Corrente

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Not ready to post on Brazil

I can't add anything to what's out there. I read a number of mainstream sources and expat blogs. I thought this blog was the best:

But as to what will happen in the short and mid-term, I haven’t the slightest clue. Hopefully the energy can be sustained but poured into more focused, and perhaps segregated causes in the case of inevitable disagreements. But we’re already seeing in-fighting and defections in the movement as it stands. And now we have a body count.

And despite the source, WaPo (! (albeit a blog!!)) these two videos are very good:

Some coverage tries to frame the protests as a "middle class" in revolt. No way. So far as I can tell, it's from the bottom up and includes "the middle class" (who are pretty newly middle) but is definitely not driven by them.

Also, the "Free Pass" movement -- "Pass" as in "MTA Pass" -- that ignited the protests has been doing its thing for a long time. (Yes, the spark really was a movement for free public transportation, since the clueless POTB had arranged a fare increase that would whack a poor person a quarter of their income.) However, the Free Pass Movement seems to have pulled back after lighting a fuse they may not even have known was a fuse.

Things I don't see, that I have seen in events round the world from Tahrir Square to the carré rouge:

1) No occupations of public space. Tahrir Square, Puerta del Sol, US state capitols, Occupy proper all took space. The Brazilians invaded the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia (which is pretty remarkable, given that Brasilia is BFE) but didn't occupy it. Carré rouge didn't Occupy anything either, but one could argue they didn't need to since they were so dominant in the city. In consequence,

2) No self-organization in public space, a la Occupy's libraries and general assemblies, the clean-ups organized by capitol occupiers, etc.

3) No iconography, at least in the photos I have seen. No red squares, no clenched fist, not even black bloc costuming (though I saw white balaclavas). A few of those smirking asshole Guy Fawkes masks, but nothing visually dominant. No logos.

All this is curious, since after all the indiganados were important in getting Occupy off the ground, so one would have expected the same to have happened in Brazil. But maybe it did, and I just don't know about it!

CAVEAT I've been stumbling around on FaceBook and twitter, and not finding what I want (and I don't read Portuguese). #1 and #2 would be visible in any medium, but #3 might perhaps be visible digitallly. Readers? Any sources?

* * *

Comparing Brazil to Thailand, where the uprising by the "Red Shirts" has some similarities at least as far as "income inequality" (class warfare) and impacted resentment go:

Brazil's minimum wage is equal to Thailand's. But Thailand isn't the sixth largest economy in the world, and the quality of life in Brazil seems to have major suckitude, especially if you don't like like theft and violence. Corruption seems to be a wash. The Red Shirts, however, had a Big Man: Thaksin. So far as I know, the Brazil protests -- if that's even the right word -- doesn't. Also too, Bangkok, unlike any Brazilian city, has brilliant public transportation. And of course there are a million differences as well, like Catholic vs. Buddhist, the nature of the northern encroaching power, population size, etc. But that minimum wage number really struck me. Concretely, in Thailand at least, a day's labor buys you two cafe latté ventis in the hi so mall, Siam Paragon. So something's out of kilter there, no? And in Brazil, too.

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