Another update to the stellar coverage provided by Dish readers, this one from São Paulo:
Fortunately, even though the initial demands by the protesters have been met (the transit fare has returned to its previous level), the protests have continued. In fact, they are showing this amazing level of self-organization. Groups will march together and decide which route to follow, where to stop and chant, where to sit and block the street, etc. There will be announcements about when and where the next protest will happen, and once the end time is reached, the protest will end.
There have been protests for various things, the largest being against PEC 37, which if passed, will make it much harder to catch and convict wrong doers within the government (involved in corruption, the horrors of the military government, etc).
Among the other protests, there was a protest against the Cura Gay (Gay Cure), which if passed would allow psychiatrist/psychologists to offer treatments to those who want to cure their same-sex attraction. This has been outlawed by the government since 1999, as its fraud, the treatment does not exist, and the acceptance of it sends the wrong message. Keep in mind that a poll done asking whether Brazilians thought the law should be passed found that 49% did not believe it should be passed, 36% felt it should and 11% had no opinion. (I have been desperately searching for where I read these numbers, but haven’t been able to find the link.) Also, unlike the US, same-sex marriage is legal and is recognized by the federal government.
Of note, if the Cura Gay legislation is passed, gays may be able to retire or I suppose go on paid disability as they are “sick.” !!!! Here’s the link. The Cura Gay is being pushed by Marco Feliciano, who is a Deputado Federal (roughly equivalent to a congressman in the US) and who is involved in the Assembleia de Deus (Assembly of God), one of the powerhouse churches of Brazil’s increasingly popular evangelical movement.
After the jump is a longer update from our reader. Meanwhile, Colin Snider pushes back against critics of the protesters:
As is all too often the case amongst neoliberal analysis, they falsely equated growth to development. Sure, Brazil’s economy had grown, but it also retained one of the higher levels of income inequality in the world. … Brazilians had been told for ten years that things had improved, that Brazil had finally “arrived,” and that they were now enjoying material and social benefits that they’d always been excluded from. And in some ways, there were real gains in the 2000s – the purchasing power of the working class and middle class strengthened somewhat, and programs like Bolsa Familia and Fome Zero helped millions of poor families. But at the first sign of economic instability, it all threatened to come apart… .
James Greiff refers to such insecurity as “the middle-class illusion” in Brazil: