Archive for June, 2013

Writer Richard Matheson dies at 87

richard-matheson-2Richard Matheson: 20 February 1926 – 23 June 2013.

Richard Matheson, a prolific American science fiction author and screenwriter whose stories were made into movies and TV episodes, has died. He was 87. He died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to his son. “As monumental as he is as a writer, he was every bit that as a husband, father, grandfather and friend,” Richard Christian Matheson said on his Facebook page. “He was my hero and my best friend and I loved him deeply. I will miss him forever. I know we all will.”

The-Incredible-Shrinking-Man

During a career that spanned more than 60 years, the elder Matheson wrote more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories, plus screenplays for TV and film. Several of his novels were made into movies. “I Am Legend,” released in 1954, inspired three films, including 2007’s movie of the same name that starred Will Smith. His 1956 novel “The Shrinking Man” was adapted for the big screen, becoming “The Incredible Shrinking Man”. Matheson was a major contributor to Rod Serling’s classic TV series “The Twilight Zone,” penning more than a dozen scripts from 1959 to 1964, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” He also wrote for “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and was the creative force behind the classic “Star Trek” episode “The Enemy Within”.

“He was just so influential. He raised the bar for writing thrillers; he brought that high standard and sophistication to everything he did,” Shirley said on Facebook. “And his works … as books and movies, influenced me to have hope for meaning in life, and in the afterlife … he affected my point of view on life.”

Source: CNN.com

One of the most influential sci-fi writers of all time

richard-matheson-1Richard Burton Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey, on February 20, 1926, the son of Norwegian immigrants Fanny and Bertolf Matheson, a tile floor installer. Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married Ruth Ann Woodson on July 1, 1952 and had four children, three of whom (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) became writers of fiction and screenplays.

Matheson’s first published short story was “Born of Man and Woman” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Summer 1950, the new quarterly’s third issue. It is the tale of a monstrous child chained by its parents in the cellar, cast as the creature’s diary in poignantly non-idiomatic English. Later that year he placed stories in the first and third numbers of Galaxy Science Fiction, a new monthly. Between 1950 and 1971, he produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. He was a member of the Southern California School of Writers in the 1950s-1960s, which included Charles Beaumont, William F. Nolan, Ray Bradbury, Jerry Sohl, George Clayton Johnson, and others. Matheson appears in two documentaries related to this era: Jason V Brock’s Charles Beaumont: The Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man, and The AckerMonster Chronicles!, which details the life of agent and editor Forrest J Ackerman.

i-am-legendSeveral of his stories, like “Third from the Sun” (1950), “Deadline” (1959) and “Button, Button” (1970) are simple sketches with twist endings; others, like “Trespass” (1953), “Being” (1954) and “Mute” (1962) explore their characters’ dilemmas over twenty or thirty pages. Some tales, such as “The Funeral” (1955) and “The Doll that Does Everything” (1954) incorporate zany satirical humour at the expense of genre clichés, and are written in an hysterically overblown prose very different from Matheson’s usual pared-down style. Others, like “The Test” (1954) and “Steel” (1956), portray the moral and physical struggles of ordinary people, rather than the then nearly ubiquitous scientists and superheroes, in situations which are at once futuristic and everyday. Still others, such as Hell House (1953), “The Curious Child” (1954) and perhaps most of all, “Duel” (1971) are tales of paranoia, in which the everyday environment of the present day becomes inexplicably alien or threatening. “Duel” was adapted into the TV movie of the same name.

He wrote 14 episodes for the American TV series “The Twilight Zone”, including “Steel” (mentioned above), and the famous “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, plus “Little Girl Lost”, a story about a young girl tumbling into the fourth dimension. On all of Matheson’s scripts for “The Twilight Zone”, he also wrote the introductory and closing statements spoken by creator Rod Serling. He also contributed a number of scripts to the Warner Bros. western series Lawman between 1958 and 1962. He adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for the Roger Corman’s Poe series including “House of Usher” (1960), “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1961) and “The Raven” (1963).

bid-time-returnHe wrote the popular “Star Trek” episode “The Enemy Within”. For Hammer Films he adapted Dennis Wheatley’s “The Devil Rides Out” (1968). In 1973, Matheson earned an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for “The Night Stalker”, one of two TV movies written by Matheson that preceded the series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”. Matheson also wrote the screenplay for “Fanatic” (US title: Die! Die! My Darling!), starring Tallulah Bankhead and Stefanie Powers.

