Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Brazil protests; the government actually listens!


"ISTOÉ – President Dilma was right to speak to the nation on TV, convene meetings with governors, mayors and protesters to propose a deal?

Manuel Castells – Yes, she is the first world leader to watch and to listen to the demands of people in the streets. She showed that she is a true democrat, but she is being stabbed in the back by traditional politicians. José Serra’s Declarations (PSDB former governor criticized the initiatives announced by the president) are typical of the lack of accountability of politicians and misunderstanding the right people to decide. The political positions are not owned by politicians. They are paid by the citizens who elect them. And citizens will remember who said what in this crisis when the election comes.ISTOÉ – How to compare with the Brazilian movement that occurred in the rest of the world?Manuel Castells – There are million people protesting like that for weeks and months in countries around the world. In the United States, for example, over a thousand cities were occupied between September 2011 and March 2012. The difference is that Brazil has a democratic president Dilma Rousseff and as a handful of truly democratic politicians such as Marina Silva, is accepting the right of citizens to express themselves outside the bureaucratic controlled channels. The true meaning of the Brazilian movement is: it shows there still hope to reconnect citizens and institutions, if there is goodwill on both sides."

Now there's an idea. When millions of your citizens take to the streets, you might want to converse with them and see what the problem is rather than depleting your tear gas stocks and ripping up tents.

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