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woody

Last night

There were demonstrations last night and many of them - Rio's included - ended in violence.

It seems to me the police tactics last night was to scare us. They've succeeded in that and more. There were tear gas bombs being thrown in front of hospitals, demonstrators were chased, shot at (rubber bullets aren't lethal, but they are harmful), pepper-sprayed... The usual deal.

Police surrounded the Philosophy and Humane Sciences Institute (IFCS) and National Law School (FDN), both part of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ - one of the most prestigious public universities in my state). Bar (OAB) volunteer lawyers were sent to negociate and get the students out safely.

We don't want violence, but there are rioters taking advantage of the number of people on the street (1 million last night). Police is responding with extreme force. Special Ops (BOPE) was on the street last night. I should point out their logo is a skull with a knife and they're the people called to chase drug lords away from slums - did you see "Tropa de Elite"? That's our Special Ops.

The results are: an angry, scared and worried population.

Angry because of the violent attempt to suffocate the movement. Scared because of the violence on both sides. Worried because of the potential escalating violence, lack of immediate solutions to this issue and fearful of possible bad outcomes.

It's worth remembering that just last century, Brazil was a dictatorship twice - from 1937 to 45 and then 1964 to 85. Most of the revolutions I've studied in History class were nothing more than an overthrown of the current government - 1889, 1930, 1937, 1964. (Keep in mind Brazil became and independent country in 1822.)

Authorities have yet to give public statements of everything.

I swallow hard, fearful for the future of my country and holding on to a faithful, almighty God.

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