Matheson’s first novel, “Someone Is Bleeding”, was published by Lion Books in 1953. His early novels include “The Shrinking Man” (1956, filmed in 1957 as “The Incredible Shrinking Man”, again from Matheson’s own screenplay) and a science fiction vampire novel, “I Am Legend”, (1954, filmed as “The Last Man on Earth” in 1964, “The Omega Man” in 1971, and “I Am Legend” in 2007). Other Matheson novels turned into notable films include “What Dreams May Come”, “A Stir of Echoes” (as “Stir of Echoes”), “Bid Time Return” (as “Somewhere in Time”), and “Hell House” (as “The Legend of Hell House”), the last two adapted and scripted by Matheson himself. Three of his short stories were filmed together as “Trilogy of Terror” (1975), including “Prey” (initially published in the April 1969 edition of Playboy magazine) with its famous Zuni warrior doll. Matheson’s short story “Button, Button”, was filmed as “The Box” in 2009, and was previously adapted for a 1986 episode of “The Twilight Zone”.

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In 1960, Matheson published “The Beardless Warriors”, a non-fantastic, autobiographical novel about teenage American soldiers in World War II. It was filmed in 1967 as The Young Warriors though most of Matheson’s plot was jettisoned. During the 1950s he published a handful of Western stories (later collected in By the Gun); and during the 1990s he published Western novels such as “Journal of the Gun Years”, “The Gunfight”, “The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickok” and “Shadow on the Sun”. He has also written a blackly comic locked-room mystery novel, “Now You See It…”, aptly dedicated to Robert Bloch, and the suspense novels “7 Steps to Midnight” and “Hunted Past Reason”.

Source: Wikipedia.

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SMILE! YOU ARE BEING SCANNED!

We now know that the National Security Agency (NSA) is able to access personal data stored by Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple. Though these companies have done their best to downplay the significance of the story, the revelations should force us to think much more carefully about the use of this information in the sense to protect the rights of the internet users and the role of states and private companies in creating each country’s shared agenda.

Of course we all know that the United States Government – after SOPA, ACTA and CISPA – would not give up to spy the online life of American citizens or citizens of other countries. You think you’re safe behind a computer screen? To learn how to surf anonymously, you need to know the Tor projetc by clicking here: https://www.torproject.org/.

WHO IS EDWARD SNOWDEN

snowdenEdward Joseph Snowden was born on 21 June, 1983 and is an American former technical contractor and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), before leaking details of classified NSA mass surveillance programs to the press. Snowden shared classified material on a variety of top-secret NSA programs, including the interception of U.S. telephone metadata and the PRISM surveillance program, primarily with The Guardian, which published a series of exposés based on Snowden’s disclosures in June 2013. Snowden said his disclosure of PRISM and FISA orders related to NSA data capture efforts was an effort “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. The Washington Post reported that the motive behind the disclosure was to expose the “surveillance state” that he felt the United States was becoming.

On May 20, Snowden flew to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong and stayed in a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Later he explained his choice of Hong Kong thus: “NSA employees must declare their foreign travel 30 days in advance and are monitored. There was a distinct possibility I would be interdicted en route, so I had to travel with no advance booking to a country with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained. Hong Kong provided that. Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known, and I would not put that past the current US administration”.  On June 19, 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stated that if Snowden was to apply for refugee status in Hong Kong he would receive no special treatment. Hong Kong is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and does not allow refugees to settle in the city.

Ron Paul, a former member of Congress and prominent libertarian, said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden who sees injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.” Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.”

WHAT IS PRISMPRISM_logo

PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007. PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN. It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013. PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden. The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles.

Prism-008The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012). The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States. The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.

YES WE SCAN!

In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data. But is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination. “If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.

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On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant. Twitter declined to make easier the sending of your users data for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations. The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely. In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort.

While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission. Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said. Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information. Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.

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Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats.

On June 7, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout”. Do you believe in these words? Neither I.

ALL YOUR DATA ARE BELONG TO U.S.

There is nothing new about states seeking to coordinate communication systems to further their interests. Although the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Center for Democracy described PRISM as “unprecedented militarisation of domestic communications infrastructure”, PRISM is entirely consistent with longstanding security doctrine in the US. For instance, National Security Decision Directive Number 97 issued in 1983 states that: “The nation’s domestic and international telecommunications resources, including commercial, private and government-owned services and facilities, are essential elements in support of US national security policy and strategy”. TV and radio were part of how the US got what it wanted from the rest of the world.

