The Protests in Sao Paulo

It seems that Brazilian activists have taken matters they consider serious into their own hands. As the world watches Brazil for the world cup the opportunity to bring to light what has been plaguing the country for many years it seems.

Much like SignTech paperless forms Brazil is looking for development, the people are concerned, tired and have had enough of bad policies in the country and very much like the paperless business forms company, the country decided to do something about it.

The protests started in 2013, about the time of the Confederations Cup. The demonstrations started to protest against the increase in prices such as transportation, buses, trains in some cities but then picked up pace and momentum and soon issues such as government corruption were being protested and police brutality. By the middle of last year it has become Brazil’s largest protest since 1992 against then president Fernando Collor de Mello.

Over 2 million Brazilians participated in these protests from 300,000 in Rio de Janerio (the world cup host city) to 15,000 in Fortaleza.

The police had been said to use extreme measure such as tear gas, stunners, and excessive force to stop or control these protests and this unfortunately resulted in over 10 deaths, 250 injuries and more than 600 people were arrested.

In turkey something similar was happening at that time. Protesters were marching against the “authoritarianism of Erdoğan, violation of democratic rights, media censorship and disinformation, corruption of government officials, among others, prime minister going as far as blocking Twitter and YouTube in the country due to statuses and videos giving evidence of his corruption. Police attacked protesters and journalists alike, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets, beating them brutally and using water cannon against them, even hitting a man in wheelchair and water-cannoning a hospital.”  [Wikipedia]

In Brazil the protesters are outraged that the government could spend so much money hosting the world cup and 2016 summer Olympics when there are much dire needs in the country such as health care, social services, transportation and educational problems that should be taken care of. Outside the stadiums the airports, and the streets of Rio de Janerio are filled with school teachers to airport workers everyone has their reasons for protesting the world cup.

There have been questions raised about how the Brazilian police force is handling these situations and whether excessive force is being used. There was an incident where CNN news anchor as well as a photographer working for the AP news agency was reportedly hit by a stun grenade thrown by the Sao Paulo police force in response to the protests.

Some of them have been seen to lead to violence, from homemade bombs to fires being set, cars tipped over. But others like the peaceful silent protest in Rio where about 100 demonstrators sealed their mouths shut to symbolise their voices being silenced by police repression, which led to the death of a number of protesters (most recently a teenager was killed during one of the protests).

Although many of the results have been quite tragic some of the things being protested for have been accomplished like the reduction in the prices of public transport (Metro, Train and Bus), Revocation of (Bill - PEC 37) that hindered the Public Ministry to investigate, The end of all taxes on public transport (metro, train, bus and ship), Destination of petroleum royalties to education (75%) and Health (25%), National Pact to improve education, health, public transport, and the National Pact for fiscal responsibility and control of inflation. That is the silver lignin of all the tragic events during these protests. I am all for the good kind of political reform and the progress of a nation but the collateral damage (on both the protesters and law enforcement’s side) is something that we at SignTech and nether should anyone support.

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