The protest at Palácio Guanabara

If any of you follow the Eat Rio Facebook page you may have seen that Mrs Eat Rio and I went along to a protest at Palácio Guanabara last night and things turned pretty nasty. I guess I was going to tell you guys about what happened anyway, but after reading the coverage in O Globo, I feel even more determined to describe events as I saw them.

First of all, why did we go? I wrote a few posts about the wave of protests that spread across the country last month – at the time I broadly supported the issues that were being protested, but I was a little frustrated that most of the protests seemed to start at around 4pm, so by the time I had finished work they had mostly petered out. When I arrived into town from work last night, I heard that there was a protest against Rio State Governor, Sérgio Cabral. Cabral’s dishonesty and corruption are well known in Rio (and beyond) and I thought it a worthy issue to protest.

The protest itself centred around Palácio Guanabara, the headquarters of the Rio State government – it’s a beautiful building that was recently refurbished at a cost of R$19 million. As we arrived the scene was startling – this splendid cream building with row after row of heavily armed riot police lined up in front.

palácio-guanabara-protest

Row upon row of heavily armed police guarding the resplendent Guanabara Palace.

 

There was a fairly modest crowd milling around and a slight whiff of tear gas (something I had never experienced before – this would change dramatically before the end of the night).

We heard from others that there had been some police violence earlier (hence the smell of tear gas) and we saw a few walking wounded including one guy who had been hit right between his eyes (on the bridge of his nose) with a rubber bullet. But in general the atmosphere was low-key. There were a few people chanting a song once in a while, but it didn’t feel like there was much enthusiasm. I wandered around a took a few photos and noticed the rather strange sight of a group of men in suits standing up on the balcony of the palace and watching.

palácio-guanabara-protest

If you look up behind the police, you can see the group of people up on the balcony. They just stood up there watching. I’m not sure who they were, but it was strange the way they seemed to be watching us with mild interest.

 

Slowly the crowd of protesters started to grow and the chanting and songs got louder and more concerted. A huge caveirão rolled past to whistles and boos. I must say, the caveirão is a terrifying vehicle: huge, extremely heavily armoured with a turret perched on top – it would not seem out of place in a war-zone.

caveirão

A caveirão that we spotted earlier in the evening in Largo do Machado.

 

The presence of this vehicle seemed utterly inappropriate and disproportionate – words that would come back to me again and again in the next few hours.

At this stage there was still traffic passing along the road between the police and and the protesters and it was heartening to see truck drivers and bus passengers opening their windows and waving their support for the anti-Cabral protest. As the road filled with people, I noticed that residents in the apartment blocks nearby were flashing their lights to show support too:

[You may want to lower the volume before playing the videos, the levels are a bit high]

 

 

A little later a water-cannon truck arrived and became the focus for more indignation from the crowd. At this point I think it’s really important to point out that I had seen zero violence from the protesters. In the following video you can see there is a guy selling beer wandering through the crowd and the only thing thrown is a paper aeroplane.

 

 

A few minutes later I saw the guy on the water-cannon truck turn the water on. It was just dribbling out, but I decided it was time to start moving back. At the time it felt like I was being rather melodramatic – surely they weren’t just going to attack a group of people who were simply standing there and chanting slogans?

Unfortunately we had only just started to move when they turned the water-cannon on full force. At the same time the police fired tear gas into the crowd along with what they call bombas de efeito moral – it seems like a funny name – “bombs that affect morale” – but there is nothing funny about having one of these things explode nearby. A better translation would be stun grenades. We later realised they were also firing rubber bullets.

As you can imagine, all hell broke loose. As everyone ran down the road away from the water-cannon, the gas overtook us and I found my eyes streaming, nose running and my lungs burning. As far as I can tell, the gas must dissolve in liquid, because the tears covering my cheeks were burning as much as my eyes. As  the crowd ran in panic, I grabbed onto Mrs Eat Rio as hard as I could.

palácio-guanabara-protest

Running from the advancing riot police as they continued to fire tear gas.

