NO TCHA, NO TCHU

Munduruku

Munduruku, Para, Brazil

According to Brazilian media, fifty-five journalist have been attacked by the police since protests against government corruption,  lack of adequate social services, inequality,    high taxes, and the billions of dollars spent for next year’s World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, started in mid-June.
Protest plebiscite which could take place in September 2013 could cost up to 500 Reais.

Ceara parliamentarian Ely Aguiar, Ceara, had this to say  about Fortaleza protests, “It’s at such times that I miss the dictatorship,” adding that if he  were chief of police should  he would beat the living daylights out of protesters. AnistiaOline  #semviolencia

Public prosecutor in Fortaleza says that his office is investigating charges of protest movement infiltration of by gangs allegedly paid for by political parties.

According to the Associated Press, President Dilma Roussef’s approval  rating plummeted in the wake of protests, slipping  from 64 to 40 points.

It is unclear whether there will be a general strike in Brazil  tomorrow. AP reports that representatives of two of  Brazil’s largest workers’ unions claimed to know nothing about it.

The fate of four Eletrobras  biologists taken hostage last week, by Mundukuru Indians in the state of Para, is unknown.

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BRAZIL MOBILIZES AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY

Brazilian police brutality
 One of several journalist the Brazilian police shot in the face with rubber bullets during June 2013 protest in Sao Paulo
Giuliana Valone, journalist shot in the face by Brazilian police during Juene 213  protests.

Giuliana Valone, journalist shot in the face by Brazilian police during June 213 protests, Sao Paulo.

Pedro Rocah, journalist police hit in the eyewith a rubber bullet during protests in Fortaleza, Brazil.
   Brazilian police hit journalist Pedro Rocha in the eye with a rubber bullet during protests in Fortaleza, 27 June 2013.
In case you have yet to understand why Brazilians are protesting, please note that “In Fortaleza, more than 1,600 people suffering from kidney disease depend on dialysis in order to survive. But due to non-payment  dating back to December 2012,  clinics (under contract with public health system, SUS, Sistema Unico de Saude, might make  treatment to dialysis patients unavailable at any moment. ” Contrast that with the Bolsa Copa per diem of close to 600 Reais awarded by the government to parliamentarians and military officers who wish to attend World Cup games. Abuse of privilege, corruption, and a host of social problems are among the reasons Fortalezenses protested yesterday. Allegedly, yesterday was the first time police used  a sonic canon against the citizenry,  something police spokesperson denies though  some of the symptoms experienced by some of the demonstrators–vomiting, for example–could be attributed to acoustic trauma.According to Castelao stadium are residents they and their children suffered the effects of mass control weapons used by policemen who invaded their houses searching for protesters. Police also attacked members of the media with rubber bullets and tear gas. So far, 200 people have lodged complaints with the Ceara Public Defenders Office.
 

“Worried about the growing repression by the police against demonstrations and  the authorities’ inability to protect, adequately, the right to peaceful demonstrations,” Amnesty International Brazil,

http://anistia.org.br/direitos-humanos/blog/entre-em-a%C3%A7%C3%A3o-contra-viol%C3%AAncia-policial-nas-manifesta%C3%A7%C3%B5es-no-brasil-2013-06-26

  is appealing to the public to act against police violence” by contacting the following people,

– Governador do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Sérgio Cabral
Palácio Guanabara
Rua Pinheiro Machado s/n – Laranjeiras
CEP: 22238-900 Rio de Janeiro – RJ
E-mail: documentacao@gabgovernador.rj.gov.br
https://twitter.com/SergioCabralRJ

– Governador do Estado de Minas Gerais
Antônio Anastasia
Palácio Tiradentes – Rod. Prefeito Américo Gianetti – S/N
Belo Horizonte – MG
CEP 31630-901
E-mail: governador@governo.mg.gov.br
https://twitter.com/governomg

– Governador do Distrito Federal
Agnello Queiroz
Palacio do Buriti – 1º andar, sala P60
Praça do Buriti
Brasília-DF
CEP 70075-900
E-mail: agenda@buriti.df.gov.br
https://twitter.com/AgneloQueiroz
https://twitter.com/Atendimento_GDF

– Governador do Estado da Bahia
Jaques Wagner
Predio da Governadoria
3ª. AV, 390 – PLATAFORMA IV – CAB
Salvador – BA
CEP 41745-005
E-mail: governador@governadoria.ba.gov.br
https://twitter.com/jaqueswagner

