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.There is some evidence to suggest that what I warned could happen is occurring.
|Map Courtesy of The World Factbook|
The Huffington Post published, “Brazilian Protests: Could It Happen Here?” on June 24. And The Washington Times reported that a, “U.S. union head praises Brazil’s violence, warns of some transit protest here” on June 25.
The Guardian used the Brazilian riots and protests to push Marxism and openly tried to counter any blowback against open Marxist president Dilma Rousseff while simultaneously demonizing “rightwingers” in, “Brazil’s people are crying out for change, so let’s seize the moment” on July 1. The author even subtly connected them to the American Occupy Wall Street movement that flourished in 2011:
These are people who have reaped the benefits of capitalist growth without experiencing its side-effects of extreme inequality, poverty and despair. They have accepted the rightwing, anti-state ideology and have turned it into the anti-political “no party” slogans constantly heard in the protests. The ejection in the protests of flags or shirts indicating “any” political association is a direct attack on the leftwing parties and social movements who started the campaign. This is a hegemonic struggle for political power. The right has been trying to unite different parts of the population against Dilma’s administration and is now using the protests to this end.
It would be too reductionist, however, to interpret the multitude in the streets as part of a rightwing or neoliberal conspiracy. The colourful multiplicity of protests is not a prelude to a rightwing coup, something from which Brazil has repeatedly suffered. The activists of the social movements as well as the extremist anti-Dilma rightwing groups are only a minority. The majority of protesters are people who have never before taken part in political activism or demonstrations. The protests catalyse a dispersed, even ideologically contradictory, feeling of indignation. The anti-political and anti-party chants of rightwingers, who may be secretly praying for a military coup, cannot be compared with the multitude’s cry “que se vayan todos!” (let them all go). The central meaning of the protests brings them closer to events in Argentina in 2001, and makes them an integral part of the cycle of occupations all over the world since 2011. Diverse grievances, antagonistic hopes and conflicting narratives ground the protests, but they are also part of the new age of resistance. No, we have not seen this film before.And leftist website Truthout used the Brazil unrest as a rallying cry for Marxism within the U.S. with, “The State of Dissent in America: Flex Your Rights” on July 3.
Left and right-of-left came together during the Fourth of July holiday to protest against the NSA and surveillance in general (although they did not connect their rallies and protests to Brazil).
Reuters reported that, “Internet sites join July 4 protest against surveillance,” on July 4. And both WND and The Daily Caller reported that protestors across the U.S. rallied against the NSA.
The size and intensity of these protests is questionable. For instance, although The Daily Caller ran with the headline, “Protestors rally against NSA, call for new American revolution,” the actual story reveals that the mood at the rally was much lighter than such a headline might suggest.
Perhaps the closest the U.S. came to seeing the violence of Brazil directly turn into violence in the U.S. occurred when authorities arrested a man in or near Seattle. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported the following:
A judge set bail at $2 million Friday for a Las Vegas man arrested near the University of Washington in a truck that authorities say contained multiple weapons, maps to three Seattle campuses and a recording in which he said he planned to do something in the West to support protesters demanding reform in Brazil.News that, “Brazil expresses concern at report of NSA spying,” allows for the possibility of a convergence of people angry in the U.S. and angry in Brazil.
And with the trial of George Zimmerman concluding, reports are coming out the Florida authorities are preparing for unrest and riots. Some people are stoking tensions by suggesting riots or even calling for Zimmerman’s lynching should he be found not guilty.
While such riots would not be connected to Brazil, it would be easy for agitators to take advantage of the situation and attempt to utilize the discontent to call for “solidarity” with protestors worldwide (including in Brazil) in order to create further chaos and violence.
In fact, expect to see violence and larger-scale protests and riots become the norm in the U.S. and the world. Social media allows much easier organization of such events.
But while it will be easier to organize larger-scale protests and riots, it will remain difficult for those participating in them to control them or achieve what they want.
The widespread publicity of such events through social media allows anyone to follow and join them for their own reason.
This allows for chaos and an inability for the protestors to set and achieve goals. The Christian Science Monitor reported the following about the Brazil protests and riots:
Though there is a push for inclusivity, there is a concern among the core demonstration leaders that groups with right-leaning or partisan views are taking advantage of largely anticorruption, pro-social inclusion protests.
In São Paulo, where the “Free Pass” movement that organized the first of the country’s largest demonstrations is located, transportation activists have complained that causes they do not stand by have cropped up at the protests. “In recent demonstrations we could see people asking to lower the age to be tried as an adult and other issues that we consider conservative. We do not endorse these demands,” Douglas Belome, a São Paulo Free Pass activist, told the local press.We saw the same thing in Egypt where the citizens demanded Morsi’s removal but had no plan for what would happen after that because of disunity within the protestors. Now there is chaos and near anarchy there.
And while the “rightwingers” in Brazil might not be the subversives that the author of the above-cited The Guardian article believes, it doesn’t mean that others won’t try to hijack large-scale protests and riots in the future (or that others haven’t already done so).
Thus, such large-scale protests will be ripe for exploitation and a perfect venue for anarchists or other malcontents seeking violence, disorder, or worse.
In fact, leaders and security and intelligence professionals should realize that the ease of organizing leaderless, large-scale protests or riots very well could be used as a weapon by state or non-state enemy actors to inflict harm. They might even be used as a tool of war meant to destroy governments and nations.
Finally, leaders must realize that all large-scale events must be viewed from a global perspective. There are no localized events any longer.
RT interviewed Saudi Princess Basmah Bint Saud recently and the following exchange occurred in, “‘Egypt coup is just one of many to come’”:
RT: So, you think this coup, which just took place in Egypt could actually spill over in the region?
BBS: I don’t think it’s going to be the end in Egypt, it’s going to spill over the whole region. It's not only the whole region, it’s the whole globe, that is undergoing the shift. And economy, Europe, Spain, Greece, the States, South America, North America, Brazil. Look at the globe. What’s happening? You have to connect things together. You cannot just talk about Egypt, without talking about Syria, Brazil or Europe. Economy everywhere is driving the revolutions. And this is that nobody have seen. We are naming actually revolution by the religions, but basically its economic: unemployment, not giving the proper human rights, the social human rights, security, social security, environmental security, child security, government security, borders security. This is all our issues, which are really important for today's person. And we are not actually addressing this issues, we are looking at it in a very secular, political way. And we name the religion the cause of revolution. It is not, it is economic, and that’s what we are seeing right now.Leaders and security and intelligence professionals need to be prepared for protests and riots on an ever-increasing scale and frequency for the future, especially as they become potential weapons for state and non-state actors.