Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of the country’s main cities on Sunday to protest the attacks and ensuing violence that rocked São Paulo for almost a week with a death toll of 172 plus hundreds wounded and arrested.
The Day of National Dignity as it was named by organizers coincided with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s first visit to São Paulo since the beginning of the chaotic week when organized gangs attacked police stations, bank branches, set buses on fire plus taking hundreds of hostages in the prison system.
"By simply increasing police presence, violence will not cease. We’re facing a cultural problem which goes far beyond law and order", said Lula.
"We’re really protesting against corruption, systemic corruption which has corroded our society," said Gabriela Campos one of the organizers of the march in São Paulo City where there was a massive demonstration to honor the 40 police officers killed in the line of duty during the eight days and nights of violence.
"We had the march organized long before the attacks and these gave us more reasons to protest and shout," added Ms Campos.
"Corruption generates this kind of unruliness and lack of security," she insisted.
The demonstration in São Paulo City follows on dramatic statements from the governor of São Paulo State, Claudio Lembo, during an interview with the local media.
"Brazil has disintegrated and has lost its civic values. It sounds ridiculous but Brazil only believes in the colors of the national football team, which is the symbol of victory. But we’re a country that only knows of defeats, social defeats…we’re a very wicked bourgeoisie, a very perverse white minority," said the Conservative politician who had to cope with the week long lack of law and order crisis.
Lembo actually is acting governor since elected governor Geraldo Alckmin is a presidential hopeful on campaign for elections next October when Lula is expected to attempt a second four year mandate.
"I’m scared with Brazil’s social reality. I think all that has happened is a great warning for Brazil. The social situation and crime are far worse than imagined. We must begin to think urgently how to address the situation which has social and criminal components, both extremely serious," added Lembo.
"What the bourgeoisie should do is keep quiet, and really think what it has done to this country. They’re saying they’ll be coming out of their lovely homes to march: nonsense they are not going to protest! They will be going together with other figures of Brazil’s politics to the best five forks restaurant and have a meal," said ironically the acting governor.
Brazil’s elite and ruling class "they’re all very nice and tidy publicly but then they mercilessly exploit society, their employees and public services. They want access to Government Palaces because they are after government favors and privileges."
"The bags and pockets of the bourgeoisie will have to generously open to help solve Brazil’s social misery. Elites are responsible for this country’s tragic social history."
Lembo who had to face the worse public security crisis the city suffered in recent times admitted to have accepted negotiations with the imprisoned leader of one of the main criminal gangs, to restore order in the city.
"Brazil is a cynical country and that cynicism is killing Brazil."
Mercopress – www.mercopress.com