Police Protection

So I was taking my morning walk through Trianon park when I came across this:


Imagine my surprise. I asked an officer standing off to the side if I could take a picture (which is exactly what you do before you pull something out of your pocket and aim it at a collection of Brazilian police officers – I’m no dumb bunny!) No problem, he informed me.

This is one of those times that I was kicking myself for not speaking better Portuguese. I had so many questions!! Like, what was this all about?? From my perspective, this set up looked like they were ready to battle something really big. Like an alien invasion or perhaps Godzilla. So what was it that they were anticipating would appear BEHIND me??

One of my fears is that something big will happen and I’ll be busy watching Dora the Explorer on Apple TV with my daughter or The Real Housewives of New York online, and will have no clue. Let’s face it, even if I were watching the local news, I’d have no clue. So a chilling uneasiness began to come over me as I realized that this was quite possibly one of those times.

Hearing a speech on a loud speaker, I bravely headed toward it for a possible explanation. Paulista Avenue was crowded with some kind of demonstration. I went to investigate.

From the back of this guy’s vest:

I was able to ascertain that this was some kind of labor union demonstration. But no where near the action were there any police officers.

This just brought more questions to light. Did the police officers not want the demonstrators to know they were organizing themselves? And the officers just didn’t have the funding to disguise themselves as trees? Were there more groups of police placed at other strategic, yet somewhat hidden, locations around the the demonstration? The majority of the demonstrators appeared to be in their mid fifties to late eighties. So, what exactly did the police force anticipate would happen?

I guess I’ll never know. Just another day of unanswered questions in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Crazy Adventures, Daily Escapades, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, What the h*ll is that? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Police Protection

  1. workmomad says:

    Welcome back! Did you have good travels?

    Maybe the police just wanted to be handy nearby in case the demonstration got out of hand, but didn’t want their presence to be seen otherwise?


  2. Ray says:

    Dear B.A.B,

    It’s good to see you back 😉
    By the picture you took of the guy with the orange vest, it looks like this was a protest of some sort of UNION trying to stop companies from going around the UNIONS by “outsourcing” work…and something else very specific, some kind of clauses 156 and 158 or whatever.
    Unions have been super powerful in Brazil for a long time, they mostly organized in a powerful way starting in the 30’s…that is probably why older guys are still more motivated with their causes… The police was maybe just hanging around to protect everyone involved.


    • Thanks! Yep, that’s what I guessed. I can understand the police want to make sure everything stayed under control. What’s funny is that there were more police hanging out in the park looking nervous than there were protesters it seemed. HA!

  3. Jenna says:

    I believe Ray is right…”fim de terceirização” appears to be calling for an end to third-party hiring…and I found this, on a blog: “O centro de nossa proposta do fator 85/95 é o seguinte: poderão se aposentar com 100% do valor do benefício todo aquele cuja soma do tempo de contribuição com a idade atinja 85 (mulher) e 95 (homem).” In other words, it’s about full retirement benefits rather than the calculation (http://www.previdencia.gov.br/conteudoDinamico.php?id=182) that’s currently applied to figure out the benefits. 🙂 They’re tackling a lot of issues with one vest!

  4. Ray says:


    The city usually gives certain groups permission to protest, by they have to stay in that space “under” the MASP Museum only ( which is directly across the street from Trianon Park), however, sometimes, protesters get a little excited and tend to block one or two or all lanes of traffic at Paulista Avenue, so then Police would get involved to release the Avenue back to traffic and push protesters back into the square under the Museum.
    They temptation to block the traffic is too great because there is no faster and louder way to get all over the news in Sao Paulo than to block Paulista Avenue, even if they block only one lane, they cause huge havic.


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