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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Representatives from dozens of social movements met in Brasília on Thursday (August 13th) to show solidarity with Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, before scheduled mass protests in the country’s major cities against the government on Sunday, August 16th. Rousseff, who was present at the meeting, heard several statements of support from social movement leaders who said they would not allow for the impeachment of the President.

President Rousseff speaks to leaders of social movements in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
President Rousseff speaks to leaders of social movements in Brasília, photo by Fabio Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil.

“Coup organizers use social dissatisfaction to impose their political project and attack democracy,” said Guilherme Boulos, coordinator of the Homeless Workers’ Movement. According to Boulos those who are organizing the protests live in upper middle class neighborhoods in large Brazilian cities, and do not represent the Brazilian population.

There were some that went even further. Vagner Freitas, president of the Central Workers Union said Rousseff supporters would be willing to go to extremes to protect the President. “This means going to the streets, entrenched, with arms in hand, if they try to overthrow President Rousseff. Any attack on you or on former President Lula, will [turn us into] the army that will face this bourgeoisie,” he said to the crowd.

Later Freitas posted a message on CUT’s website stating he was misunderstood and that when he spoke of arms he was talking about ‘arms of democracy, which is the fight for rights, organized protests, respecting differences’.

Rousseff spoke for almost an hour to representatives, stating that her administration had and will continue to work towards a more equal Brazilian society. “Democracy is something we must preserve at any cost,” said Rousseff to the audience.

The administration is fearful that mass protests announced for Sunday will destabilize her government even further, which is already shaken by the wave of corruption allegations against public servants and politicians, as well as a weakening economy.

According to one of the protests’ organizers, Movimento Brasil Livre (Free Brazil Movement), 114 cities have confirmed to hold protests, and more than one million people are expected to go to the streets and call for an end to widespread corruption, and some ask for the impeachment of the president. This is the third country-wide protest against the government this year.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The third protest this year says it all. Has anything changed. The problem with Brazil is they think marching in the street is the way to solve the corruption problem. Unfortunately a march in the street changes nothing. They march, the government spends a lot of money on security, and the next day nothing changes! They need to elect new leaders who are serious about cleaning up government corruption and beaurocracy, but this is no easy task. The excessive profit from being a politician is too incredibly rich and alluring for most people to pass up, so anyone elected falls into the sins immediately. Such a shame.

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