June 21, 2013
“I send you greetings from the office of the General Secretary as my fellow citizens in Brazil have taken to the streets in protest against the increase in public transportation fares, the bad quality of education, the precariousness of the health system, the inadequacy of the existing infrastructure, calling for a better quality of public transportation, opposing the high disbursement of public resources for the construction of soccer stadiums (modern stadiums that cost more than US $3,500 millions), and against corruption. Last Thursday alone there were protests in more than 100 cities. 'We want schools that meet FIFA standards,' say posters carried by the demonstrators.
However, they are not manifestations against the government. They are protests in favor of a better Brazil. The right says that the protestors are yesterday's poor that have achieved a better condition of life with the governments of Lula and Dilma, and that now they want more. What the right considers as being a lack of gratitude, President Dilma considers a legitimate popular manifestation. "The streets are telling us that we can do better,” says the president.
It is natural that there are more aggressive smaller groups, called vandals, among the thousands of demonstrators. The communication media focuses on them and the disproportionate reaction of the police that fire tear gas bombs and rubber bullets. Yet, the absolute majority of demonstrators protest in a peaceful way, exercising their civic right to be publicly heard. The country of soccer, during these days, is scoring highly in democratic demonstrations. Long live democracy.
It would be good to hear analyzes of this situation by the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil (CONIC)(1), the Ecumenical Youth Network (REJU), and the member churches and organisms of CLAI in Brazil.”
(1) See: CONIC Asks For Less Circus and More Justice in Brazil: http://www.alcnoticias.net/interior.php?lang=688&codigo=24133
Photo: Protests in Brazil (ALC)
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