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Paul Hair is a national security expert and an author. He writes under his own name and as a ghostwriter. Connect with him at http://www.liberateliberty.com/. Contact him at paul@liberateliberty.com.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Riots in Brazil

Brazil is experiencing significant protests and/or riots. This could portend bigger problems and should serve as a warning to other nations, including the United States, on potential unrest within their boundaries as well.
Map Courtesy of The World Factbook

Reuters reports on the atmosphere of the Brazilian protesting and rioting.
Yet, at least for now, the movement appears to be far more “Occupy Wall Street” than “Arab Spring” in terms of its motives, demographics and likely outcome.
That is, the protests are a noisy sign of discontent among a swath of the population that is on average richer and better educated than average Brazilians. A survey of demonstrators in Sao Paulo on Monday by polling firm Datafolha indicated they were three times more likely to have a university degree than the rest of the population.
The Reuters story continues and shows that, again like the Occupy riots of the United States, the reasons for the Brazilians protesting and rioting are nebulous at best.
But the movement is just as notable for what it is not.
Unlike the unrest that swept the Arab world earlier this decade and Turkey more recently, the protesters are not targeted at a specific leader – or even the federal government.
Just a quarter of demonstrators told Datafolha they were protesting against politicians – behind bus fares (56 percent), corruption (40 percent) and police repression (31 percent).
Brazil is a vibrant democracy with a variety of parties, most of them left of center. The country’s current leaders – many of whom cut their teeth protesting a military government in the 1970s and 1980s – appear eager to compromise with the protesters and, eventually, try to co-opt them.

This suggests anarchist tendencies among a significant portion of the protesters/rioters. Furthermore, these riots are by leftists against leftists.

More from Reuters:
A nationwide poll released on Wednesday showed Rousseff’s popularity, while down sharply from March, remained very high by global standards. Fifty-five percent of respondents rated her government as “good/great,” while 32 percent rated it as “average.” Just 13 percent said it was “bad/terrible.”
Recent polls have shown similar results.
Fox News reports the same about Rousseff’s popularity.

This is especially important for the United States to note. People in the U.S. appear to be growing increasingly angry towards their government over a variety of scandals and news stories, including Benghazi, Syria, the IRS, illegal aliens, and the NSA.

But as people grow angrier in the United States, like Brazilians, they may not be holding their leader accountable for the problems.

Current polling (or at least, headlines) may seem to indicate otherwise on Obama. However, others argue that his numbers might not be as bad as people think. Furthermore, when considering all the known scandals coming from his administration, it is astonishing that Obama continues receiving a 47% approval rating.

This could suggest that if American anger escalates and riots or protests break out, they might not be directed at Obama, and they might not demand changes in the name of freedom.

The Daily Beast provides additional details on the protesting and rioting in Brazil in, “Blindsided in Brazil”:
The Free Pass Movement quickly claimed the fare reductions as a victory for the street, but also seemed unimpressed by the official gesture. “We want to topple barriers between rich and poor, break down walls between the center city and the slums,” declared Paulo Motoryn, a social sciences major at São Paulo’s Catholic University and one of Free Pass’s many voices. The movement’s higher aim is “to consolidate the people as the political actor of unparalleled importance to fight for a Brazil with more social justice, with inequality and with opportunities for one and all.” . . .
One of the defining aspects of the uprising is its elusiveness. The student rebels do not want leaders; they reject existing political parties and distrust elected officials. They are the sons and daughters of a generation of Brazilians who fought the dictatorship, helped revive direct elections, and laid down their arms and stones to be voted into power. Now they are turning on their godfathers, and their list of grievances against “just about everything” (tudo isso que está aí, in Portuguese) is a work in progress, grounded by a refusal to patronized. Some 53 percent of Brazilian youths doubt that elections are honest, says Marcelo Neri, Brazilian secretary of strategic affairs and a social-policy expert.
So not only is the anarchist element that we saw in the U.S. Occupy movement mirrored in Brazil, but we also see the same problems of universities—including ostensibly “Christian” universities—being used as training grounds for social unrest. And this social unrest in Brazil, as with Occupy Wall Street, does not have goals, making the protesting and rioting vulnerable to be taken over by even more extreme elements.

The Daily Beast continues:
What’s also clear is how the movement blindsided politicians and academics, many of whom had comforted themselves with elaborate surveys and data points that consistently showed that Brazilians are ever more prosperous, confident, and hopeful about their future. “No one saw this coming,” says Carvalho. “Everyone was convinced that everything was OK.”
Brazil, indeed, has much to boast about. Thanks to a stable economy, low inflation, record-low unemployment (5.8 percent), and hefty increases in the minimum wage, some 40 million Brazilians have escaped dire poverty. For the first time in history, this lopsided pyramid of a society—with a huge slab of poor at the base and a slender wedge of ultra-rich at the top—is now a middle-class nation. And while other fast-growing emerging nations, such as China, saw the gaps between rich and poor widen as they grew, Brazil celebrated a sharp drop in inequality.
“No one saw this coming,” is becoming a familiar refrain whenever problems and violence break out across the world.

And yet what happened in Brazil is similar to what happened in the U.S. with Occupy Wall Street: no one saw it coming and it was led by the well-to-do and upper middle class.

Furthermore, while Occupy Wall Street preceded these protests and riots in Brazil, there is no reason to think that these protests and riots in Brazil cannot reignite Occupy Wall Street in the United States—only this time with more fury.

We still have the same source of ignition in the U.S. that led to Occupy Wall Street: prosperous leftists trained to agitate by universities; ready to riot for the sake of rioting, and done so with a self-righteous anger .

The coverage by The New York Times of this story shows even more similarities between the rioting Brazilians and the leftists of the United States.
Protests continued to shake cities around Brazil on Friday. In São Paulo, the nation’s largest city, protesters blocked roads leading to the airport and thousands rallied at a downtown plaza to protest a measure backed by conservative legislators, known as the gay cure, that would allow psychologists to treat homosexuality as a form of mental illness.
Sodomites and leftists across the U.S. are celebrating the demise of Exodus International, even as they continue criminalizing any attempts to help people who want to change their lives.

If the Occupy Wall Street leftists choose to stir up trouble again, anger against Christians might become even more prominent in their social unrest.

More from The New York Times:
But many protesters said the measures fell far short of what was needed.
“They have been promising lots of things for many years, but it doesn’t go beyond that,” said Jeniffer Novaez, 18, a physical therapist. “I don’t know if they understand what is really happening here, but it’s been many years and we are thirsty. We want everything, and we want it now.”
Another protester, Bruna Santana, 22, a student, said the government was not serious in its response. “They only want to shut us up,” she said.”
Brazil has a Marxist president who has redistributed wealth. But the Brazilians aren’t satisfied. They want more. And they don’t want more freedom. Rather, they want a bigger government to give them more.

Worse still, leftist propaganda outlets are encouraging them, goading them on to more unrest.

And if the protests and violence aren’t stopped, the likelihood of protests and violence breaking out in other parts of the world (including the U.S.) increases, as was demonstrated by the so-called Arab Spring.

If social unrest returns to the United States, it very well could be comprised of a combination of the Occupy Wall Street leftists and the conservatives who are throwing their support behind Glenn Greenwald (a Marxist) and Edward Snowden (who currently is seeking asylum in Ecuador—a nation which is friendly to Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution and Islamic terrorists.)

And if this occurs, the United States would be facing an unprecedented national security challenge.

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