– Governador do Estado de Goiás
Marconi Perillo
Palácio Pedro Ludovico Teixeira
RUA 82, 400
Goiânia-GO
CEP 74015-980
E-mail: gabinete.particular@palacio.go.gov.br
https://twitter.com/marconiperillo

– Governador do Estado de São Paulo
Geraldo Alckmin
Palácio dos Bandeirantes
Av. Morumbi, 4.500 – Portão 2 – Morumbi
São Paulo – SP
CEP 05650-905
E-mail: galckmin@sp.gov.br
https://twitter.com/geraldoalckmin_
https://twitter.com/governosp

– Governador do Estado do Ceará
Cid Gomes
Palácio da Abolição
Av. Barão de Studart, 505 – Meireles
Fortaleza – CE
CEP 60120-013
E-mail: cidgomes@gabgov.ce.gov.br
https://twitter.com/cidfgomes

– Governador do Estado do Pará
Simão Jatene
Palácio de Despachos
Rodovia Augusto Montenegro, KM 9
Belém-PA
CEP 66823-010
E-mail: auxi.neri@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/GovernoPara
https://twitter.com/sjatenePA

Th eorganization asks that participants in the writing campaign  mention @AnistiaOnline and the hashtag #semviolencia

*http://diariodonordeste.globo.com/#

STAGE TWO OF BRAZILIAN PROTEST

Agitprop

Agitprop image

Brazilians  continue to navigate the treacherous waters of political uncertainty. Last week, public indignation at corruption,  leading to protests against deficient education, health  and transportation systems,billions spent on World Cup facilities,   and a host of other problems. Over a million people took to the streets and the Brazilian police responded with disproportional force, firing rubber bullets, tear gas and flash-bang bombs  at protesters and members  of the media. Media  in Brazil and  abroad initially focused on vandalism committed by a small fraction of protesters, but as of this past weekend, news stories began to reflect   the complex reality of the protests. Clearly, this immense aggregation of families with children, students, senior citizens of all political stripes had goals other than to smash ATM and burn police police cars. The Leftist government  was quiet at first. Former president Lula da Silva, mentor president Dilma Roussef, took his sweet time endorsing the protest movement. Roussef, herself, conceded that peaceful protests were legitimate, but emphasized that   her government would not tolerate vandalism. Throughout this time, the police–including the mounted police Brazil continues to use as crowd control–was highly visible and often violent.Vandalism escalated, there were at  least half a dozen deaths, and number of allegedly arbitrary  arrests. Allegedly, a disproportionate number of members of the media was attacked by police  and illegally detained, prompting  the  The society of Protection for Journalists http://www.cpj.org/  to award Brazil the dubious honor of being named one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.

Following the initial unrest, some state governments walked back the proposed hike on bus and boat fares and  part of Movement Passe Livre decided to withdraw from the fray. Stage two of  the protest movement began with militants  meeting in cities, such as Fortaleza, Ceara,  to clarify goals and  set an agenda for upcoming protests. At the same time, ABIN, Brazil intel services agency, started  monitoring social media, and the police announced that it will use triple strength weapons of crowd control in upcoming protests. A mysterious blogger calling himself Marco Caleb–Google search of his name yielded a picture an infant–started a   campaign of disinformation aimed at deligitimising the #changebrazil movement on the internet. The blogger/s hints at a dark conspiracy by English speakers who have suspiciously expensive gadgets with which they make videos pressuring  Brazil to submit. Just what Brazil is supposed to submit to is not clear, but the blogger also claims the the Brazilian Right is poised for a military coup, that is creating cells in closed pages of Facebook, and many other allegations that do not hold up to fact checking.In a theater of the absurd moment, the blogger’s hints of a foreign conspiracy made today’s edition of Jornal  do Brasil. The story is incredibly fuzzy-wuzzy and it seems to be an attempt to neutralize #changebrazil and to cast doubt on the loyalty of  English-speaking Brazilians living abroad.”Why  would #changebrazil make videos in English,” it asks   By the way, I am  an English-speaking independent e-journalist living in the United States.  I became an American citizen after a nasty encounter with DOPS, the  Brazilian Secret Police in the Sao Paulo airport in 1976. If this makes me suspect, keep in mind that they Brazilian foreign minister  speaks accentless English and he makes videos. My answer to the dubious questioner in the JB is, ” We speak English in order to reach the global media, stupid.” I mean,  who the hell speaks Portuguese outside Brazil and Portugal? Should we rely on Google translations to get the news out?