 

Further panic set in as more tear-gas cannisters landed in front of us. It was rather like drowning – you couldn’t take another breath because the gas was all around, but all the exertion of running meant you had to take a breath. Eventually we managed to outrun the gas and stood spluttering and spitting and wiping our faces, gasping in some good clean air.

Then I heard it – people were shouting warnings because the police were coming after us. I turned and managed to take a quick video as they advanced before we turned and ran.

 

 

As we ran, we saw some kids were throwing rubbish out onto the street and looking for things to throw back at the advancing police, but the vast majority were just frantically trying to escape. In the panic everyone turned down a street that headed towards Praça São Salvador (I think).

Then we saw that the police were already there waiting for us – people held up their hands and tried to turn the corner. One idiot in front of me had picked up a bottle and threw it at the police and I just had time to curse him and tell Mrs Eat Rio to look out. Next thing we knew they opened fire from no more than 15 metres away. Everyone ran for cover in a bar called either Bar Brasil or Casa Brasil. As the stun grenades came in we all crowded together and tried to shelter on the floor.

Then the gas came. The entire bar filled with gas – far worse than we’d experienced before. You couldn’t see more than a metre in front of you because it was so thick and everyone was panicking, trying to clamber over chairs, tables and other people. It was utterly terrifying and in the chaos I lost Mrs Eat Rio. I now understand how people lose each other in disasters – it was pure survival and after taking a deep breath full of gas I started to panic.

 

This was the moment that the kid in front of me threw the bottle. You can see Mrs Eat Rio (in the orange t-shirt) at about 30 seconds in. The way the bar fills with gas makes me shudder – we were in the thick of it. 

 

Somehow I got out. I ran around the corner and saw with huge relief that Mrs Eat Rio was out in front of me. When the gas cleared a little we went tentatively back to see if anyone was hurt. The bar was a mess and there were a few people lying on the ground dazed. The feelings of anger and fear towards the police were palpable.

bar-brasil

The aftermath.

 

There were only a few of us who had gone back, but the line of police was still there. A waiter from the restaurant was picking up chairs and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Then the police fired more tear gas – I remember being amazed that they would be so vindictive. I realised that this was no longer about crowd control – the dogs had been let off the leash and now they were having their fun.

We turned to run and the police passed us on motorbikes, hunting down other groups of protesters who were trying to get away. A kind doorman let a whole lot of us in through the gates of his compound and we hid in an underground car park for a while.

Eventually we got out of the war-zone and made it to a bar. We sat there for about 20 minutes without saying a word, just staring into space, utterly shell-shocked. When a police car went past, I flinched and realised I was actually scared of them, these public servants.

Someone on Facebook commented on a video I linked to, saying that it looked like the police had turned a peaceful protest into a violent one, but I’d go further than that. I did not see any violence before they turned on the water cannon. After that it was just a vindictive (though well organised) attack perpetrated by the police as 99% of people tried to escape the gas, the stun grenades and the rubber bullets. The fact that a handful of kids threw a few stones and bottles afterwards was insignificant and hardly deserves a mention in the context of the event.

I wouldn’t like to experience anything like that ever again, but I don’t regret going to the protest. I can see how events like this can radicalise people (not that I’ve been radicalised!) and seeing the behaviour of the police for myself has given me a far clearer insight into the way that Brazil polices its people. The fact that O Globo‘s report puts the emphasis squarely on protester violence and vandalism is shameful.

42 replies
  1. carlos eduardo
    carlos eduardo says:

    There are examples of this all the time elsewhere in the world, and it comes down to this, leftism does not tolerate even peaceful dissent. Corruption is tolerated, and vigorously defended. But dissent, no. Why do you think the Obama administration used the IRS to intimidate non-leftist political groups in the USA? Leftists do not tolerate dissent, and they will ultimately use any means necessary to squelch it. You saw it with your own eyes.

