Demonstrations International Monitoring Platform
Brazil's freedon of speech has been threatened by police violence. This page is a tool to allow the international community to participate in monitoring actions and reactions of public institutions in moments of popular uprising.
- “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
― George Washington18/07/2013The stories of Brazil's recent popular demonstrations are well known around the globe. Nevertheless, different narratives have emerged as to the begining and limits of the police's actions in them. If you are in Brazil, it is possible to find a lot of information on damages and hoolingans, but political pressure and a neutrality that borders indiference can be observed on public channels of information in regards to the abuses imposed by the police force, body that should ensure citizen's freedon and right to oppose to the government.I do not intent to incite violence in any form or ask for intervention in a fight that belongs to the Brazilian people, what I do ask is for you, whom believes in freedom of a nation to fight for its rights to observe and spread this postings, to make it an international mechanism of control of abuses in public demonstrations by dissiminating the news of them. My intention in this is only to present here a glimmer of what happens in the streets in Brazil and gather questions, opinions, suggestions or to spread other stories and experiences.It is hard for every person to control what happens in circles of power and politics, but knowledge of actions that affects citizens main rights need to be shared since it can threat different democratic societies, as it is demonstrated by the following article;
- Transparency and publicity are the tools I choose to use here to inform and preserve respect for people in Brazil that only go to the streets or support the demonstrations in any way because they want to see some change in the system, any change. As the saying often attributed to Thomas Jefferson claims, dissent is the highest form of patriotism. It may not be true in every circumstance, but the freedom to decide what to agree with must be personal, it cannot be coerced by violence of any kind from any side, but in my opinion, especially not from the government.
- If you have not followed the begining of the demonstrations and wish to know, the article that I post next, in my opinion, describes well the reasons behind the waves of protests in Brazil. And next post will start to present the demonstrations and actions that might threat them.
- In a good note, I would like to bring forward a picture of a peaceful gathering that is happening right now, in Belen do Para, where artists and cultural producers are deliberating about needed policy changes and locations for future demonstrations. This meeting has been transmitted live by the independent media channel 'Ninja' that has been covering most demonstrations.
- After the last post and picture of the peaceful demonstration that I introduced here yesterday, maybe you are wondering why I am concerned and have started this platform. I will post next the images that have been circulating regularly on facebook of the protesters and also by the media in Brazil. It comes to show how the demonstrations ended wednesday at the most exclusive and expensive area in Rio. It is sad to see the destruction and I will never defende this kind of attitude, but it is clear to me, when I step back and look at the whole picture what is going to happen from now on, authorities will transform all the movement and demands from the people into these scarce scenes and change the focus of discussions completly once they lable the radical branch of the movement into terrorists.
- 19/07/2013Well, having watched the video, you probably agree with the authorities now, but let's keep in mind the reasons that were presented before for the begining of the demonstrations, in the article from the NYT, the sense of weariness coming from the population towards politicians is real and the lack of respect they treat citizens agravates it. The cumulation of this feeling led hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in every region of the country, and this is old news, but what is not shown or exposed by the media is the lack of response and lethargy observed in politicians when faced with those demonstrations.In Rio, where as far as I know the movement has turned into the most aggressive one, the governor of the state did not even make a public statement acknowleging the demands until after the second demonstration, which was the one I participated on and have reported the abusive treatment given by the police to everyone that was there peacefully while distruction was occuring on the other corner.I want to make it clear, once again that I do not wish to justify any actions or defend sides, but as I proposed at the beginig, I am looking towards the actions of the authorities, because in my understanding, they are the ones that should be blamed for this. If the demonstrations had been met with respect and regard, there would have been no room for violence. The next video was made in a protest that happened yesterday in Natal a northern state of Brazil. This type of unprepared reaction from the police has been recurrent since the first demonstration.
- Coming back to more recent times of the social movementation and the reasons for my assessment earlier, it is necessary to bring foward the statements presented today by authorities on the state of Rio de Janeiro. They intent to form a commission to investigate acts of vandalism, to learn the real motives of people practicing acts of vandalism during the demonstrations, who they are and what their connection is. Well, it is nice to hear that the authorities have decided to try to stop this type of action, because according to my experience in the demonstration and the reports from people present this week, the police stood on side streets shooting gas bombs at innocent demonstrators while the radical group shown on the video wiped out the the main street of that neighborhood. Earlier this week the governor had already declared that all the demands from the demonstrations against him had been planted by his political opponents, and moments ago he has accredited the acts of vandalism to international organisations.What the governor did not address on his 6 questions conference was the one of the social demands from the demonstrators. And again, repression will be nothing but stronger, and as we have seen before in history, violence generates violence, and the type of state violence faced by the crowd during demonstrations since the begining, may result in a tragic ending for the country.
- A big and constant supporter of all the criticism agains police actions in handling the protests is Amnesty International, they have been present in several demonstrations in Rio and released its positioning about the most recent one strongly supporting their first opinion and insisting that the vandilsm actions of a group of people can not justify the vandalist action of the State. The link before presents the testemony of the CEO of Amnesty International Brasil about the abuses witnesses by him.
- Other then all the political reactions today, July 19th we witnessed another demonstration that turned into acts of vandalism in Brazil, this time it was in Vitoria, state of Espirito Santo. The video that follows has been linked by the media to the protest today and there is no information of any type of reaction from local governments toward the demands of the protest that varied from transportation prices to other diversified demands.
- One of the pictures I selected that were also taken in the demonstration in Vitoria helps to display, even though the contrary is alleged by authorities, that there were protesters that intented to demonstrate their needs and demands, and this is only one of them.
- Furthermore the day has been filled with accusations against the police force in Rio. All the actions that I will shortly describe here have been circulating on the internet and some media outlets, anger is still building up and authorities only address the violence, and not any demands.1- The video that follows presents the charges brought foward from a demonstrator that participated on the protest Wednesday. He accuses the police of trying to plant evidence to incriminate him and other protesters, this plan has failed only because in the moment of the arrest, he was recording what happened and once at the police station he proved how the approach of the police had been like, including name callings, physical aggressions and direct hostility toward woman that were also peaceful protesting.
- 2- Another victinm of police violence in Rio on wednesday Bernardo Seabra Machado Soares recorded the following testemonial of his arrest in events that took place on the day of the demonstration. The facts described by Bernardo resembles a lot the case described and shoot on a cell phone before, except Bernardo was not recording it, therefore he was charged of conspiracy with 5 other people that he declares he had never met before that night. He describes himself asking the lawyer that was volunteering at the police station if that would be any way to avoid being arrested if you attend any demonstration, and she told him no, at the end he is really angry and says he will be back.
- 3- The following material was recorded in the same demonstrations and it shows clearly an undercover police officer hindding his gun after the person who was being threatened sees the camera and yells at them. After the recording begins the police officer tryes to hide and avoid the camera. He does not present any ID, or authorization for the gun, the only evidence of who the officer is comes from the police car that waits for him in site.
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