Protests Continue to Grow Across Brazil
The marches began with a protest in Sao Paulo against a small increase in bus and subway fares about two weeks ago.
At first, the demonstrations drew the scorn of many middle-class Brazilians after protesters vandalized storefronts, subway stations and buses on one of the city’s main avenues, but the movement gained support and spread to other cities as police used heavy-handed tactics to try to quell the demonstrations.
The biggest crackdown happened on Thursday in Sao Paulo, when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes that injured more than 100 people, including 15 journalists, some of whom said they were deliberately targeted.
The harsh police reaction to last week’s protests touched a nerve in Brazil.
Photo: A demonstrator with the Brazilian flag protests against the Confederation’s Cup and the government of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia June 17, 2013. Protesters are using the Confederation’s Cup as a counterpoint to their concerns. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelin
Thousands of Brazilians have protested in several cities over the past ten days, and organizers are planning for another march in Sao Paulo on Monday night.
Rising prices for public transportation was the original cause of the the protests, organized by Movimento Passe Livre. Since then, Brazilians have joined protests for various other reasons, including rising crime, income inequality, and corruption.
The protests are quickly becoming a sign of a weakening public confidence for Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The protest’s nickname “Salad Uprising” was coined in response to the arrests of those who carried vinegar with them as an aide against police tear gas.
Tumblr blog Salad Uprising is reporting to collect stories and pictures from demonstrations across Brazil (Reuters cannot confirm individual posts on external blogs; please message the Reuters on Tumblr if you seek more information on any news).
When police tried to disperse the crowd on Thursday in Sao Paulo, violence erupted, injuring dozens and leading to nearly 200 arrests.
Photo: posters read, “Dilma, we are the ones who pay for your housing” and “Communities exist.” REUTERS/Alex Almeida
The same tear gas is being used on Turkey and Brazil protesters, according to recent reports made by sources in both countries.
Last week, the Associated Press reported the tear gas used in Turkey was from Brazil. The tear gas is made by the Brazilian manufacturer Condor Non-Lethal Technologies. The company gave a statement regarding the use of its tear gas in Turkey’s recent protests:
The Rio de Janeiro-based Condor Non-Lethal Technologies SA confirmed that it sold the tear gas to Turkish security forces – adding that the gas is “specifically designed to temporarily incapacitate people without causing them permanent damage or death” – but deflected some of the furor by saying that other countries also export tear gas and other weapons to Turkey.
“Turkey is one of the countries to which exports the Condor, but the Turkish police buy such equipment from other vendors as well, including Americans and Koreans,” the company said in a statement.
Brazil’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed that a number of Brazilian companies export the so-called non-lethal weaponry to Turkey. It added that Brazil had no comment on alleged human rights violations occurring in Turkey as it does not meddle in the internal affairs of other nations.
“The use of tear gas in particular has reportedly resulted in a number of deaths of protestors and bystanders – and that number has reportedly risen in recent months,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told reporters in Geneva [in 2012]
A tear gas canister, shared on Instagram, is reported to have been used in Brazil (photo via Salad Uprising). UPDATE: the photo of the Brazilian tear gas canister appears to have been first reported here.
International Treaty Governing Tear Gas Trade Kept On Hold:
On April 2, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), regulating the global trade of arms and other items such as tear gas. While the treaty was signed by 72 countries, not including or Brazil, it requires 50 ratifications to go into effect. No country has yet ratified the ATT; Turkey has signed the treaty.
Amnesty International considers the ratification of the ATT to prevent weapons “flowing into countries where they are likely to be used to commit human rights atrocities - it can protect millions of people and save lives.”
However, no such claim to prevent excessive force by the league of industrialized nations, of which Turkey and Brazil are on the cusp of joining.
Greek Mythology: God and Goddesses | History Documentary
I don’t often post documentaries, but I watch a lot of them and this one was excellent.It answered a lot of cultural questions I’ve had about the Iliad and mythology in general, and explores the psychological workings of the ancient Greeks.