Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Massive Protests Break Out in Brazil

John Raines at Free Market Forces reports:
Developing: Going completely unreported in the US mainstream media are the massive nationwide protests occurring right now in Brazil. In all the major population centers, including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, the capital of Brasilia, and 8 other cities, 10s of thousands, possibly 100s of thousands of people are marching in the streets and taking over government buildings. (update: hard numbers are impossible to get, but there’s likely more than half a million people involved in tonight’s civil disobedience)
I know many Brazilian expatriates as well as Brazilians currently living in country. They inform me that these protests have now grown to an unimaginable size. Several of my contacts are old guard junta members that ran the country during the authoritarian rule. They’ve told me that the size and scope of the protests are larger than anything they’ve ever seen. The reasons given for the protests vary, but from what I’ve heard from my contacts the most significant reasons are economic malaise, high inflation, and a culture of corruption.
Live news images broadcast here (Portuguese).
BBC coverage here.
Brazil was a rising global star as one of the BRICs and had an appreciating currency, but since the financial crisis began the government has succeeded in harming private sector investment with taxes on foreign investment and implementing a policy of currency devaluation (much like the Fed).
Update 1: News reports indicate that the vast majority of the protests are peaceful.
Update 2: Reports coming in police in Sao Paulo, also upset at the state of affairs, have joined the protesters.
Update 3: Al Jazeera claims this is a “youth movement” that continues to grow in strength.
Update 4: Protesters are leaving the Capital building in Brasilia. They are cleaning up behind themselves as they leave.
Update 5: A fire has broken out in the Legislative Assembly building in Rio. Protesters are attempting to batter down the door to the Assembly in Sao Paulo.
More updates here.

1 comment:

  1. The protest movement is mainly made up of the middle class and is critical of the government's decision to increase transit rates by 10 cents, to $1.60.

    Plus spending $14 billion on sporting events.