Friday, June 14, 2013

Brazil: brutal repression against Sao Paulo protests (again) - updated: more than 150 arrested, 10 injured, incl. 7 journalists

Our friend Tsavkko, the Angry Brazilian, narrates today in first person[por] the latest brutal repression suffered by protesters against the bus tariff rise in the largest city of the South American country. It happened tonight.

The protest began calmly: some 20,000 citizens although there was tension against PT members and sympathizers who for the first time showed up in the march. 

Military Police provocations began right away but the march continued peacefully even after the arbitrary and very violent arrest of a boy who did nothing to cause that attack and, later, of another protester who was helping a motorcycle rider. 

Provocations like these continued all the way. Police was obviously trying to trigger a pretext, any pretext, to justify their pre-designed violent repression. 

Eventually they did attack without any pretext, from several sides, as in an ambush. 

Tsavkko describes this as "a massacre", "the most brutal violence I have ever witnessed". Police attacked from all sides using brutal amounts of tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons.

After a most complicated "cat and mouse game" which lasted several hours. Meanwhile he witnessed many incidents: journalists attacked, people shot just for crying out "shame!", round up of students, brutal attacks against any group of people with no need of any pretext. 

Police even broke the video cameras in their own vehicles, with the obvious intent of hiding evidence and blaming demonstrators for that (however there is wide independent video-evidence of who did it in fact). 

Tsavkko says:

I have been in Pinherinho, I have participated in dozens of demonstrations before in Sao Paulo and Recife, I have been bathed in pepper gas, I was shot at several times (luckily they always missed) and I have seen police deployments absurdly huge, but today in Saop Paulo I have seen a battlefield. Today is a day to be named the Massacre of Passe Livre, sponsored by Alckmin and Haddad, two bandits of power. 

Police violence was so great that even usually tame media like Folha or Globo, have been forced to underline it with first pages or relatively balanced TV reports.

He concludes: tomorrow it will be better, today we were 20,000, tomorrow we will be 50,000

Today's call is at: Segunda, 17h, no Largo da Batata!

Update: at least 150 people have been arrested in the brutal repression, according to the attorneys of Free Pass Movement, which organized the demo.

At least 10 people were injured, seven of them journalists.

Some of the arrested have been accused of (go figure!) carrying vinegar with them, which can be used to counter the effects of tear gases (lemon also works pretty well). However police claims that the product can be used to make home-made bombs (what is absolutely false).

The cause of the struggle is the rise of the bus tariff in 3.20 reales (1.6 USD), which is a 7% rise. That means that before the rise the urban bus fare was already of ~22.90 USD, what is absolutely crazy (here it's around 1 euro).

Source: Webguerrillero[es].

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