Brazil: Media/Govt Attack Blac Bloc Protestors With Lies And New Anti-Protest Law

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Cops attack a photographer during demo, February 10, 2014. Military Police hurt him and broke his equipment. Foto: Francisco Chaves #MídiaInformal

The Brazilian state has unleashed unthinkable economic, political and racist oppression against its people for FIFA’s World Cup. In solidarity with the social activists and those using Black Bloc tactics in Brazil, there will be actions taken in Europe to pressure the state of Brazil stop its repression of social voices. Revolution News expresses solidarity with the Black Bloc and with all the social movements who fight for social justice and against oppression, and we ask the state of Brazil to stop criminalizing people for expressing dissent.

O governo brasileiro desencadeou uma opressão econômica, política e racista impensável contra seu povo para a Copa do Mundo da FIFA. Em solidariedade com os ativistas sociais e aqueles que utilizam táticas Black Bloc no Brasil, haverá ações tomadas na Europa para pressionar o governo do Brasil e assim pedir para pararem a repressão das vozes sociais. O Revolution News expressa solidariedade com os utilizadores da tática Black Bloc e com todos os movimentos sociais que lutam por justiça social e contra a opressão, e pedimos ao governo do Brasil a parar com a criminalização de pessoas que expressam uma dissidência.

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Photo: Josh Malik

On March 12th, the Brazilian State plans to enforce an inquisitorial laws which will ban any protests against the World Cup, labeling them as “terrorism.” There will be special tribunals set up, and the procedures will be expeditionary, not much different than Stalinist trials, where people can be put in jail from 15-30 years for “terrorism,” one of the most notoriously over used false allegations against activists.

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Frente Independente Popular – RJ: “We condemn the violence of the Police and armed forces against the civilian population on February 6th, when Rio de Janeiro saw new scenes of confrontation between angry people and police. During a protest against rising bus fares, the demonstrators who entered the Central station to perform a new “catracaço” and thus release the passage for the people, were harshly repressed with moral effect pumps, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and batons.
The “mainstream press” does not stop talking about the case of the cameraman of Band, but they keep silent that the police continued throwing bombs of moral effect and tear gas against demonstrators and journalists who sought to help him, even after realizing that there was an injured person. The fact is: Santiago Andrade is more a victim of the State because his injury (and now the unhappy death) is a result of the conflict and of the aggression launched by the police.”

To make these laws credible in the eyes of the public, authorities will need to fabricate a scapegoat. An “enemy of the people,” to hide the fact that the main functions of the new protest laws are to safeguard World Cup profits, and to cover up the economic oppression and forced evictions carried out by the state. Revenge is a key factor in using terrorism as an excuse for reaction: when a cop was killed after attacking a person in a favela in Sao Paulo, his colleagues were allowed to terrorize and execute residents.

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Cops go after people at random, pointing guns at babies, attacking people in bars and hotels, sometimes slaughtering them – they executed 3 people who were walking on the street and injured another. Their bosses encourage it: “The policemen who earn free pass to kill are those who then organize to exercise their powers without limits in the city and the state. Do you think society is getting safer because they kill? You are wrong. The facts show that this is the first step after they organize gangs and articulate the criminal world. To help criminals to rob you.” Mainstream media is keeping silent about this, of course. As it was silent about this protest which ended two nights ago in Rio with one murder and many injuries.

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The photographer Henry Bluque is held currently in Brazil’s Central for having a mask for tear gas inside his backpack.

Yes, citizen, you must breathe any poisonous gas given off by the State … http://twitcasting.tv/demetrioxeneize

To make these laws palatable, they’ll also need to somehow demonize protestors for demanding that the money invested on the World Cup – 28 billion reals – be instead spent on meeting people’s needs, since schools are ruins, and hospitals are like “war zones” (not to mention the conditions and prices of other public utilities and houses). Mainstream media do the dirty work for the state and the capitalist ruling class, and they’ve started a violent propaganda campaign against the most visible, credible, and radical group of protestors – those using Black Bloc tactics.

Blac Bloc São Paulo distribute gifts, teach art, and read books to children. Source

Blac Bloc São Paulo distribute gifts, teach art, and read books to children. Source

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“Black Bloc does not beat professors.”

This demonization campaign started long ago, and as the World Cup approaches, authorities have increased their efforts against Black Bloc protestors. It aims to portray them as villains, and to turn the population against, undermine, and prosecute them. This campaign is so vicious, that even though many people know that Black Bloc fight for their liberties and interests, public pressure is mounting against them. Such is the repression they already endure from the state – they are spied upon, threatened, put under surveillance; anything to intimidate and help the state eliminate their existence.

The aim of this media campaign has become increasingly more clear over the past days, when during a protest against bus fare increases, a cameraman was hit by an artifact thrown on the ground near him. He died a few days later. His injury and later his death have been used by some mainstream media in Brazil to help authorities launch a witch-hunt against, and further criminalize Black Bloc protestors.

207152e0-8fe4-11e3-bf2b-df1f3af91e35_cinegrafista_ban_ae_630They even call them a criminal organization, and to sustain this statement they use this tragedy, in which one of them was at the wrong place at the wrong time, to throw the collective guilt on all those using the tactic. A method typical of totalitarian regimes. Police were incredibly quick to arrest Fabio Raposo, one of the protestors who presented himself to the police to help them understand that he did not have anything to do with the incident in which the cameraman was fatally injured. He went to the police in good faith, and told them that he indeed gave the artifact he found on the ground to an unknown person who he thought owned it. This person seems to have thrown the artifact in the vicinity of the cameraman, causing him the fatal injury. Fabio Raposo’s good faith is being used against him by the state police and the media to turn him into a scapegoat for the entire tragedy.

