A dramatic headline from Rio: The dollar value of rampant vandalism in continuing street demonstrations.
According to the carioca daily O Globo, local authorities will use a new law with stricter definitions of what counts as a criminal conspiracy as part of its legal arsenal against the “street fighting man” — see below.
In the meantime, in São Paulo …
São Paulo – The Secretary of Public Safety of São Paulo (SSP) yesterday announced the creation of a task force to combat “thugs” and “street brawlers” who take part in popular demonstrations. The objective is to rapidly identify persons engaging in illegal conduct during the demonstration. “The task force is there to prevent a handful of thugs from interfering in the right to protest of everyone else,” said SSP Fernando Grella Vieira.
The task force will draw on both the military and state judicial police forces as well as the local prosecutor. Operations began late yesterday afternoon. All of the information gathered by the police since the June demonstrations will be made available to the task force. According to the Secretary, the tracking of social networks and data mining will continue.
We should sell them Prism.
Grella said that police could return to using rubber bullets when it finds it necessary. The use of this weapon had been suspended by Grella himself, in June, after the nonlethal munitions caused serious injuries to demonstrators, journalists, and passersby.
“When the protest is occupied by small groups who are not protesters, but thugs, this obliges the group to use progressive levels of force. If we face a scene like the one we saw yesterday, it is against a group of vandals, and not demonstrators, that progressive use of force is employed, including the rubber bullet,” he said. .
In other police actions, Grella confirmed the continued use of the so-called P2 — undercover plainclothes infiltrators. “Each police organization has its own intelligence service to guide, in terms of directives, the preventive activities of police. This is a socially significant point in that it serves the public interest. The PCs have fortified their intelligence operation while the PMs have their own intelligence sector,” he said.
Rock in Rio
RIO | The state judicial police (PC) has announced changes to its strategy against acts of vandalism. From now on, groups like the Black Blocs, who promote street violence will be charged under the Law of Criminal Organizations (12580), approved in August and put into practice in late September. The PC says it will investigate the conduct of protesters using a new device.
The new law provides that a meeting of four or more persons, formal or informal, using any media, will for the criminal justice system count as a criminal conspiracy. In this way, vandals will receive stiffer sentences, up to eight years in prison.
In the meantime, a couple arrested in São Paulo for alleged acts of vandalism were charged under the National Security law.
- Vandalism and fear of violence have caused R$ 1.3 billion in damage
- Experts criticize the PC for being slow to confront vandals
- Após duas horas de ato pacífico, vândalos atiram bombas na Câmara e incendeiam ônibus
- Crônica da violência: ‘Os black blocs provocaram a polícia’
- Vandalismo após protesto deixa rastro de destruição na Cinelândia
Rio witnessed scenes of renewed violence on Monday evening. After a peaceful march by thousands of teachers and their sympathizers, a group of vandals attempted to invade the city legislature through the entrance on Rua Evaristo da Veiga. Molotov cocktails were launched against the Pedro Ernesto Palace, and vandals tried to break down the door using street signs.
The conflict then spread to other downtown streets. A bus was burned on Rio Branco Avenue and a number of bank branches were plundered. The Angolan and U.S. Consulates were also targeted.
Public safety is very much on our minds these days — a couple with an infant were brutally mugged in the community park down the block. And the fatal police shooting of a neighbor has never been followed up on.
Filed under: Brazil