be pointing out that under previous regimes the protestors would have been shot?

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L

    The governor of Sao Paulo (the state) is a right-wing almost tea-party-look-a-like.

    The credibility of this source is let down when he says things like this. Sao Paulo State is governed by a member of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, or PSDB). Which is best described as Blairite.

    paulo

    This is about 500 years of the elite taking most of the cake and leaving Brazilians with f all.

    So basically the protesters are Brazil’s Tea Party. At least one hopes. I expect someone else is right and they are Brazil’s 68ers – pro-Mao rather than pro-(John Stuart) Mill

    Luke

    If the Graun should be pointing out that the protest is against a lefty, surely you and the Telegraph should be pointing out that under previous regimes the protestors would have been shot?

    How far back would you have to go in Brazil before you found protesters being shot? Even under the Military protests were rarely repressed in that way. The current President, despite being a terrorist, was not actually murdered.

  6. SMFS, my knowledge of Brazilian history is hazy, and my xomment was triggered by remembering my Brazilian friend telling me that he used to listen to outaide radio broadcasts in secret. But were there large scale demonstrations under the military regime? I rather suspect not, and it probably wasn’t because everyone was happy.

  7. I think something similar happened to what is still going on in Turkey

    An initial protest turned into a much bigger one, this time against police brutality. In Turkey, people have been arrested for possession of vinegar, lemon, gas masks and hard hats, whilst the police have fired tear gas canisters at people’s heads.

    In a couple of weeks, the Turkish police use 130,000 tear gas canisters.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Luke

    my knowledge of Brazilian history is hazy, and my xomment was triggered by remembering my Brazilian friend telling me that he used to listen to outaide radio broadcasts in secret. But were there large scale demonstrations under the military regime? I rather suspect not, and it probably wasn’t because everyone was happy.

    I doubt my knowledge is much better but the Portuguese speaking world does seem fairly happy with dictatorship and they tended to get fairly moderate dictators who did not inspire a great deal of violence or resistance. Brazil was the only Fascist nation to fight on the allies’ side in WW2 – and Vargas was elected. Salazar in Portugal died in 1970, he retired two years before that, but his quasi-Fascist regime continued until a military coup in 1974. In Brazil there were a lot of strikes under military rule after 1974 or so – this is how Lula got his start in politics. And the military gradually handed over power starting in 1979 and not really ending until the new Constitution of 1988. But what is remarkable about it is how little violence there was.

  9. Just because one person that was a terrorist wasn’t shot doesn’t mean to say that other people was, the reason people don’t know much about the history of Brazil is that nobody was allowed to know what was going on. It used to be a joke how many coup attempts were going on in South America until it was realised it was coordinated by the U.S. It’s good to know they’re still at it.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Sally Tipper

    Just because one person that was a terrorist wasn’t shot doesn’t mean to say that other people was

    Brazil has had a Truth and Reconciliation process. The figures produced by that is that the war started by the Terrorists killed something like 97 people while the military killed something like 339 in response.

    Which for a country the size of Brazil is tiny. It is even more tiny when compared to Brazil’s smaller neighbours – it is one hundredth the death toll in Argentina for instance.

    the reason people don’t know much about the history of Brazil is that nobody was allowed to know what was going on.

    Well no, the reason no one knows much is that it is mostly not worth knowing. The military was not that repressive. They did not arrest or kill Marxists like, as he was then, Lula. They left them in the Trades Unions and in universities to get on with their lives. The exact opposite of what would have happened, of course, if Stalinists like the present President had won.

    It used to be a joke how many coup attempts were going on in South America until it was realised it was coordinated by the U.S. It’s good to know they’re still at it.

    Yeah. It is all a conspiracy. Military coups are a Latin cultural feature. Like bullfighting or drinking coffee. If anything the US has acted to limit the number. Otherwise Latin America would look like its former colonial masters in the Middle East with wall-to-wall military dictatorships.

    But why not go on blaming everyone but yourselves? So much more comfortable to do that isn’t it?

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