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Montevideo, November 19th 2018 - 09:24 UTC

Massive violent protests against Brazilian congress discussing austerity bill

Wednesday, November 30th 2016 - 10:39 UTC
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Demonstrations began peacefully, but some in the crowd tried to enter the congressional building and police used tear gas to force them to retreat. Demonstrations began peacefully, but some in the crowd tried to enter the congressional building and police used tear gas to force them to retreat.

Thousands of people gathered on Tuesday in Brasilia outside Brazil's Congress to protest against the austerity plan of President Michel Temer and against what they see as attempts to shield corrupt politicians. Student groups and labor unions organized the demonstration to coincide with a debate in the Senate on Temer's proposal for a constitutional amendment that would cap public spending for 20 years.

 Temer has pursued an aggressive conservative agenda since taking office August 31 after Congress ousted the elected president, social democrat Dilma Rousseff, over alleged budget irregularities.

The constitutional amendment has already passed the lower house, which also drew the ire of the protesters on Tuesday over attempts by some lawmakers to add to an anti-corruption bill a measure that would extend pardons to politicians convicted of campaign-finance offenses.

Illicit campaign donations are a key element in the US$2 billion scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras, a case that has led to charges against dozens of politicians from all of Brazil's major parties.

Tuesday's demonstration began peacefully, but some in the crowd tried to enter the congressional building and police used tear gas to force them to retreat. The militants regrouped and police, including some on horseback, pursued them around Brasilia's Esplanade of the Ministries.

Protesters erected barricades at some points and at least two cars were flipped over and three others set on fire, while protesters assaulted journalists and vehicles belonging to media outlets.

The Senate and lower house went about their scheduled business on Tuesday despite the protests and a declaration of national mourning following the crash of an airplane chartered by Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense.

Players, coaches, club executives and journalists were among the 71 people killed when the aircraft went down near the airport in Medellin, Colombia.

An undisclosed number of protesters were arrested for vandalism and spraying graffiti on government buildings.

Brazil's opposition say the spending cap proposed by Temer would cripple public education and health services in Brazil. To make the bill more palatable, Temer proposed delaying cuts in education and health for a year.

Many of the demonstrators carried the red flags of the Workers Party, which has called for protests against Temer's belt-tightening measures which are meant to restore fiscal discipline and control a widening budget deficit. If the measure clears a final vote on December 13, it would limit spending to the rate of inflation for up to 20 years.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • Jack Bauer

    “massive” violent protests ???

    Hardly massive..just 5000 idiots...but violent, yes. They invaded one of the Govt buildings and destroyed everything they could lay their grubby hands on. As usual, the young, inexperienced, manipulated students, PT supporters and unemployed left-wing union members, waving their red flags in front of Congress, for a baloney sandwich and R$ 50. Nothing to worry about.

    “Brazil's opposition say the spending cap proposed by Temer would cripple public education and health services in Brazil.”

    Never heard such rubbish. Besides, Temer's austerity package, giving an additional USD 3 billion to Education, in fiscal year year 2016 (over Dilma's end 2015 budget), will be adjusted yearly (upwards) by inflation.....the fact is that there will be far more money available than in Dilma's budget, but to recognize that would mean they'd have nothing to protest about...same thing for public health....if it's not all stolen, people should feel the difference.
    As to our lower house, during the wee hours of last night, while voting for a law against corruption - which had it been approved as submitted - would screw about 60% of Congress, they inserted a clause which gives Congress, or any member of Congress, the right to prosecute judges, and prosecutors, for only doing their job, under the title of “abuse of authority”...well understood, the 'abuse', according to the politicians' interpretation....so, if a judge summons a politician, to be deposed in some corruption scheme, the politician can claim “abuse”....this is just one more attempt by these f 'ing politicians to do away with the Lavajato investigation, in which more than 200 have been named...The only hope is that the Senate throws it out, or if it doesn't, that Temer vetoes it....the Supreme Court president has already declared it unconstitutional as it is a flagrant invasion of the judiciary's independence. But let's see how this plays out...

    Dec 01st, 2016 - 12:03 am 0
  • ChrisR

    Lula has a lot to answer for, the problem is the stupidity of many Brazilians to see the real problem.

    Can't help but think Brazil is in the shitter for many more years than anybody wants to admit to.

    Nov 30th, 2016 - 06:51 pm -1
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