Explaining to a British why people protest against the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff

Brasil Observer - Apr 11 2016
Photo: Ana Luisa

(Leia em Português)


By Guilherme Reis

Seated on a Boris bike, in the square in front of the Embassy of Brazil in London, I was observing the demonstration of Brazilians against the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, at that time animated by the cadenced guitar of Gui Tavares, who was playing the accords of “Construção”, by Chico Buarque, when a British passer-by surprised me:

– What is this protest about?

– It’s against the impeachment of the Brazilian president.

– Are you supporting a clearly corrupt government? Seriously? – He asked me with a slightly elevate tone, but still in a polite manner, which made me stand disposed for a talk between two different opinions.

– Not everyone here supports the government. There are a lot of critics. People here are against the impeachment, in favour of democracy.

– And do you think the designation of Lula for a position in the government was democratic? I don’t think so, it was authoritarian.

– I agree. I also found it wrong. But democracy is a process. Our democracy is very young. To interrupt this process with an impeachment without clear proof of crime against the president seems dangerous.

– But this government is corrupt and very bad for the economy. The dollar soared. The public accounts are out of place, the deficit is too big.

– The government is terrible, but impeachment is not solution for bad government. We have regular elections. The decision is on the polls.

– Yes… Fernando Henrique Cardoso was a great president; he did very important things for the country. The economy now is very bad.

– That’s true. He did good things. Lula changed the country as well.

– But Lula did it because Cardoso arranged everything before. He just followed what had been done and the country benefited from that.

– Yes. And he implemented new policies as well, a more efficient social security net, a more independent and assertive foreign policy…

– The poorer, right? I think the Northern and North-eastern states have a disproportionate weight. They receive a lot more at the end.

– What do you mean by that?

– I love Brazil. I’ve been doing business there for 20 years.

– Interesting. It’s not easy to do business in Brazil, that’s a fact.

– Have you seen the market reactions? They are excited about the possibility of change of government in Brazil. They want change.

– Yes. The market is always supporting the right. It’s not new.

– That’s true (laughs). I have to go. Thanks for the debate.

– Thanks for your time. People need more dialogue like this in Brazil.

– Good evening.

– Good evening.

The demonstration against the impeachment of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff took place on Thursday 31 March. Organized through social media, it was attended by about 150 people. Beyond London, demonstrations occurred in other European capitals and cities such as Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, Coimbra and Barcelona, in addition to over 60 cities in Brazil. In March last year, that time in support of the demonstrations in favour of the impeachment in Brazil, Brazilians also gathered outside the embassy in London. In both cases, everything happened peacefully.