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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/18/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Massive protests are taking place just prior to the visit of Pope Francis.

Demonstrations have erupted across Brazil, and curiously, they have gone largely unreported across the media. On Monday, an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets to protest the government, poor quality services, corruption, taxes, and police brutality.

Protestors converged on the Congressional building to oppose taxes, poor services, corruption, and police tactics.

Protestors converged on the Congressional building to oppose taxes, poor services, corruption, and police tactics.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/18/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Brazil, media, Pope Francis, protests, occupy, coverage, Confederation Cup, World Cup, Olympics


SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (Catholic Online) - Brazil is one of the world largest countries and will soon be the host of the World Cup, the Pope, and in three years, the Olympics. However, for now the country is beset by the greatest civil unrest since the 1980s, giving some security officials pause.

Protesters have gathered to oppose a number of issues, including government corruption, taxes, poor quality services, and now police brutality. Protesters said they originally gathered to protest a ten-cent hike in mass transit fares, however since last week the movement has grown dramatically.

More than 100,000 people took to the streets on Monday after reports of police brutality against protesters went viral.

Last week, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a largely peaceful demonstration of less than 5,000 people. Police were also filmed attacking reporters on at least one occasion, even allegedly beating one of them. Several films show protesters standing peacefully as police deployed aggressive tactics to disperse them. In another video, shot from the seventh floor of a building, police were filmed shooting tear gas at the camera despite its height.

Sao Paulo is the financial capital of the nation and has witnessed the largest demonstrations. In the capital of Brasilia, protesters marched on Congress and while some windows in the government building were broken the protest remained peaceful. Police did not use force on that occasion, possibly because they were concerned about world scrutiny.

Almost as amazing as the protests themselves has been their abject lack of coverage in world media. The protests in Turkey, which were finally cleared out last week, have received more notice. The protests in Brazil have gone largely unmentioned.

Yet the protests there are some of the largest since the end of that country's dictatorship in 1985.

World attention is coming regardless. The Confederations Cup is being hosted in the country, and next month Pope Francis is slated to visit. Next year, the World Cup will be hosted in Brazil and the Olympics come to Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

However, if security cannot be maintained, then these events may have to be postponed, rescheduled,  cancelled, or even located elsewhere.

So far, the protests have been peaceful with the bulk of violence coming from aggressive policing.

If the government is capable of adopting reforms that will appease the people, then all can proceed as planned. If not, then who knows what's next for South America's largest and most influential country.

Meanwhile, the question stands: where is the news coverage?

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



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