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Massive protests in Brazil!

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There were hundreds of anti-government rallies across Brazil on Sunday attended by millions of protesters, asking for President Dilma Rousseff’s resignation. Many wanted Rousseff to be impeached and thrown out of office.

The biggest protest took place in the city of Sao Paulo, which attracted over 450,000 protesters. There were over 100,000 protesters on in Brasilia, 70,000 protesters in Curitiba, 30,000 in Belo Horizonte and 15,000 protesters in Goiânia. The protests were strong in Rio de Janeiro, as well, which drew in 100,000 screaming protesters.

Most of the protesters wore the yellow colored T-shirt of tge Brazilian football team and brought their children. It was a family atmosphere and a friendly one, even though everyone was united in their anger against President Rousseff.

Paulo Rodriguez, a 53-year-old businessman said, “She’s a horror. The Workers Party is a horror. They’re a criminal organisation that is robbing state resources. They are destroying our country.”

Paulo had come to the rally with his wife and daughter and he expressed, like most of the other people there, with the state of the economy. He said that his business was down 30 to 40 percent over the last 12 months and blamed President Rousseff for it:  “If Dilma goes, the currency will get stronger and confidence will return and people will start spending again.”

For sure the crowd was mainly white and middle class, there were a number of people from humbler backgrounds as well.

Such as a house cleaner, Claudia Brasilina, who said, “It’s not just the rich. Everyone is suffering. Dilma is ruining the country. She has to go.” That should be deeply worrying for President Rousseff as the protesters included the poor, who are her most important voters.

One of the placards read, “At the very least, she is guilty of incompetence and arrogance,” Another read, “Dilma: Institutionalising Corruption 2010-2016”.  Many protesters wanted Rousseff to be impeached.

But President Rousseff’s immediate future is unlikely to be affected by the protests, as she still has four years of her term to go. The only way she can be removed from office is she gets prosecuted by the Supreme Court of Brazil, in the huge corruption scandal associated with Petrobras, as under the Lava Jato investigation, presided by Judge Sergio Moro.

Many protesters chanted “Viva o Sérgio Moro! Viva a Lava Jato!” calling for the judge to take action against Rousseff.

Barbara Santos, a systems analyst who participated in the protests talked about the former President Lula, who was quite popular before he too was implicated in the Perobras scandal:  “I voted for Lula, but now I think he is a thief.”

She added, “People are angry. We’ve had it up to here. Dilma needs to fall so we can have a new government. Right now all we have is drift. It’s hopeless.”

Rousseff is certainly having a hard time. Her party, the Workers Party, has been in power in Brazil since 2002, and was voted into office to clean up the government. But it has failed abjectly, as the events of the past couple of years indicate. The economic downturn in Brazil and the corruption scandals have driven many of her supporters away from her.

One of her biggest allies has said that they would consider whether to support her or not in a month’s time. Her own party workers plan to stage a counter protest, in support of Dilma, but there don’t seem to be too many takers for the same.

Author: Raghav Hegde – India

source photo: pinterest


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