It Works In Brazil

June 23, 2013

Brazilians are not happy these days.  And when the public bus fares went up at the beginning of June by 7 %, all their pent-up anger and frustration with their government just boiled over.  On 20JUN, the number of people protesting in the streets of Sao Paulo crossed the one million mark.  The next day, President Rousseff made the speech calling for peace and started talking concessions.

Is there something to be learned there?

Back in the middle of December 1989, Lazlo Tokes, a pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Romania, was to be evicted from the church parish house, supposedly for inciting ethnic hatred.  Members of the church formed a human chain around the building and successfully foiled the eviction attempt.  Later that night, the crowd of nearly a thousand, moved from the church into the downtown area of Timisoara to the Communist Party headquarters and proceeded to get a little rowdy.  It was on the second day of this protest that the army showed up and fired into the crowd, killing around 100 people.  The next day, 18DEC, tens of  thousand of the locals joined the protest.  And then the protest spread to other major cities.  What had started with the politically motivated suppression of a pastor, became a massive protest over dis-satisfaction with government officials.  President Ceausescu had been exporting the majority of all agricultural and industrial production since 1983 in order to pay off foreign debt.  This resulted extreme shortages and rotating power blackouts.  The debt was finally paid off in the summer of 1989, but the exportation continued.  So when the crowd showed up at the square in Bucharest on 21DEC for Ceausescu’s speech, they were boiling.  (And remember this was a Communist Bloc country, where public protest were not looked upon very kindly by the government.)  Shortly into the speech, the crowd started heckling and booing and evolved into a city-wide protest for the rest of the day, but they were finally cleared out by nightfall.  The following day was much the same.  When Ceausescu appeared at the balcony of the Central Committee Building, the crowd reacted and rushed the building, but failed to catch the President who had just evacuated via helicopter from the roof.  Eventually he was recaptured and on Christmas Day, 1989, he was brought before a people’s court, charged with illegal gathering of wealth and genocide, proclaimed guilty, and sentenced to execution, by a three-man firing squad, immediately, just outside the building.

Is there something to be learned there?

Now, here on the 17th and 18th of July, there is a call for a general strike, Brazilian style.  The time has come for all of us to move beyond the grumbling stage.  The politicians quit listening to us back in the summer of 2010.  There are  many topics  that individually should inflame people to protest.  Most can be summed up as an out of control government.  Our first revolution was triggered by a 2% tax increase, but that was on top of countless other acts over the years.  And we shouldn’t have to go the extremes that the Romanians did, to  start reigning in this out of control government.  Maybe the rumors of the Second Revolution is just like a ghost, used to scare little children.  Maybe not.  As Claire Wolf says, “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”


One Response to “It Works In Brazil”

  1. rogerunited Says:

    Good post, Brasil is our future if immigration is allowed to continue.

    On the subject of politicians not listening, that’s because they have no fear of losing power. Who ya gonna vote for, a third party? I think , yes.

    At the fed level a third party vote is a waste, as is any vote, really. At the State and local level, a third party vote could work. Take the local offices from the GOP and they will either start listening or be replaceed premanently. Either way we end up with local control and an independent State. If it happens here, it will look more plausible elsewhere, the slipery slope argument works in our favor for once!

    Of course it would take all the NC voters who are sick of the GOP to act together. We’ll need a good cat herder.

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