Sunday, March 13, 2016

 

Millions take to streets to protest against president in Brazil...'Historic'...

Sao Paulo - More than three million Brazilians, according to police, demonstrated across Latin America's biggest nation to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

Chanting "Dilma out!" and draped in the bright yellow and green national flag, protesters across Brazil sought to pressure Congress into accelerating impeachment proceedings against the leftist leader, blamed for a massive corruption scandal and the worst economic recession in a quarter century.

"We are at a decisive moment for our country. We are going to start the change now," said Rogerio Chequer, leader of Vem Pra Rua, one of the main organizers of the demonstrations, at the Sao Paulo protest.

Helio Bicudo, a prominent lawyer who once supported the government but helped initiate the push for impeachment told the Sao Paulo protesters: "Brazil can't take being looted and robbed anymore, it can't take more incompetence and corruption."

A big turnout was likely to spur deputies in Congress who had been wavering over whether or not to drop support for the increasingly isolated president.

"This has been a very bad weekend for the government," said analyst Sergio Praca at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio.

A national police count compiled by news site G1 found that some 1.3 million more protesters attended rallies at some 400 cities around Brazil, not counting Sao Paulo or a large demonstration in Rio de Janeiro.

Added together, the figures pointed to an overall turnout of around 3.5 million.

Opposition organizers came up with a national figure about double that.

In Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Summer Olympics in August, protesters singing and dancing to samba songs swarmed along the beachfront avenue in Copacabana.

The turnout was impressive, but the organizers' claim that one million attended there appeared far-fetched. There was no police estimate for Rio.

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