On Brazilians

So there are massive protests happening across Brazil right now. People are being hurt, police are being brutal, and protests of this scope have not happened since the 1990s when they wanted to eject their President. You can read about them all over the Internet right now, and you should do so in order to be informed. And also because the rest of this article will rely on you having done so in order to know what I'm talking about. Go ahead, I'll wait.

The short version is that inflation caused public transit fares to go up 6.7%, from the equivalent of $1.50 to $1.60; people didn't like it and in Sao Paulo they decided to protest for lower fares, and violence happened from both sides. The violence began with bank windows being smashed and vandalism happening, and then it quickly escalated, with the second day of protests seeing buses being burnt out, shelters destroyed, and molotov cocktails being thrown. On the third protest they police initiated the violence against chants of "no violence," the fourth one saw people reportedly being arrested for mere possession of vinegar because it lessens the effects of tear gas, and the fifth day of protests just a couple days ago saw widespread demonstrations in a dozen Brazilian cities.

My question is this: do you think it might not have happened this way if the original protesters hadn't been fucking retarded? Protesting a public transit fare hike, why vandalize or break bank windows at all? And then in the second protest people brought molotov cocktails and started lighting things on fire, burning out buses and destroying transit stations? What the fuck kind of police reaction were they expecting after that, praise?

That's like setting someone's house on fire, and then getting mad that he kicked your ass for it. In fact that's exactly like setting someone's house on fire and then getting mad that he kicked your ass for it, because if you replace "someone's house" with "public property," and "he" with "police" then it's exactly what fucking happened.

By the third protest, the police got tired of waiting around and initiated the violence themselves, and can you blame them? They'd already seen what happened the first two times - chants of "no violence" or not, they knew where this was going already, and they weren't going to sit around waiting for it to happen. There's an old saying, something about fooling people too many times and shame - I'm sure it'll come to me later.

The fifth protest was widespread across the country, happening in several cities across Brazil at once. They were protesting the inflation, the rising transit fare, the police brutality, the regime for letting it happen, poor government spending choices, and some other things, and guess what? In Sao Paulo - the same city where all the previous violence had happened - nobody out of 65,000 people did anything stupid, and there was no violent response from the police. Now, I may not be an expert in human behaviour, but I'm pretty sure that indicates the police were reacting, not initiating.

We had something similar to this happen in Toronto after the G20 Summit a few years ago. A small group of idiots decided to start breaking windows and setting shit on fire, ruining things for everyone. They were basically allowed to tire themselves out on the first day, with little police intervention except where directly confronted. The second day, Toronto police arrested everyone they could get their hands on who looked like they might have been involved, and used things like tear gas, rubber bullets, and I think in one case a fire hose to disperse groups they thought were suspicious.

The first day, the police were criticized for not taking action, and the second day, they were criticized for taking too much action. But you know what else happened? Nothing. Nobody else caused any violence, and the police did very little except for hunting down specific people for arrest after the second day was over.

I'm not a political scientist, and I don't know the ins and outs of Brazilian government or their police force; it's very possible that the Brazilian police are corrupt and like beating on people for fun while dancing around nakedly to 'Goodbye Horses.' But what I do know is that no matter where you are, be it Canada, Brazil, the U.S., Russia - anywhere - if you gather in a large group and start breaking windows, and then you gather in a large group again the next day and start setting shit on fire, the police are going to fuck you up for it.

Using that series of events to bitch about how the police are clearly brutal is disingenuous, hypocritical, and morally and ethically bankrupt. If you think the police are corrupt, bring that to the world's attention by highlighting actions that have already happened. Slapping someone and then calling foul when they slap you back is not a way to prove the other person is violent, it only proves that you're a fucking crybaby. You brought this on yourself, Brazilians, and I have not a single shred of sympathy for you.

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