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Carlos – are you seriously saying that corruption and repressive policing are unique to left wing governments? If we look back through history (and around the world right now) it seems to me the the reasons behind such practices are a little more complicated than “left bad, right good”.

      Reply
      • carlos eduardo
        carlos eduardo says:

        No, you are correct. I expressed my opinion poorly. I feel that left and right are equally less than good. For sure far right governments oppress dissent no less vigorously than far left ones do. Same goes for corruption. Actually I think Brazil is one of the showcase examples of this. Brazil went through a period of far right military based governance. And we all know what their track record was as far as tolerating dissent and allowing corruption was. Ironically, one of the leaders of the dissent was the current president, Dilma herself. And now she presides over a government that is extremely corrupt, and apparently is in favor of oppressing peaceful dissent. I haven’t heard her speak out against the type of military excesses that you yourself experienced first hand, so I conclude that she is in favor of it or at very least will tolerate it. No government anywhere is ever going to be perfect, because people make up the government and people are not perfect. But I think centrist governments do the best job. I think Brazil is going in that direction, and will eventually get there. They’ve had no government, and saw that that was bad. They’ve had far right government, and saw that that was bad. They now have pretty far left government, and it seems to me that an awful lot of people are saying the government they have is not acceptable. What’s left except to move to the center?

        Reply
        • Phil
          Phil says:

          Isn’t it the case that the police have been sent in by the governors, and not by the Federal government? If that’s true, then Dilma can hardly be blamed for their deployment or their actions. I don’t know how people feel about local control in Brazil, but here in the US it’s taken very seriously, and Federal intrusions on states’ rights are very unpopular.

          I don’t know if Dilma has specifically spoken out against police violence, but she has repeatedly condemned *all* forms of violence associated with the protests. If she started to single out specific states and criticized the way that their governors have handled the demonstrations, she could be treading on dangerous ground, and I’m not sure it would accomplish anything.

          What she has done is to propose a plebiscite which would allow the voters to give their input on a series of ideas, several of which would bring about significant changes in Brazil’s political structure. This plebiscite has been opposed by Congress, and its future is uncertain.

          She also met with leaders of the protests.

          People may disapprove of Dilma’s actions, and I feel that she was slow to respond to the protests. But when you compare the way her government has handled this situation to other governments which have seen large-scale protests (Turkey, Egypt, Bulgaria), she acted quickly and at least attempted to address the concerns raised by protesters.

          I tend to agree that centrist governments are a good thing, but the protesters are asking for more government services, not less, and I’m not sure if increased government spending is something centrist parties will support.

          Reply
          • carlos eduardo
            carlos eduardo says:

            I disagree that the protestors are asking for more government services. An example: If I paid you to do a service, and you did not do the service, would I be asking you to do more by asking you to do what I paid you for? I think the answer is no. I think mainly Brazilians are demanding to get at least some of what they already pay a lot for, better public education, better health facilities, better transportation. Most of the money that should and could get spent on these things goes into the pockets of corrupt public officials and their associates network. I know a guy, in Rio, won’t say his name, but what he does is facilitate BNDES loans for people. And he charges a 10% “fee” for doing it. This guy is no longer a government official, but he was for a long time. Pure corruption.

          • Phil
            Phil says:

            Carlos, you make a valid point. I should have written “better delivery of government services” instead of “more government services.” I agree with you that corruption is a big problem. It’s not only wasteful, it erodes public confidence.

        • tomlemes
          tomlemes says:

          Hey Carlos – thanks for your clarification and I agree with your points. One of the most interesting periods of my education was spent studying 20th century dictatorships and what became clear from this is that extremism from the left and the right are, for many intents and purposes, almost indistinguishable.

          In the UK you often hear people complain that the main political parties are “basically just the same” – I’m not sure I agree with that actually, but I think partly reflects the fact that the majority of well educated, balanced people who know anything about history and politics tend to reject extremism and move to the centre ground.

