What happened? Or rather, why it didn’t happen? There were only 150 “protestants” in Cinelândia, downtown Rio de Janeiro, for the anti-corruption demonstration organized by five groups in social networks.
In São Paulo, at Avenida Paulista, another five movements – Nas Ruas (In the Streets), Mudança Já (Change Now), Pátria Minha (My Homeland), Marcha pela Ética (March for Ethics) and Lojas Maçônicas (Masonic Lodges) – gathered only 200 people. In Boca Maldita (Damn Mouth), in Curitiba, the Anonymous group assembled 80 people.
The largest concentration of protesters against corruption was recorded at Freedom Square in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, estimated at 1,500 people, according to the military police. And the smallest, took place in Brazilian capital Brasília, where a mere 30 people gathered in the Esplanade of the Ministries.
Is that corruption is worse in Minas than in Brasília? Putting them all together, it wouldn’t be enough to fill the main square of my dear Porangaba, small but decent town.
This time, there was no disagreement on the number of demonstrators. They were so few of them on the November 15 holiday that you could count heads without being a genius in mathematics.
Even the most rabid bloggers who, the day before, announced “protests in 37 cities across the country,” with time and location of events, seem to have left the boat. They didn’t mention the subject anymore.
Apparently the assorted fauna, who since the weekend of September 7 organizes protests “against all that is happening,” grew already tired.
Organizers blamed the rain, but they cannot explain how, on the same day, under the same rain, 400,000 people went shopping in the 25 de Março street, in downtown São Paulo and 40,000 faithful gathered in the open at the Pacaembu stadium for an evangelical celebration.
Nor can it be alleged there was not enough bad news reported, as the old media never tires of presenting headlines daily about the “misdeeds” of the government, with emphasis right now on the Ministry of Labor from Carlos Lupi, a man beyond reproach.
In my humble opinion, the failure of these events inspired by the Arab Spring and protests against the unbridled capitalism in European capitals and the United States, resides in the lack of purpose and sincerity of the different movements that present themselves as “nonpartisan” and “apolitical” as if it were possible.
Apparently, the Brazilian people are happy with the country they live in and, therefore, it only take to the streets for a good reason, not at the invitation of the old “opinion makers.”
After all, we are all against corruption – even corrupt people, so that they can fight the competition, of course – but this crowd is really against the government. You just need to see who are their heralds in the press, which now harbor the remnants of the opposition after the last presidential election.
Dilma can fire all her ministers and do a spring cleaning in the government machinery and they will still claim for more, and will continue “calling on the people” in the social networks. The Internet brave folks are not used to face the real life’s sun and rain.
Unlike what happens in other countries, these events in Brazil are more a media phenomenon than a mass one – the same mainstream media that supported the 1964 coup and hid as long as it was able the Direct Vote Now campaign, in 1984 (with the notable exception of the Folha de S. Paulo, where I worked at the time).
They do not fool anyone anymore. People have stopped being stupid for a long while now.
Ricardo Kotscho, 63, is a reporter since 1964. He has worked in virtually all major media outlets in Brazil as a reporter, special reporter, editor, news editor, columnist, blogger and news director. He is currently a commentator for the Jornal da Record News and special reporter of Brasileiros magazine.