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Back to the Stone Age | Globo Targeted by Vandalism


The pump don’t work because the vandals took the handles …

Source: Terra Brasil

Two demonstrations tied up traffic in the Southern Zone of Rio yesterday afternoon. The first took place near the official residence of Governor Cabral … During the second, residents of the Rocinha slum, in  Gávea, protested the disappearance of an area resident. A group of 100 demonstrators, according to police, managed to block the Lagoa-Barra connection for several minutes.

The protesters then marched on Leblon, where they joined up with the protesters at the governor’s mansion. The military police said some 700 peaceful demonstrators were on hand. Traffic was complicated for motorists heading for Barra da Tijuca and Recreio dos Bandeirantes, due to the blockade of Delfim Moreira Avenue.

Governor Sérgio Cabral, through his press spokesperson, issued a release on the situation. “The opposition wants to accelerate elections by creating problems of governability. The governor, legitimately elected by 67% of voters in the last election, reiterates his commitment to maintaining Rio de Janeiro on the road to social and economic development. ”

After leaving the mansion, the group marched through the streets of Leblon.

Along the way, group members threw  stones at an administrative building of the Globo network. Molotov cocktails were launched and the doorway to the building was broken into. Security guards doused members of the group who attempted to enter with fire extinguishers. A car belonging to the  SBT network was graffiti-bombed.

Along with the damages to Globo and SBT property, buses were spray-painted with the slogan “Down With Cabral.” A sign advertising the World Youth Day gathering was burned on Mario Ribeiro Street, in Gávea.

Police did not follow the group and no repressive actions were taken as the violence began. Around 10:45 p.m., however, a confrontation began. Demonstrators climbed a barricade and attacked military police on Cabral Street and General San Martin Avenue with stones and mortars. The PM fired back with tear gas bombs, but remained in Cabral Street without advancing.

Banks were pillaged as well, on Ataulfo de Paiva Avenue. The Shock Troop was called in. No injuries have been reported yet.

Politicians seem more aware than ever that police excesses are a heated issue — perhaps the most heated issue for ordinary urban pedestrians caught up in shock troop overkill, which only undermines the trooper’s credibility when he undertakes actions that are genuinely necessary and properly disciplined.

As a think tank on the issue observes,

The new generation of public safety managers (and not just police, prosecutors, judges and civil servants) must face these challenges, and ensure that a  wide-ranging national dialogue on the subject is translated into real control over public safety policy and that public sector and civil society form a partnership in the quest for a better life for all Brazilians …

According to a story in today’s Folha de S. Paulo, after-action analysis of the incident, the commandant of the Military Police blamed human rights groups for not keeping their end of a no-violence bargain.

Hours after the acts of vandalism that left a trail of destruction in Ipanema and Leblon … military police (PM) commander Colonel Alberto Pinheiro Neto, said today (July 18) that the agreement with human rights groups were insufficient to prevent acts of destruction yesterday in the Southern Zone.

“We will reevaluate. What was agreed upon was not in accordance with police best practices. Organized civil society says the use of tear gas  provokes the violence, but yesterday we say that dispersing crowds is a necessary task,” he said.

The PMA attributes some of the chaos that broke out in Leblon and Ipanema to an agreement over limiting the use of non-lethal weapons, negotiated by the Order of Brazilian Attorneys (OAB) and Amnesty International, in meetings held during the week.

OAB-RJ president Felipe Santacruz, said that the  PM “can blame no one else for its own lack of preparation.”

“The PM commandant invited the OAB to station lawyers in the no-man’s land between police and demonstrators. “I don’t think this is a proper role for volunteer attorneys. We realize that the situation is a difficult one for all involved: The demonstration was a kind of hybrid event. The absence of police disturbs us. What we want is to detain those practicing fascist attitudes,” he said.