1620699_595749487168890_130042115_nThe media is not enraged or using the word terrorism in regards to the death of another man who was hit by a bus when he ran scared from police violence unleashed against protestors on February 6th. The media are not enraged that the military police could have killed even more people when they attacked 800 in the closed space of Central Station in Rio de Janeiro with teargas grenades to suffocate them.

Racism? Mainstream media is happy to promote that. When a boy was beaten, stripped naked and tied to a lamp post by vigilantes, senior media figures backed the vigilantes for taking justice into their own hands. This week Rachel Scheherazade, an SBT news anchor, said their actions were “understandable,” and that if people were pro-human rights they should “do Brazil a favor and adopt a thief”. She made these declarations on national primetime TV.”

If they really cared about their colleague’s death, the mainstream media would have created an uproar, enraged that the police are responsible for attacking two thirds of the total 102 journalists during protests and demonstrations in Brazil.

God forbid they do their job and report about the civilians killed and injured in demonstrations in Brazil. Here is a list of police victims who were killed between 2007 and 2013. Police in Brazil have murdered 5,412 people in that time. These crimes are protected by the mainstream media.

But it’s not just the Black Bloc that the State, the capitalists and their media dogs want to destroy.

It’s the citizens’ journalism too, since they are enraged that they can no longer control all the information on behalf of their masters. The world may have not heard police evicting poor people at gunpoint for a stadium that will only be used during the cup, or about the tourists and demonstrators held captive in a hotel by mad armed policeman without citizen journalism.

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So when the military police point their guns at unarmed civilians, according to the laws they are about to vote on, those civilians will already be considered guilty. Anyone can be guilty of “terrorism” (read protesting) if the police say so. Article 2 of this law defines terrorism as the act of “causing or striking terror or widespread panic by offense or attempted offense to life, limb or health or deprivation of personal freedom.” Of course, this law does not apply to the violent and crazed police. New laws state that for such acts, the punishment will be 15 to 30 years in prison, and if the action results in death, the minimum punishment would be 24 years. Lawyers say this law is terroristic its self, since it is not clear on what actions can be considered to cause “terror or panic.” “[The project] is very abstract. We can then understand that a distorting real matter can spread terror or panic, and then [would]the company responsible for this matter would also be processed?”

1622067_702083473156330_421506792_nThis law is an act of terrorism by the State of Brazil against the civilian population, who are increasingly subjected to oppression and exploitation. What’s even worse is that this law will basically ban social movements against the state or capitalism. Juliana Brito, a lawyer who studied this project, says that the law is so vague, that it could target various forms of actions undertaken by social movements. “The interest [this project]is very clear. It is to criminalize social movements and intensify the police state in Brazil, taking it to a period of the World Cup, where constitutional rights are suspended.” She says the law will remain active after the Word Cup, even though the state claims it will suspend it at the end of the cup. “When there is a moment of mobilization and reaction against them, they engage not in dialogue but in police confrontation to prevent the demonstrations.” The Anti-“Terrorism” Act would only reaffirm this, as the state turns ever more recklessly violent against civilians.

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The State has done enough to the people of Brazil without using this new law as an excuse: they’ve already demolished poor people’s homes at gunpoint, murdered them at demonstrations, framed them in the media, and increased their cost of living. Prices for everyday goods will explode again during the World Cup, due to businesses’ thirst for quicker and larger profits. Recent bus fare increases have led to relentless protests, and demands from people for free transportation. The state responded with terror. Cops have attacked protestors, and even tourists – these attacks have already claimed 3 lives.

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Even though people were shocked when they learned that the cameraman injured on February 6th has died, and in spite of the witch-hunt unleashed by the mainstream media against the Black Bloc, 1,000 protestors continued to oppose the increase of bus fare in Rio de Janeiro and protested at #Cinelândia#Brazil.

Police attacked and arrested demonstrators and photographers. A journalist was brutally hit and had his camera was destroyed by the police. Of course, mainstream media has not expressed rage at the police for such cowardly acts.

Parallel with this, state repression against poor people has continued. Yesterday, military police invaded another favela in the vicinity of a building the government is constructing for the upcoming World Cup. Yesterday, people invaded the area and burned a couple of buses, caterpillars and bulldozers. Two people were killed as police chased them, and another one was injured, police say they were “robbers.”

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There is a class war in Brazil, and only one side are armed initiators of violence. That side is not represented by Black Bloc, or other protestors, but by the agents of the state – the military police. FIFA have no qualms with this, responding that Brazil needs “less democracy.” All of this in the name of FIFA’s profits, which are so coveted by the Brazilian state, that they are willing to destroy the lives and liberties of Brazilian citizens to maintain them. #NaoVaiTerCopa #StopTheBall #Solidarity

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Tribute to comrade Fabricio Keys, from Sao Paulo, who was shot 3 times at point blank by the military police. Fabrício is one more victim of the State terrorism, but mainstream media were not outraged since it was clear that cops shot him.
Photo: Frente Independente Popular – RJ

 

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