There is little doubt that the technology companies will operate within parameters set by “US national security policy and strategy”, as their predecessors in broadcast did. Every country’s communications infrastructure is essential to the functioning of its state, and always has been. But PRISM is nevertheless highly significant but dangerous. It shows us that the new digital technologies are not weakening states relative to global corporations. Because when the NSA comes calling, they do what they are told. Companies such as Facebook and Google create “free” services that permitted anyone to invade our own privacy. The NSA just benefit itself from the results.

all-your-data-are-belong-to-usThe first amendment of the US constitution forbids Congress from passing laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. But debates about the media should take into account the relevant facts. PRISM reminds us that all functional states ensure that information systems serve their interests. Journalism, in the US as in Britain, is embedded in a telecommunications infrastructure over which the state maintains paramount control, in the name of national security. At the moment, the Obama administration is trying this through ever-closer coordination with the digital companies and through a campaign of intimidation against potential whistleblowers and troublesome reporters. It is surely obvious that Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and Wikileaks Julian Assange are being targeted to discourage others discontented voices.

The spectre of terrorism is being used to construct this unaccountable power in the new landscape of network communications. And this is about much more than right to privacy and state surveillance. PRISM and similar programmes are seeking to shape the information technologies on which we will increasingly rely. Google and the other technology companies want to assure us that they don’t operate as instruments of state policy. But they do, just as the broadcast networks do. They really have no choice but to cooperate, and to deny that they cooperate.

INITIAL PUBLIC STATEMENTS

PrismThe original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers. All the companies denied. On the heels of media reports that the NSA has gained access to the servers of nine leading tech companies – enabling the spy agency to examine emails, video, photographs, and other digital communications, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others have issued a strongly worded statement denying that the companies granted the government “direct access” to its servers.

Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”

Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network. Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”

Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”

Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”

Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”

Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”

PRISM slide cropAt first glance, all the statements are difficult to believe. Senior intelligence officials have confirmed the program’s existence, and Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Skype logos are prominently listed on internal NSA documents describing participating companies. But Google may be engaging in a far more subtle public relations strategy than outright denial. Google’s statement hinges on three key points: that it did not provide the government with “direct access” to its servers, that it did not set up a “back door” for the NSA, and that it provides “user data to governments only in accordance with the law.”

According to Chris Soghoian, a tech expert and privacy researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, the phrase “direct access” connotes a very specific form of access in the IT-world: unrestricted, unfettered access to information stored on Google servers. Typically, the only people having “direct access” to the servers of a company like Google or Micorsoft would be its engineers. A similar logic applies to Google’s denial that it set up a “back door”. According to Soghoian, the phrase “back door” is a term that describes a way to access a system that is neither known by the system’s owner nor documented.

According to Soghoian, the NSA could have gained access to tech company servers by working with the companies to set up something similar to an API – a tool these firms use to give developers limited access to company data. Google has denied that an API was used, but that denial doesn’t exclude the possibility that a similar tool was used. To protect itself against allegations that it inappropriately compromised user data, Google further notes in its statement that the company provides “user data to governments only in accordance with the law.”

Read More: The Guardian and Wikipedia.

To understand more about the Brazilian protests please read the Editorial No, I’m not Going to the World Cup. And please, don’t go to the World Cup 2014.

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Thousand of people took the streets, manifesting themselves for a society with less corruption and in search of better living conditions: health, education, safety and improvements in the transport system. Besides Sao Paulo (with 100 thousand people), Brasilia (with 30 thousand) and Rio de Janeiro (over 300 thousand), there were also big protests in other Brazilian main cities, such as Porto Alegre (RS), Novo Hamburgo (RS), Belo Horizonte (MG), Juiz de Fora (MG), Curitiba (PR), Araraquara (SP), Itapetininga (SP), Bauru (SP), Santos (SP), Maceio (AL), Cuiabá (MT), Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ), Vitoria (ES), Fortaleza (CE), Belem (PA).

The Giant woke up.

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What’s REALLY behind the Brazilian riots?

From CNN. Text by Phillip Vianna. Posted June 14, 2013.

The protests that have been occurring in Brazil go beyond the R$0,20 (US$0.10) raise in public transport fares.

Brazil is currently experiencing a widespread collapse of its infrastructure. There are problems with ports, airports, public transport, health and education. Brazil is not a poor country and the tax rates are extremely high. Brazilians see no reason to have such bad infrastructure when there is so much wealth that is so highly taxed. In the state capitals people spend up to four hours per day in traffic, either in their cars or on crowded public transport which is of very poor quality.

The Brazilian government has taken remedial measures to control inflation by cutting taxes and has not yet realized that the paradigm must shift to an infrastructure-focused approach. At the same time the Brazilian government is reproducing on a small scale what Argentina did some years ago: avoiding austerity and preventing the increase in the benchmark Selic base interest rate, which is leading to high inflation and low growth.

brazilian-protests-1In Brasilia, over 7000 people held a protest on the Esplanade of Ministries and the National Congress, which had invaded its dome.