          Reply
    • Cesar
      Cesar says:

      The military police (PM) is under direct control of the state’s governor – in this case, Sergio Cabral. The governor is from PSDB, a originally-center-left-turned-center-right political party that nowadays is the major opposition to the left-wing govern of president Rousseff and the Workers’ Party (PT) .

      In short, you are blaming the left – and, implicitly PT government – for center-right violent repression carried out by the opposition to PT – the PSDB.

      Reply
      • Alexandre R.
        Alexandre R. says:

        The governor is from PMDB, not PSDB. PMDB is actually the main ally of PT in Federal Government.

        Reply
          • The Gritty Poet
            The Gritty Poet says:

            Sergio Cabral belong to the PMDB party, which is the LARGEST supporter in both congress and senate of the ruling PT party (of both Dilma and Lula). The PSDB party has nothing to do with any of this. How you can make such huge mistake, misinform and ultimately cast blame on so called “center-right repression”? It is suspicious to say the least. Did it not cross your mind that the readers of this blog actually read newspapers and would not fall for such a blatant lie?

          • Cesar
            Cesar says:

            @ Gritty.

            It was a mistake. That’s why i came back and, before you even have posted your comment, replied to the commentator who rightfully corrected me acknowledging that. True, psdb has nothing to do with what happened in rio.

            But, the main issue stand: the repression was carried out by a centrist party, so doesn’t make sense use it to imply that left wing is intrinsically repressive/intolerant – as the original poster have done.

            Also, pmdb is the ‘largest’ supporter of pt just because it is the largest party in the country – so i really don’t get what you are trying to say (or imply).

            On top of that, giving the fact that pmdb have, systematically, dumped pt’s propositions (like the plebiscite for the political reform or, earlier, the old project of 100% of oil royalties to education), and, specially after June’s protests and the fall of the popular approbation rate of Dilma, started to publicly criticize the president, we can hardly call them ‘supporters’ of pt right now – although, officially, they are.

            PS: it’s funny to see you putting the newspapers as a remedy to my mischievous plan to misinform people on the internet. If those people read, for instance, Folha de sao paulo they would think that Tom and Mrs eat rio where ‘confronting’ police – instead of being cowardly attacked by them.

          • Jorge
            Jorge says:

            Ok. Sergio Cabral is officially from PMDB, but I always remember him as PSDB guy, as he used to belong in there, and he still thinks as a right-wing politician, that is waht he is. So, you are not completely wrong. He only belongs do PMDB now to become part of Federal Government. He is just an opportuniste, the minimum i can say to be kind with him.

          • Alexandre R.
            Alexandre R. says:

            There is no Brazilian right-wing party here in Brazil, which supports larger individual and economic freedom Jorge. Unfortunately all Brazilian jornalists, teachers and artists have been brainwashed by half of century of gramscianism in Brazilian universities and schools. If you study a little what classical liberalism and conservative thinking stands for you would not say such thing (he still thinks as a right-wing politician). But study in trustable sources, not wikipedia. Look up for Hayek, Burke, Ayn Rand, Kirk,… and check what right wing thinking really is.
            PSDB is a center left party. Its difference from PT is that PSDB is at least democratic.
            Second, Sergio Cabral has been in PMDB for over a decade, so he doesn’t “just belong to PMDB to become part of Federal Governament”. He has changed to PMDB well before Lula was elected.

          • The Gritty Poet
            The Gritty Poet says:

            So sad, and true what Alexandre R. has written: most people in Brazil, including journalists and academics, haven’t the faintest idea concerning what makes up classical liberalism. They even consider a politician like José Serra to be a right winger (only an atrocious “education” in political science could lead someone to such a conclusion).
            In addition to Alexandre’s great recommendations below is a good place to start learning what teachers in Brazil should have been exposing students to, and juxtaposing with other schools of thought (instead of forever indoctrinating their pupils to think as they do). http://www.acton.org/research/lord-acton

