By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A survey from CNT/MDA has shown that an overwhelming majority of Brazilians do not approve of the Black Bloc, an anarchist outfit that has gained notoriety for its use of vandalism and violence at protests in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, with 93.4 percent of survey respondents reporting they disagree with the Black Bloc.
From the 2,005 people that were interviewed, 91.5 percent said they believe that the way the movement engages in protests is not legitimate. However, 81.7 percent of Brazilians surveyed support the right to protest in general. The study, conducted by the Confederation of Transportation, has an overall error margin of 2.2 percent.
The study took place from October 31st until November 4th in 35 municipalities and over 21 states in the aftermath of continued protests in Rio and São Paulo that frequently ended in burning trash cans, smashed windows and a trail of destruction in those cities’ centers.
In a similar study by Datafolha in October, 95 percent of the 600 people interviewed had condemned the deeds of the Black Bloc. In the same survey, support for the protests in general had fallen from 89 percent in June, when they began and soon reached their climax, to 66 percent. Some argue this decrease in support can be mainly attributed to the vandalism and rioting that has characterized recent demonstrations.
Recent protests, although smaller and driven by specific groups such as teachers, oil workers or opponents of the pre-salt auction, have continued in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo since their mass outbreak in June. They have been recently joined by protesters entirely dressed in black, who cover their faces and claim to support the so-called Black Bloc, an anti-capitalism anarchist movement.
While some eyewitnesses have reportedly seen Black Bloc members protecting protesters from increased police intervention at demonstrations, the attacks against banks, news stands, bus stations and other symbols of capitalism in the aftermath of the protests appear to have turned a solid majority of Brazilians against the group.
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