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The Ides of March and the Painted Faces


«We’re Back. The Painted Faces. Cities Defined To Date» [The Ides of March]

Blog da Cidadania | Edu Guimarães (Brazil) deconstructs an emerging meme: the organization of demonstrations parallel — not similar, but parallel, as in universe — to the popular unrest surrounding the resignation of Fernando Collor in 1992 — he was forced to resign but later cleared of all impeachable offenses by the Supreme Court.

See above.

Comparisons between the saga of Collor and the calvary faced by President Dilma Rousseff are frequently heard in the anti-PT news media and the public discourse of the opposition, despite enormous differences between the two cases.

Dilma is not the object of a personal accusation. Despite this, she is the target of a cock-eyed legal brief commissioned by ex-president F.H. Cardoso and published by legal scholar Ives Gandra Martins, which was promptly rejected by a long line of legal experts …

Even so, the gunslingers hired by the Globos, Folhas, Vejas and Estados to keep the Dilma government under heavy crossfire have been sowing the seeds of a theory that, just as in the case of Collor, and despite the lack of evidence against her, the president can indeed be impeached because this is a “political process” which, as in the Collor case, requires no evidence in order to be carried out.

The fact is that, although Collor was deposed — or rather, compelled to resign, which he did before the Congress could vote on the bill of impeachment — he was never found guilty of anything in a court of law. There was no evidence against him.  An army of lawyers considered the charges without merit. But there was no lack of personal accusations against Collor. It began with his brother and his chauffeur, Eriberto França, who said he used to collect bribes in the name of the president.

[Aside re: PC Farias]

The impeachment proceedings against Collor, however, appealed to an audible social uproar ever since the confiscation of savings, carried out as the door closed behind his disastrous administration.

The great irony in all this is that the measure Minister Zélia Cardoso de Mello adopted to do away with galloping inflation with a “silver bullet” — as it was called at the time — left the left perplexed and the right indignant. It was at this point that Collor had his falling out with the right-wing media.

Returning to the present, what we see are attempts by media hired guns not just to carry out a similar offensive against Dilma, but also, as the reader will soon see, to reproduce an event that represented the shovel full of quicklime that buried Collor for good. That is, the gigantic protest of the “painted faces.”

The recreation of this event, scheduled for the ides of March, however, is in no way comparable with the movement calling for the ouster of Collor. It is being organized by groups calling for a return to military rule — a radical hard-right movement — whereas the “painted faces” were led by the National Union of Students, the CUT [labor federation] and many other leftist groups.

Still, a farce does not require historical accuracy. Here are some ways in which the gun-slingers of the anti-PT media are trying to reproduce the coup de grace delivered to the Collor government.

Last Tuesday, Globo blogger Noblat took advantage of an ingenuous initiative by PT militants on Facebook to call — without approval by the party — for a counter-demonstration to that called for by the coup advocates on March 15, in order to establish a parallel between the anti-Collor march of 1992 and the anti-Dilma demonstration next month.

Screenshot from 2015-02-11 18:15:31

A November event along the same lines was sparsely attended, as far as I can tell.

Below, Noblat strives to mold Dilma into a present-day Collor.


As you can see, the Globo blogger even admits that the coup-plotting delirium of anti-PT activists is groundless, unlike the concrete reasons that led to Collor’s impeachment, but he “argues” that even without the minimal elements necessary to open a process in a Congress commanded by Eduardo Cunha, 54 million votes can be cast aside, accomplishing the “Paraguayan coup” that I have so often warned about.

This blogger, watching this attempt to delude the public by denouncing the political orientation of a PT that has never existed, has tried to explain the case, searching for information on the supposed counter-demonstration on [the ides of March].

The reply I received from the national vice-president of the PT Alberto Cantalice:

[brief twitter thread]

Cantalice also published a message on the social networks denying any initiative by the PT to promote what he considers a crazy notion …

Cantalice ends by predicting that a counter-demonstration would be undermined with Anonymous tactics — not the black faces that toppled Collor, but that small, obscure but certainly lively anarcho-capitalist underground, streaming selfies of the mayhem in a live feed to the local Globo subsidiary.

Remark: Venezuelan liberal democrats, right, left and center, are very good at this sort of thing. You see truly massive numbers on all sides on the streets simultaneously with a maximum of sloganeering and a minimum of ultraviolence.