  2. Isabelle
    Isabelle says:

    I live in Montreal in Canada. Last year, we had 9 months of protest when the government decided to increase tuition fees, and the same pattern happened. The protesters were always pacific, only chanting slogans and taking over streets. But one night the police force decided to disperse the protesters using tear gas and plastic bullets, that incident caused a dramatic violence escalade in the following protests. At some point, protesters even had to break the pavement to have rocks to throw to the police forces in order to defend themselves. Some people nearly died in the process and some have permanent consequences of injuries that they got in the riots. People were randomly arrested, it was 9 months of chaos. And as it seems to also be the case in Brazil right now, the media were only reporting the police’s point of view, the truth about what was really happening had to be found in the social media. Keep up the good work Tom, people need to know what is happening. You have Quebec’s support 🙂

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi there Isabelle – thanks for you message! 🙂 I think you only really understand this problem with the press when you see something with your own eyes and then see a warped version of events in the newspaper. It is maddening to see the media colluding with the corruption of the politicians and the brutality of the police. No wonder social media makes politicians nervous!

      I have to say I hated the fact that some people (and it was only a few) were throwing stones. Especially when the guy in front of us started throwing things at the cops – as soon as I saw it I could instantly that we were all going to suffer for one fool’s pathetic gesture. I wish genuine protesters could somehow distance themselves from young kids that, in reality, just want to show up and have some ‘fun’.

      But the one thing I think is really important to point out is that no one threw a thing (apart from that paper aeroplane) until long after the tear gas and the stun grenades were landing around us.

      Thanks for the support – we appreciate it!

      Reply
      • Chris Dunn
        Chris Dunn says:

        It is only the minority 0.1% of protestors looking to throw stones, loot and cause problems but these idiots are 100% of Globo news! Fortunately most people see beyond this… the nicest article I read about the protests, indeed it was aired by the BBC was from a young guy in Sao Paulo, who lived a reasonable life, he stated he was not protesting for himself, he was protesting for others who truly suffer for the state of affairs in Brasil, corruption, high taxation, poor education and public health care and the impossible cost of living……. Brasil is not only for rich people and it should not be only for corrupt ‘elected’ politicions! And is it democratic that by law, people must vote even when they have no respect for the delegates……………..

        Reply
  3. Chris Dunn
    Chris Dunn says:

    Excellent article Tom, quite please I left Rio on Wednesday night otherwise I would have been there too. I had enough of tear gas and rubber bullets when I was in the British Army and we only used them when it was absolutely necessary, certainly not against peaceful protesters. Actually it was against the rules of engagement to fire rubber bullets directly at crouds, they had to hit the ground first to reduce the impact. As for the Rio police being public servants, the only people they serve is themselves! Keep up the blog, great reading and try to stay out of trouble 🙂

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      “Try to stay out of trouble” – ha ha! After last night you can count on it! 😉

      I have to say in a rather stupid way I was quite curious to know what tear gas is like, but I don’t ever want to breathe it again. Horrible, horrible stuff. Thanks for your comment – it’s interesting to hear the view of crowd-control measures (tear gas etc) from someone who has been properly trained to use them.

      Reply
  4. Miriam GM
    Miriam GM says:

    Thank you for your report. Very accurate and unbiased. I don’t think Sergio Cabral will ever get it right. But one thing is for sure, he’s no leftist, nor anything else remotely related to ideology, He’s just dishonest, deeply rooted greedy demagogue, pure and simple.

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Thanks Miriam – I have the same impression. This man doesn’t strike me as some socialist fighting for the rights of the proletariat! No man that uses public money to send a helicopter to pick up clothes for his wife can have his ideology taken seriously. The problem here isn’t his politics, but his dishonesty and greed.

