sábado, 22 de junho de 2013

Many questions about the protests

The beautiful moment now leads to many questions.


Who are they?
Common citizens, the civil society, an online phenomenon spreading to the streets, the middle class, the youth? It is still difficult to read this movement, and this must be particularly so for the government (be it at federal or state levels).


The big majority is clearly pacific, but there is a tiny minority willing to be violent. Did these two groups start from the same point and ended up behaving differently, or are they different right from the start?


There have been clashes between protesters (claiming an apolitical stance) and political groups.


What are they up against?
In my opinion, it is really difficult to assess. Are they against something specific or are they just demonstrating their (huge) discontent? I would go for the latter.


This vagueness can be a serious problem if all this continues


How is the media reacting?
That's a point that needs to be looked at carefully. Lots of homework to be done, although there is a general trend that is raising the following question: why are the media so gentle with the pacific protesters?


On the other hand, journalists have reportedly been targeted by the police, and sometimes by protesters.


How is the police doing?
They receive orders from the executive branch of the State, so this may explain the different ways they react. So far, they are handling the whole situation quite well by letting the crowds march without interfering much and by repressing whoever might appear a bit agitated. The fact that a large part of the crowds seem to belong to the middle class may be the reason for their restraint.

How is the federal government going to respond?
Dilma Rousseff addressed the nation. She lacks charisma, but Luis Nassif and others believe she got the situation right. This is a federation, so the States and the municipalities have an important role to play too. The ways these three levels of government relate to each other make Brazil particularly complex.


What are the motivations behind the scenes?
This kind of unrest opens doors for moves from actors that are alien to the protests. What kind of moves are being made, and by whom? 

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