In a rapidly growing number of Brazilian cities, hundreds of thousands gather in the streets. ‘O gigante acordou’, the giant is awake.
O gigante acordou! The giant is awake! In a rapidly growing number of Brazilian cities, massive protests are held against abuses and failures by the government. Meanwhile.. the Brazilian Human Rights Commission approved a law proposal. ‘Cura Gay’: psychologists are allowed again to treat homosexuals for their ‘disease’.
The giant is awake
The memorable 17 June protests most probably will gain a prominent place in the Brazilian history books. The massiveness of these protests might have remembered many Brazilians of the protests in the Eighties against the dictatorship, and in early Nineties against President Collor. Despite many failures and abuses, Brazilians hadn’t protested much in recent years. They stayed at home and dutifully voted their candidate who didn’t meet their needs. Until yesterday. More and more Brazilians start to feel that this movement of massive protests is no longer to be stopped. The protests will grow in frequency and number, until…. What to do next, that is still an unanswered question. It is easy to protest, but really hard to put forward SOLUTIONS.
Meanwhile, in the Brazilian Human Rights Commission, headed by the very controversial ‘pastor’ Marco Feliciano. The commission approved a law proposal. This proposal needs to follow a long and complicated track until its final approval is a Brazilian law. Most probably, the proposal will be rejected, but the first step was already taken. This proposal is the so-called ‘Cura Gay’: ‘treatment of homosexuality’. It is only some weeks ago, that gay marriage became legalized in Brazil, and now is a law proposal in which homosexuality is considered as a (curable) disease. The proposal is explicitly not supported by the Brazilian government and the Brazilian Board of Lawyers; the proposal was written by the same Marco Feliciano and is fanatically supported by his faithful evangelic followers. Marco Feliciano already had made some striking and controversial statements, such as: “Africanos descendem de ancestral amaldiçoado por Noé. Isso é fato. O motivo da maldição é a polemica” (Africans are descendants of those who were cursed by Noach. This is a fact. This reason for the differences (between blacks and whites) is the curse.” And: ‘A podridão dos sentimentos dos homoafetivos levam ao ódio, ao crime, à rejeição. Amamos os homossexuais, mas abominamos suas práticas promíscuas’. The rottenness of homosexual feelings lead to hatred, crime, abjection. We embrace homosexuals, but despise their promiscuous activities.’
Tuesday: São Paulo
In São Paulo, there were massive protests for the sixth consecutive day. About fifty thousand people participated and occupied the big square in front of the Sé Cathedral. The crowd then moved to the prefecture building, office of the major and his staff. Small groups separated themselves from the crowd and started vandalism actions: spray-painting, breaking windows. With an iron pole, they tried to break open a side door. “Sem violênça!’ No violence! the crowd shouted. The most courageous among them created a human chain around the vandals in order to stop them. Elsewhere in São Paulo, vandals destroyed stores and looted them. Rumors went around that infiltrators of the police or politicians were responsible for these despicable actions, in order to discourage the protesters. According to some witnesses, the police didn’t intervene during these acts of vandalism.
Tuesday: Belo Horizonte
At about five pm, the avenue in front of the main entrance of the federal university became occupied by protesters. The crowded moved to the center, a distance of 10 km, to Praça Sete. On their way, at Lagoinha, they were welcomed by followers of the local baptist church. They sang and prayed. Praça Sete became occupied again. As a result, traffic jams. Like in São Paulo, small groups separated themselves from the crowd and started to destroy a local bank and local stores. Some vandals even threatened bus passengers, who waited in the traffic jam. Also in Belo Horizonte, there were rumors that infiltrators were present among the crowd. One video even showed that a person was changing clothes in the street, and that he was wearing a police uniform. It is not known whether the video is authentic. Meanwhile, the city council accepted the proposal, with a vast majority, to raise their salaries with no less than 34 percent. One year ago, they tried to obtain a 60 percent rise, but this proposal was vetoed by prefeito (major) Márcio Lacerda, as a result of massive protests.
More rumors were spread. Rumors with shocking news that President Dilma was about to shut down internet in Brazil for an undetermined period. Fortunately, it was quickly discovered that this message was a hoax. Later that day, the president declared that she was very proud of the Brazilian people, and that Brazil will become stronger.
Governor Anastasia of the state of Minas Gerais had requested the federal government for deployment of army units, in order to maintain order in Belo Horizonte. His request was granted. Special forces of the Federal Police will assist in five of six Confederations Cup host cities.
For now, protest will be held on a daily basis. Massive protests are announced for 20, 22, and 26 June. Through Facebook, uncountable invitations were sent for manifestations in almost all Brazilian cities.
Brazilian capitals with number of invitations confirmed:
Aracaju (SE): 20 June. 30,000
Belém (PA): 19 June. 19,000
Belo Horizonte (MG): 20 June 43.000 / 22 June. 27,000+97,000
Brasília (DF). 30 June. 33,000
Cuiabá (MT). 20 June. 32,000
Curitiba (PR). 21 June. 64,000
Florianópolis (SC). 20 June. 40,000
Fortaleza (CE). 19 June 46,000 / 20 June 10,000 / 21 June 12,000
Goiânia (GO): 20 June. 66,000
João Pessoa (PB): 20 June 31,000
Macapá (AP): 19 June. 8,000
Maceió (AL): 20 June. 22,000
Manaus (AM): 20 June: 53,000
Natal (RN): 20 June. 24,000
Palmas (TO): 20 June 13,000
Porto Alegre (RS): 24 June 29,000
Rio Branco (RO): 20 June 14,000
Recife (PE): 20 June. 95,000
Rio Branco (AC): 22 June. 10,000
Rio de Janeiro (RJ). 20 June 124,000
Salvador (BA): 20 June. 53,000
São Luís (MA): 22 June. 27,000
São Paulo (SP): 20 June. 127,000
Teresina (PI): 26 June. 2,000
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom