Window of Opportunity


There are some (Brazilians) out there claiming it is OK that the protesters are not armed with leadership and a clear set of actionable demands. The fact that they organized themselves enough to bring the masses to the streets is enough to scare off any future corruption or mismanaged of funds.

I absolutely, 100%, disagree with this.

When nothing changes and, once again, a politician who has been convicted of robbing the people is put into office for another term, a law is passed protecting those committing crimes in Congress, and funds are funneled into the pockets of politicians or companies that support them, the people of Brazilian will have to put out twice the effort to make an impact. Because if nothing solid is demanded now, current political leadership will believe it is all just a big show. Entertainment for the nightly news. They will convince themselves that protesting is a mere nuisance but nothing to worry about. Tudo bem.

Now is your chance Brazil. You already have everyone’s attention (finally globally). Make clear demands that the world will agree are reasonable and you will see change.

There is a video out there that does makes some requests.

I don’t really agree with the format that was chosen. I get that the theme is from the film “V for Vendetta,” but I feel like at any moment someone is going to appear wielding a chainsaw. A little too creepy for my taste. And I think that someone needs to be the front man. The anonymity of this makes it easier to ignore.

But it is a start. Here are the demands made:

1. Do not pass PEC 37. PEC 37 is a proposed article in the Constitution that will forbid the Ministério Público from investigating anyone in Congress. So all the Congressmen pretty much get a free pass to commit all the crimes they want. Yes, this demand is immediately actionable and justified. (minha amiga Rachel explains it better here)

2. The immediate removal from office of Renan Calheiros – a guy that used government funds to pay the child support of his illegitimate child. His impeachment got voted out by a secret ballot. Total bullshit. Yes, this demand is immediately actionable and justified. (more on this in a The Economist article)

3. Immediately investigate and punish the causes for irregularities with the World Cup committed by the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry. This one is a little more complicated. I’m assuming that the demand is to look through all the books relating to the World Cup to find out where the money went. I have a feeling those books have long been burned. And anyone who is actually going to conduct an investigation within the government has had their hand in the crime. This demand is critical in scaring all those parties involved in whatever corruption occurred. But expectations should be low. There is also the danger of the government spending a pile of money on this investigation when we all know that the outcome will be unsatisfactory.

4. A law that makes corruption in Congress a heinous crime. I would be much more specific on this one. Punishable by a minimum of ten years imprisonment. No parole. And to be banned from ever serving in political office (that might seem obvious, but there are many convicted criminals currently serving as a public official).

5. End the special privileges that government official enjoy.  I think I’m getting this one right. Needs to be more specific because it seems there are whole lot of special privileges these politicians are enjoying. Start naming the biggest and baddest to be removed.

Regardless of the adjustments that might need to be made, let’s get these circulated. I have yet to see a response to these demands from Dilma – have you?

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9 Responses to Window of Opportunity

  1. mharbo says:

    Awesome coverage of the protests!!! Thanks for keeping an updated, balanced, and inclusive coverage ongoing for those of us outside of brazil.

    Here is an interesting article about the Guy Fawkes mask with a touch of irony to its popularity.

    (We miss BAB and her peeps!)

  2. I think it’s a really good list for a start. Only five demands means it’s a small enough list that it seems somewhat focused, and yet spreads the accusations and progress to be made out to hit a few different areas. I also agree with your thinking on what each one means, and how they could be more specific or clear.

    I think, considering how huge and general the protests are, this list is a very good place to start. At least it’s another step in the right direction. A conversation starter, and some rallying points.

    It’s also kind of shocking that these things even need to be requested. They seem like such no-brainers, and the fact that they’ve gotten as far as they have shows how bad things really are. Makes you wonder what other kinds of problems are hiding up the government’s sleeve. Man, I wish there were some seriously good private detectives who could wiki-leak the hidden dealings of each and every one of Brazil’s politicians!

    • Yes! Calling for the wiki-leakers! Maybe that will be the next movement.
      I know, it is so scary that these things are allowed to happen, and that people have known and accepted it! At least those corrupters left in our country have the decency to try and hide it all better (kidding). I want to hear a response from Dilma on these demands.

  3. Erin Halm says:

    Maybe we´ll hear Dilma´s reponse at the PT conter-rally this afternoon. That is, if a fight doesn´t break out.

  4. As far as I understand it, point 5 refers to the fact that elected politicians cannot be tried in the same way as normal people. It has to be done through the senate and the Supreme Court (STJ). This makes it very hard to get a conviction of anyone, just look at how long it took for the mensalão scandal to get to the Supreme Court and still nothing has been done.

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