Questioning all segments of the protest movement  movement is  healthy. So is to doubt the press. Journalists, especially citizen journalists need to establish their creds. BUt there is a difference between questioning and lying by implication in order to gag the opposition. Brazilians are not children, The know that violence, agitprop. dubious rumors, divide an conquer moves are as old as dirt. They can ask the  big question, who is behind the JB story? Who finances the conspiracy theorists? Who gains from demonizing Brazilians who can read the  news in Portuguese and pass it on in English to the free press of the First World? You can agit, but you better be able to prop your accusation with facts, guys. Brazilians are smart. They can see through you.

IS THE BRAZILIAN RIGHT POISED FOR MILITARY COUP?

herzog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tvG7R3Rs2M

Journalist Wlado Hertzog. murdered by Brazilian military during 1964-85 dictatorship

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFdgXDUmA5A

http://mcaleb.blogspot.com.br/2013/06/relato-de-como-descobri-os-infiltrados.html?spref=fb#.UcPASfntbD

Follow this link to read allegations that the Brazilian Right is using social media to create cells that will disrupt protests with vandalism violence. This article has links to Brazilian Armed Forces  sites and to movie clips by self-described patriots who favor a return to the 1964-85 military dictatorship. Allegedly, the right hides behind the Anonymous Avatar and Change Brazil hash  tags  to rally useful idiots. Is this a Machiavellian move  by the Right or by the Left? Be your own judge. Inform yourself. Journalists, please take note.http://translate.google.com/

CHANGE BRAZIL VI

Lily

A trumpet lily blooms in my garden.

Chestnut rose

Chestnut rose in bloom.

The quality of news coverage of the protest movement in Brazil took a quantum leap this morning when author and National Public Radio icon Scott Simon, made it into one of the lead stories in his Saturday Edition. Simon is one the primary reason for an  audience of twenty-six million to trust NPR as a reliable source of unbiased, in-depth news and commentary. That he knew the whys and when of Brazilians’ discontent is a credit to the press and a victory for Brazilians.

That The Washington Post and The New York Times also distanced themselves from the pre-packaged stories about riots, vandalism and looting to focus on the real issues that trouble Brazilian society, is another victory. Corny as this sounds, democracy needs a trustworthy press staffed  courageous journalists who care to learn about the places where great social sea changes are in progress. Today, I am proud of having been part, in a very modest way_I worked for several as a freelance reporter and columnist– of a press hat responds to more than the wishes of advertisers.

Normally, mine is a country mouse’s life, a life of which a character in Voltaire’s Candide would approve. I cultivate my garden. I do it badly now that I am a senior citizen with the physical limitations of my age. I persist  because I love the mysterious process of sinking a microscopic seed into to the earth to see it evolve into a plant that produces flowers and fruit, that feeds birds, box turtles and the diverse fauna of my little corner of  West Virginia. I bake bread, which is also a mysterious process for me. I make my own sourdough starter with potato broth, pure maple syrup and good, heavy  unbleached flour. I am fairly  illiterate in chemistry and I don’t know exactly how yeast reacts to sugar, how butter and oil change bread worse for the better at times and how it turns it into a heavy lump of inedible guck at other times. I bake bread the way I drive a car which is to say, I stick the key into the ignition without a clue of how the motor works. I go on trust.

Many  of us lead equally unexamined lives. We take the press, the government, the weather on trust. We plant seeds and expect them to germinate even though experience teaches us that a certain percentage of them fails to come to life. Others come to only to succumb to dread molds, too much or too little water, too intense or too weak light.  We trust the rain to come and the sun to shine in the right proportions so that we can harvest a sufficiency of flowers, fruit and vegetables.although  we know that elemental forces are not always balanced. Last year, for example,it rained so much  in Tater Hollow that if I had been planning to make a living as a vegetable gardener, I would have had to rely on  government subsidies.
What I am trying to say is that Brazilians  have been going on trust and hope for many years. They work, they vote, they cultivate their gardens and they trust their elected representatives to do their the best for the country. In that they are no different from Americans,  Egyptians, Laotians, Turks.What is different in the present situation is that Brazilians have finally realized that democracy is not a spectator sport. They know, as we Americans do, that the quality of life does not improve unassisted any more than an untended garden produces optimum crops or flout turns into bread all by itself. They are ready to take to streets to let the government know what needs to be done to make Brazil into the socially just and economically effective country it deserves to be.