      Reply
  5. Alexandre R.
    Alexandre R. says:

    Real target of the protests should be the Godfather Lula. I would never go to a protest that is supported by tons of leftist parties and movements that simply froze Brazilian reforms for the last 10 years. Yesterday’s protests were totally “chapa-branca”, as we say in Brazil: http://rodrigoconstantino.blogspot.com.br/2013/07/profissao-manifestante.html
    That is why the protest Yesterday has only mobilized 5,000 people.
    There was a LOT of vandalism yesterday on Centro, Flamengo and Laranjeiras, just as in all previous protests. You may not have seen them, but they left their mark, showing that police presence is needed.
    To me the best analysis of June’s protests is from Rodrigo Constantino: http://rodrigoconstantino.blogspot.com.br/2013/06/brincando-de-revolucao.html

    Reply
  6. Alexandre R.
    Alexandre R. says:

    Just to complement my message above, I am really sorry for what you have gone through, and good thing nothing bad has happened to you or to your wife.

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Thanks Alexandre, I appreciate your additional comment 😉

      Regarding your other comment, I agree 100% percent that a police presence was necessary. In fact I believe there should be a police presence at any large gathering of people, whether it is a music festival, a football match or a protest. When there is a chance that a minority may attack homes or businesses then the police have a duty to be there and prevent such behaviour.

      However, what I witnessed last night was nothing to do with carrying out a duty to protect and serve and the public or uphold law and order. It was all about repressing a peaceful protest on behalf of the politician who was being protested against.

      Reply
  7. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Good to know you guys are alright.

    By reading the post it seems to me that the only thing which could have triggered such a reaction from the Police was the embarrassment the protest was inflicting on the governor. Why else would the police receive orders to act this way against a peaceful crowd? FYI – observe the manners this governor displayed when dealing with complaints cast by a student some time ago. What an authoritarian, coarse, and immature man

    Reply
    • Phil
      Phil says:

      Gritty, you’re assuming that the *extent* of the police response was based solely on orders from above. You may be right, of course, but isn’t it at least *possible* that their response went well beyond their initial orders? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that police in a situation like this went further than anyone originally planned. As Tom said, the demonstration turned into something resembling a war zone, and this sort of over-reaction occurs even with trained soldiers.

      Anyone who reads Tom’s blog on a regular basis knows that he’s not prone to hyperbole (well, except perhaps when describing a new food or drink he’s just experienced). He has been a reliably moderate and unbiassed commentator when writing about politics. His first-hand report of this latest excess is all the more chilling because of this.

      On a related but separate note, it’s interesting to read comments from people trying to blame this on so-called “leftist” political leaders or various political parties, with some even trying to imply that the police response can be attributed to the PT (you didn’t do that, Gritty, though I thought that you were somewhat harsh when a commenter made an honest error in identifying Cabral’s party affiliation). Unless these claims can be proven, they are irresponsible and serve no purpose.

      As almost everyone agrees, *some* sort of police presence is required for public demonstrations, to maintain order. But there’s a big difference between the police being visible and ready to act, and what Tom described. Citizens should be able to gather and engage in free speech without unprovoked police persecution.

      The bottom line is that we have a first-hand report from Tom that is in direct conflict with the coverage provided by Globo. At the very least, this shows that, contrary to the report in Globo, the police over-reacted, and that Globo, at least in *this* case, showed a pro-police bias. I do not think we have sufficient proof to establish that Globo has a bias in favor of the PMDB, let alone the PT. Nor can we conclude that either of these parties supports the repressive police actions, which Tom accurately labels as “disproportionate.”

      Reply
      • The Gritty Poet
        The Gritty Poet says:

        Phil,
        I agree that it is hard to know what exactly triggered the police to respond as they did. What we do know is that they ultimately answer to the governor, and that is where the blame should be placed (even if he did not personally order them to act as they did; they are nonetheless under his command).

        As for Tom’s recount I found the following observation rather interesting,

        “As we ran, we saw some kids were throwing rubbish out onto the street and looking for things to throw back at the advancing police, but the vast majority were just frantically trying to escape. In the panic everyone turned down a street that headed towards Praça São Salvador (I think).
        Then we saw that the police were already there waiting for us”

        It appears the police at least had their logistics in order (which is great) but really failed when it came to execution (terrible, as Tom witnessed). I wonder if the idea behind their strategy is to wait, and only start dissuading after a certain amount of people have converged (perhaps they have concluded that there is tipping point when it comes to number of protesters correlating to things getting out of hand – hence it is best to disperse at that point.
        Of course this is just a hypothesis on my part, but one think is for sure: security forces need to improve.

