By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Around 100,000 people are expected to protest in the city center of Rio today against the bill that would redistribute an estimated R$77 billion the state by 2020 from oil royalties. According to calculations made by State Secretary of Economic Development, if the bill passes the state of Rio will lose R$3.4 billion in 2013 alone.
The protesters, who will be arriving at around 2PM today, will be speaking on behalf of the campaign “Veta, Dilma!” (Veto it, Dilma!), that asks President Dilma Rousseff to veto the bill and save the state from the losses it would result in.
The law would see oil royalties distributed between Brazilian states, instead of keeping the profit in Rio de Janeiro only. The campaign against the bill claims that this is an unfair move as the state also suffers from exploring oil and other states don’t.
The “Veta, Dilma” campaign was organized by the state government and will bring protesters from all over the state of Rio to Centro by special buses. Centro’s main roads will be blocked from early on in the morning to ensure everyone arrives in time.
State and federal congressmen are expected to turn up, along with state secretaries, mayors, performers and artists. Espirito Santo governor Renato Casagrande will also be present.
Choreographer Carlinho de Jesus told O Dia: “The petroleum is ours, the redistribution of royalties is unthinkable. The damages that come with oil exploration, now that’s something no one wants to share.”
Rio de Janeiro governor Sérgio Cabral is confident the President will veto the bill. He said, in a meeting in preparation of the protest last week, that the state would not accept the law if it came into action and that the real issue was the royalties regarding current business deals.
Cabral said: “Now, when it is proposed that current contracts are invaded, we will not accept it and we ask for a veto from President Dilma.”
More information about the blocking of avenues and streets in Centro can be found here and organizers of the protest ask that those attending use public transport as opposed to cars.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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