The current protest movement did more than awake Brazilians to their proper role as citizens. It  yanked me away from my complacency. It displaced gardening, baking, doing book reviews, reading leisurely, writing fiction, as the constants in my life. It made me face fears I had tucked away in distant recesses of my mind.I stayed glued to the news and the phoned. I messaged journalist, young protesters,phone and e-mailed  members of my Brazilian family.  Every time I saw the image of a policemen beating a protester I went into the fight or flight mode. I knew that the flood of adrenaline and subsequent low was  an exhausting thing at any age. Now I know that post sixty it is a major bummer. My gut reaction is due to trauma, says my sister, who shares my feelings as if we were twins. A continent away,  she knows exactly how I feel. The trauma of which she speaks is that which every Brazilian my age experienced–that of having had our civil right removed by a military junta.But there have other traumas whose memory  lingers almost is as if they

were part of out genetic code. My sister and I come from a family of B’nei Anoussim, Iberian Jews who were forcibly baptised and who fled to Protestant France, the Azores, Holland and eventually, Brazil to escape the Inquisition. Many of our Brazilian ancestors were burnt at the stake in Portugal for practicing Judaism. We learnt to choose carefully  those we trust. We almost, but not quite, learnt silence. Due to our religious history, we have always known the cost of being a dissident. That is why we don’t take up causes and banner without a certain amount of reflection. But the flag of a participatory  democracy is one we embrace without reservations. Gardening and bread baking can wait. Freedom and justice  cannot.  http://translate.google.com/

SOUP OF THE EVENING, BEAUTIFUL SOUP

HOT CUCUMBER SOUP

According to  the weather forecast,  the meteorological treats the skies have in store for the Mid-Atlantic region are rain, sleet and snow–in other words, brr weather. This calls for  for extraordinary measures, namely, hearty meals that will neither  wreck the household  budget nor  add pounds to the householder’s figure. Hot cucumber soup made with whole milk, cucumbers, potatoes, peas, queso blanco and mozzarella is  a spin off of a Brazilian dish. The original calls for West Indian gherkins and fresh pinto beans, both unavailable at local supermarkets.

HOT CUCUMBER SOUP
Serves four

FOR THE ROUX
One tablespoon butter
One tablespoon flour
Half a cup Half and Half
FOR THE SOUP

Two cups whole milk
One teaspoon salt
One large potato, peeled and cubed
One cup fresh or frozen peas
Two pickling cucumbers, peeled and cubed
Two ounces quesso blanco, cubed
Two ounces mozzarella, cubed
Freshly grated black pepper to taste
Half a cup cilantro minced
One  tablespoon chives, minced

Make roux. Place milk and salt in soup pot  and bring mix to a boil. Add potatoes. Simmer for ten minutes. Add peas and simmer until brely cooked–approximately three minutes. Add cucumbers, cheese  and roux. Turn of heat and allow soup to rest for ten minutes. Add pepper, cilantro and chives. Serve with toasted sesame batard slices.

ALMOST BRAZILIAN BEEF AND NOODLE SOUP

In Brazil, beef soup sometimes is made with leftovers from the large midday meal–beef, rice, potatoes and noodles.  Made from scratch, it begins with cubed beef, shallots, garlic, black pepper, green peppers, and tomatoes. Although these ingredients are fairly constant, there is no fixed recipe since many Brazilians prefer to whatever is in season.  My  version uses  uses lean ground beef, onions, garlic carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and noodles as well as a spice that is not part of the Brazilian culinary vernacular–smoked Spanish paprika.

ALMOST BRAZILIAN BEEF AND NOODLE SOUP
Serves six

 FOR THE SOUP
Six carrots, diced
Two onions, minced
Three cloves garlic
Two  tablespoons olive oil
Half a cup minced cilantro
THE VEGGIE MIX
Heat olive oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until transparent. Add carrots. Cook for three minutes.
FOR THE MEATBALLS
Two slices bread soaked in water
One pound lean ground beef

One egg
Two teaspoons salt
Two onions, minced
Three cloves of garlic, minced
Half a cup cilantro, minced
Four cups beef broth seasoned with one teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
Two  cups sliced mushrooms
Two potatoes, diced
 Mix all the ingredients and use a melon baller to shape into small meatballs.  Cook the meatballs in beef broth for ten minutes. add potatoes and cook until tender. Add noodles and cook for five minutes.  Add carrot and onion mix and simmer until noodles are al dente.. Add mushrooms and turn off heat. Wait  five minutes before adding cilantro.