Brazil's protests force President Dilma Rousseff to respond

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 5, 2023 19:15
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Sunday, June 23, 2013 7:27 AM


Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...

Nobody seems to have been paying any attention to this, but I've noticed it. It's been going on for quite some time now:

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff vowed to battle corruption while improving government services as she acknowledged the anger that has led to vast, sometimes violent protests across Latin America's largest country.

Friday's nationally broadcast 10-minute address ended Rousseff's much-criticized silence in the face of demonstrations that have roiled the nation for more than a week, and were projected to continue on Saturday.

She said she planned to soon meet with leaders of the protest movement, governors and the mayors of major cities. But it remained unclear who could represent the massive and decentralized groups of demonstrators taking to the streets, venting anger over a range of grievances, including woeful public services despite a high tax burden.

Rousseff said that her government would create a national plan for public transportation in cities. Officials in many cities have already backed down from the hike in bus and subway fares that set off the protests. She also reiterated her backing for a plan before congress to invest all oil revenue royalties in education and a promise she made earlier to bring in foreign doctors to areas that lack physicians.

"I want institutions that are more transparent, more resistant to wrongdoing," Rousseff said in reference to complaints of deep corruption in Brazilian politics, which is emerging as a focal point of the protests. "It's citizenship and not economic power that must be heard first." More at


Sunday, June 23, 2013 8:00 AM


I've been following this. Between this, Turkey, and Bulgaria, it's nice to see people getting involved and taking it to the streets.


Sunday, June 23, 2013 8:04 AM


Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...

I don't know enough, or understand enough. In theory I agree with you, but I don't know what the eventual consequences of all this stuff will be, y'know? Like what's happening in Turkey, and Palestine, and, and, and...

Along those lines:

Brazilian youth 'want change now'

Brazil has changed immensely since Julia Michaels moved there 30 years ago, but the change came slowly. She sees recent protests as a pivotal shift.

When I first came to Brazil, in 1981, hit parade American songs took six months to show up on the radio here. When I first came, working-class people over 30 had false teeth. Now, they sport braces.

Last year, I tried to explain to Alessandra Orofino, the young co-founder of the successful new Meu Rio digital activism group, how much the country has changed.

“I don’t care about that,” she said. “I wasn’t here to see it and I’m here now, and I want change now.”

Who are these young people?

Who are the protesters, people who have taken to the streets all over the country, at long last? There’s great variety. [Earlier this week] on television, I saw teachers in Juazeiro do Norte whose wages had been cut 40 percent. Discovering their mayor at a bank branch making a deposit (!), they surrounded him. Hours later, the police safely escorted him out.

From what I’ve watched on TV, read on Facebook, and, last Monday night, seen on the streets of Rio myself, the protesters are mostly young men in their twenties, students. Not workers. So why are they protesting?

I bet the mayors of Rio and São Paulo rue the day this past January, when they bowed to President Dilma Rousseff’s request that they put off the bus fare hike for six months, to help her keep inflation down. If the fare hike had taken place then, the students would have been on vacation…

As I said in my last post, the fare hike is a painful reminder of Brazil’s two-tiered socioeconomic structure, where rich and poor each have their own health care, schools, transportation, and public safety solutions. Many of the protesters may not use the public health system and may have gone to private schools. But they take buses. And though they may not make the hours-long commute of a maid, waiter or gas-station attendant, they also feel the oppression of a system that provides poorly-managed, inadequate service at a real cost unknown to passengers.

The fare hike reminded them that this is the case in every aspect of life here. And, while workers, especially those with the long commutes, don’t have time to march in the streets, the students do.

I’m not saying they’re a bunch of altruists, marching for workers.

They just feel the inequality in their own skin – and they know, consciously or not, that a country with a system like this one won’t go far. That makes a difference in their futures.

Why didn’t bus-riding students speak up before? Brazil has become a middle-class country. When it was a country of haves and have-nots, what was the use of complaining about injustices? Now, when Brazilians feel more alike than ever before, the system’s logic looks more skewed than ever before. No one invests in change until change begins to look possible.

What will come of all this?

President Rousseff’s government, and every one that preceded hers, probably back to colonial times, is stitched onto the top of a society where you don’t know the real costs (nor the real back-room deals) of poorly managed, inadequate public services. She’s said the protesters’ gripes are legitimate and deserve to be heard – and this is the right thing to say.

But … how is she going to fix, as fast as Alessandra Orofino would like, the nations’s schools, hospitals, police, buses, trains, highways, and metro systems? Not to mention airports.

Her government is built on shaky political alliances that involve a lot of bone-tossing, and I imagine she and many other politicians, at all levels, will try tossing bones to the protesters. Already, some mayors have lowered bus fares. MUCH more at


Sunday, June 23, 2013 8:24 AM


Detroit needs to take a page from this one, one of the signs I saw was "Services not Stadiums", and that is Soooo goddamn revelant to the fact that Synders financial tyrant over there is playing the whole Austerity card yet somehow finds $650 MILLION to porkbarrel a new fekkin stadium ?

That's just bullshit, and any proposed crap about the locals benefitting is a lie - Baltimore, MD played this game too with the Inner Harbor, and that not only didn't work out for em, they ended up hiring special cops to keep the locals AWAY from the tourists they were sucking dry, and not one goddamn penny of that money ever made it back into vital city services ever.



Thursday, November 24, 2022 7:28 AM


Brazil Freezes Bank Accounts of Citizens Protesting Election Results

Brazil's electoral court rejects Bolsonaro election challenge, also fined the parties in Bolsonaro's coalition to the tune of 22.9 million reais for what the court described as bad faith litigation.


Saturday, November 26, 2022 6:26 PM



Tuesday, December 5, 2023 7:15 PM







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