        Reply
        • Phil
          Phil says:

          Interesting points, Gritty, but it seems a bit inconsistent to say that the blame falls on the governor, when you hypothesize that the police may have been making decisions independent of any central command (a reasonable hypothesis, by the way). I think that we agree that a police presence is necessary during demonstrations, so the governor probably had no choice but to order them to be there.

          The question then becomes how did things deteriorate so quickly, and did the governor have reason to believe that the police would engage in unprovoked violence? I’m not defending Cabral, but even if (for the purpose of discussion) we were to decide that he’s to blame, it’s still something of a stretch to extend the blame to his political party or his political allies, especially on a national level.

          Reply
  8. Marcelo lima
    Marcelo lima says:

    Thanks for your report.I was there and i saw,exactly the same thing that you do.It was shameful saw that behaved of the police.They really chase people around.The police in the motorcycle was the most horrifyng thing i saw, they trown rubber bullets and gas in a point,the people ran,and they pick up their motorcycle and drive around the block and pick up the same group at the opposite part.It was unbelievable.The dogs had been let off the leash is a perfet narrative of what was happening.Next sunday,14 july it will be another at lgo do machado at 15:00 o clock.From there we will go to the Guanabara Palace again.I will be there.You know why?Because that kind of thing only give me more strenght to go to the streets and fight for justice.For end of an terrifyng social injustice that we have here.
    Thank you very much for your description of what happened,it was perfect.Ah,and the Globo is other thing that is outrageous.Globo was build on our military dictatorship years-1864-1985.They are the media support that help construct that social injustice that we lived in Rio and Brazil.
    please saw that documentary of BBC that explain what is Globo.The name is Far beyound Citizen Kane and have English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77TKLQ1op34

    Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Marcelo – it’s great to hear from someone else who was there. I had the same feeling about the police on motorbikes – they were able to attack people and then chase them and attack them a second and third time.

      I smiled when I saw your link to the documentary Beyond Citzen Kane – I just heard about this documentary a few days ago and was looking for a link. Ideally I would like to find a link to the original film (in English), because it is a bit distracting to watch a film in English which has been dubbed in Portuguese and and then has English subtitles added! But I will watch this in one form or another – as the saying about history goes, you can’t understand the present if you don’t know about the past.

      Reply
  9. Jorge
    Jorge says:

    Hi Tom. As a Brazilian journalist, i would like to say that yours was one of the best reports I’ve read about protests in Palacio Guanabara this week. Great job! Take care.

    Reply
    • Jorge
      Jorge says:

      BTW, I reached your website looking for an image for Brazilian “coxinha” for my humour website. If you allow me to use your image, I will sure link it to your great blog. Thanks.

      Reply
    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Jorge – thanks so much for your kind words. Although I have some doubts and problems with ‘the press’ in Brazil, I have a lot of respect for Brazilian journalists and I understand that not all journalists are in collusion with the misrepresentation that appears to be happening in some of the larger media outlets.

      Regarding the coxinha post, I wrote that a looong time ago! 🙂 If the image you are referring to is the funny diagram Anatomia de coxinhaj I must confess this image is not mine to give – the credit is included below the image on the post: here.

      Thanks again for your comments – I’ve signed up to your blog and I look forward to reading more of your words. 🙂

      Reply

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  1. […] manifestações de ontem (11 de julho) no Rio de Janeiro, e sofreu na pele a brutalidade policial, escreveu em seu site: “agora entendo como eventos como esse podem radicalizar as pessoas”. Tais […]

  2. […] manifestações de ontem (11 de julho) no Rio de Janeiro, e sofreu na pele a brutalidade policial, escreveu em seu site: “agora entendo como eventos como esse podem radicalizar as pessoas”. Tais […]

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