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Brazilians take to the streets on Independence Day to protest against corruption

Saturday, September 8th 2012 - 07:06 UTC
Full article 10 comments
The colourful protest included a coffin with the sign of “mensalao” The colourful protest included a coffin with the sign of “mensalao”

Thousands took to the streets of the Brazilian capital to march against corruption on the country’s Independence Day, along the same avenue where the main military parade took place on Friday.

Marching before President Dilma Rousseff and all her cabinet and military brass, an estimated 7.000 people, (4.000 according to the police) chanted and danced wearing black dresses and ingenious signs complaining about corruption, and finally reached the Supreme Court and the Executive or Planalto Palace.

The march was along the main avenue of Brasilia, with the city closed down because of the national festivity. This is the second year running such demonstrations take place and which according to the Brazilian press, were repeated in all the main cities of the country.

A group in the crowd carried a coffin with the reading “mensalao” (big monthly pay) in direct reference to the ongoing trial started last month by the Supreme Court and which has 38 top ranking former lawmakers, ministers, lobbyists and members from the ruling Workers Party in the box, for involvement in an alleged major scheme to pay members of Congress a monthly due to support the government of then president Lula da Silva legislative initiatives.

The “mensalao” when it blew up almost cost Lula da Silva his presidency, given the extent of the scandal and they fact his closest aides were involved in the scheme.

“Brazil is the country where being foxy pays more than a good education. I’m appalled with indignity” read one of the signs carried by a young protestor who was marching in silence.

“We can’t remain unmoved with out demanding that public monies reach the hospitals and the schools that are in ruins. But what makes me most sad is that the majority of the people remain at home and don’t come out and protest. Only if a football match the turnout reaches 50.000” complained one of the demonstrators.

Marches to protest corruption widely extended in the whole political system began a couple of years ago but they never manage to attract thousands as the organizers pretend.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • GeoffWard2

    It never fails to amaze me that the millions of ordinary citizens of Brasil just shrug their shoulders and say “There is corruption, there was always corruption, and there will always be corruption. This is Brasil!”

    Few people march in Brasil, even in SP. It's just not part of their culture.

    Last year I was out on the streets with my yellow broom ('Let's sweep away corruption'), but even my partner didn't want me to start a visual campaign in Lauro de Freitas, Bahia, where every house so inclined should display a broom on the roof/upper floor of their properties to show Wagner and the federals that corruption would not be tolerated. The rational was that a street with brooms would not get the holes filled in their road (hole-filling happens just before every election).
    That's just cowardly, even if it is 'part of the culture'.

    Sep 08th, 2012 - 10:23 am 0
  • Think

    I can clearly picture it...:

    Mr. Ward running northwestWards along Busca-Vida beach with a furious, yellow broom waving, Brazilian Mrs. Ward after him......

    No Chuckle

    Sep 08th, 2012 - 02:52 pm 0
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    Sep 08th, 2012 - 06:26 pm 0
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