Away from Spotlight, Brazilians Protest Olympic Games and ‘Coup’ Government

August 9, 2016

A Brazilian judge has ruled organizers must allow protests against the Temer government inside the Rio Olympics

A Brazilian judge has ruled organizers must allow protests against the Temer government inside the Rio Olympics



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Story Transcript

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: The international spotlight has focused on the Olympic games in Rio. With hashtags trending about US swimmer Michael Phelps’s ‘cupping’ bruises. Meanwhile far less attention has been paid to the ongoing protests unfolding both inside and outside the stadiums.

On Tuesday a judge ordered Olympic organizers to allow peaceful protests after several demonstrators were ejected for calling for the removal of interim President Michel Temer.

Even before the opening ceremony, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside. Earlier that day, thousands of flag waving protesters blocked traffic outside also calling for the [austere] of Temer. The Temer government has deployed some 85 thousand police and troops. Roughly twice the number at London’s 2012 Olympics, to deter protests and protect the sum, half a billion tourists expected to visit Brazil.

SPEAKER: “Brazil is crying blood, people are dying, the bombs they launched there – this is war, we are in Iraq, this is Iraq.”

NOOR: After taking office when leftist President Dilma Rousseff was put on trial in the Senate for breaking budget rules, Temer has taken Latin America’s largest economy – and one of the world’s most unequal countries – to the right. On Tuesday the Brazilian Senate will decide if Rousseff will face a trial for her alleged crimes.

Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called on the US to stop the “coup” in Brazil writing “The effort to remove President Rousseff is not a legal trial but rather a political one. The United States cannot sit silently while the democratic institutions of one of our most important allies are undermined. We must stand up for the working families of Brazil and demand that this dispute be settled with democratic elections.”

The Real News also recently spoke to sports writer Dave Zirin.

DAVE ZIRIN: what’s going on is that this is no coincidence. I mean, the timings of both the attacks on Dilma, the impeachment of Dilma, and this indictment of Lula are all very interestingly timed around the Olympic games, when the attention of the world is on Brazil. This is about a message being sent, I believe, to foreign investors, to international commodities markets, that investing in Brazil is, in fact, a good investment. Brazil is currently mired in its worst economic crisis in decades. I mean, some say in the history of the country. And this is all happening in the wake of unprecedented economic growth under Lula, and then Dilma as well.

And this has so clearly been timed around the crisis, around thinking that they could get international cash flows and investment back into the country, if they show that they could bring the Worker’s Party to heel. And what’s so ironic about this is that the very laws that Lula is being prosecuted under are laws that he himself signed into the legislative history of the country for the purposes of fighting corruption which has long plagued Brazil’s politics. I mean, it’s just very difficult to take any of this stuff seriously or look at it objectively, given how widespread we know corruption to be in Brazil and how it crosses all political parties.

NOOR: Follow us on the Real News for ongoing coverage of the Olympic games and the ongoing crisis in Brazil. This is Jaisal Noor.

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