Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Protests Redux - São Paulo

The view on my TV--safely ensconced at home...

To be frank, I'm tired of talking about the protests. I guess I would point anyone interested in my point of view (perhaps that is only my mommy?) to the blog of a good friend of mine who has said it very well Born Again Brazilian: What is the Ask?. These protests have to move from protesting to creating. Creating a plan for what the movement wants--is it a new political party? is it really a bus tariff reduction or is it better health care? How? It's time to make this actionable.

Unfortunately a peaceful protest of 50,000 people yesterday turned into chaos. The fringe elements--not even fringe, but the thugs--tried breaking down the doors of the city hall. They burned a media truck. Our housekeeper could not get home last night because the train closed down due to people vandalizing it. And it's good she didn't try--two blocks away from her house in Grajaú, 200 protestors burned a bus. She said that the television reporter literally shrugged and said that they had no idea what the mob was protesting. This is going downhill.

As I will continue to say, I am not a voter here. I pay taxes and am married to a Brazilian and I have kids who are dual citizens. I feel strange and unwelcome in making commentary about a very large moment in Brazil politics (at least I hope it is big--definitely we need some change here fast). It's my business and it's not my business. I too have marched when I was a student in the US--twice I went to Washington DC to take to the streets to keep abortion legal and for gun control. I understand the passion. I do not understand the violence, vandalism and mayhem. I don't understand randomly closing various streets and highways around the city so that people who are hard workers cannot get home.

The tone needs to change. If not reconciliation, let's at least try for conversation. It is enough to know that the movement can call up tens of thousands of people if needed. We got it. We understand. Our mayor Haddad (AH-DAH-GEE, remember?) understands. Tell us what you want. And stop with the impeachment of Dilma stuff. Don't waste your time...fix what you've got for now, then elect a better president.

There, I've said my piece. Tomorrow, unless something completely nuts happens, I am moving on for this blog. Brazil is more than the World Cup. It is more than the protests. At least in my eyes.

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