Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brazil: partial victories for protesters

After the President Dilma Rousseff decided, much more wisely than Turkey's Erdogan, to publicly acknowledge that the protesters have at least some reason, not just with bus tariff rise but even with the issue of excessive waste for the World Cup while social expenditure is neglected, masterfully realigning herself with the popular feeling, many state and local authorities have stepped back and even announced reductions in the public transport fares. 

However this trend has not been uniform through the federative state. The cities of Porto Alegre, Joao Pessoa, Montes Carlos, Blumenau, Recife, Cuiabá, Manaus, Natal, Vitoria, Pelotas and Goiania have announced a reduction of the fare or the cancellation of planned rises. Even the Mayor of Sao Paulo, Fernando Haddad, who vocally opposed the protesters and justified repression in recent days, has left open the gate for such a pacifying move, while the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, has agreed to meet with the protesters. 

However the Governor of the state, Sérgio Cabral, rejected any concession, as did the Transport Secretary of the Federal District (Brasilia), José Walter Vázquez Filho. 

The demand to redirect some of the wasteful World Cup expenditures to social services, got an unlikely supporter: veteran football star Rivaldo. The former Barça star declared via Twitter:
It is a shame to be spending so much money in this World Cup while leaving schools and hospitals in precarious conditions.

Protest in Sao Paulo continue in any case, with a large demonstration marching through the city last night. A so-called black block caused some incidents but otherwise the protest was peaceful.

The Pase Livre (Free Pass) movement has only 40 affiliates but, to the surprise of all managed to summon more than a million people in the last days across the South American country.

Sources: Webguerrillero[es] (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4), Blog do Tsavkko[por].

Update: Tsavkko writes[por]: "Tariff rise revoked: we won the battle, the war is not over".

He denounces that this is done without touching the large private profits of the transport companies, therefore charging it to the citizens by other means.

Haddad and Alckmin (governor and mayor of Sao Paulo)
We please the people and we do not touch the profits
of the transport mafia! OK, buddy!

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