Other than the problem of infrastructure, there are several corruption scandals which remain without trial, and the cases being judged have been tending to end with the acquittal of the defendants. The biggest corruption scandal in Brazilian history finally ended with the conviction of the defendants and now the government is trying to reverse the trial by using maneuvers through unbelievable constitutional amendments: one, the PEC 37, which will annihilate the investigative powers of the prosecutors of the public ministry (the Brazilian equivalent of the District Attorneys), delegating the responsibility of investigation entirely to the Federal Police. Moreover, another proposal seeks to subject decisions of the Brazilian Supreme Court to the Congress – a complete violation of the three powers.

Those are, in fact, the revolts of Brazilians.

The protests are not mere isolated, unionized movements or extreme left riots, as some of the Brazilian press says. It is not a teenage rebellion. It is the uprising of the most intellectualized portion of society who wants to put a stop to these Brazilian issues. The young national mid-class, which has always been unsatisfied with the political oblivion, has now “awaken” – in the words of the protesters.

Source: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-988431

brazilian-protests-3Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof. Even rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray.

Protests have been staged in major cities across the country, but Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were the focal point of Tuesday’s marches. The thousands who gathered were mostly peaceful, and the atmosphere was almost festive. But at least one small group unsuccessfully tried to force their way into a municipal building.

Police for the most part stood back, but repelled those who tried to enter the government building by bashing its windows with police barriers.

Brazilians say they are angry about high taxes, corruption, and lavish spending on the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament, among other complaints. Protests on Monday were the largest in the country in at least 20 years.

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President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday their message was being heard. “The direct message from the streets is for more citizenship, better schools, better hospitals, better health, for direct participation,” she said in a nationally televised address. “My government is trying and committed to social transformation.”

The feeling among the protesters is that they are paying into a system that is not giving them back enough in return. “It’s all about national priorities,” said Fernando Jones, a CNN iReporter who participated in protests in Rio de Janeiro. “We want health, we want education.”

Brazilians like himself find themselves asking how the government is using their taxes for its citizens, while watching as millions are spent on preparations for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. “People can’t take it anymore,” he said.

Thousands protest over rising costs of 2014 World Cup

The protests are being organized largely by university students and a group called the Free Fare Movement, which wants public transportation to be free of charge. The protests follow a week of smaller demonstrations that began in response to plans to increase fares for Brazil’s public transportation system, from 3 to 3.20 reais ($1.38 to $1.47), but have broadened into wider protests over economic and social issues plaguing the country.

brazilian-protests-4In Canada, a group of Brazilians in support of the protests in Brazil.

Protesters say they are angry about, among other things, government decisions to spend money on the World Cup and other projects instead of improving health care, education and other social programs. Brazil is building stadiums and revamping its infrastructure ahead of the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, events that will put the world’s focus on the Latin American nation of 201 million people.

The protests have attracted international attention, and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Brazilian authorities Tuesday to show restraint in handling protesters. Last week, at least 100 people were injured and 120 arrested after violent clashes between police and protesters in Sao Paulo. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters and journalists, bringing complaints of brutality and targeting of media covering the events.

On this thursday, 20 June, more than 100 cities in Brazil were stage of more protests.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/18/world/americas/brazil-protests.

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Thomas Jefferson

Recent protests in Brazil and another countries against the social, political and economic conditions are being repressed by government forces with violence and lawlessness. There’s no freedom of speech or human rights when governments use force to try to silence their opponents.

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Currently, Turkey has been experiencing a period of protests against government policy. Peaceful protests against reconstruction of the Gezi Park at the Istanbuls landmark square Taksim, tuned in to protests against Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Over milion people nonviolently resist police brutal force. Started in Istanbul, protests spread in 10 days to over 82 cities of Turkey. Significant violence from the police side is manifested by using the tear gas, and rubber bullets. Many people was arrested for just standing at the square.

Gezi Park

The initial cause of the protests was the plan to remove Gezi Park, one of the few remaining green spaces in the center of the European side of Istanbul. The plan involved pedestrianising Taksim Square and rebuilding the Ottoman-era Taksim Military Barracks, which had been demolished in 1940. Development projects in Turkey involve “cultural preservation boards” which are supposed to be independent of the government, and in January such a board rejected the project as not serving the public interest. However a higher board overturned this on 1 May, in a move park activists said was influenced by the government.

Gezi_Park_from_the_Marmara_hotelGezi Park as seen from the Marmara hotel on Taksim Square.

The ground floor of the rebuilt barracks was expected to house a shopping mall, and the upper floors luxury flats, although in response to the protests the likelihood of a shopping mall was downplayed, and the possibility of a museum raised. The main contractor for the project is the Kalyon Group, described in 2013 by the BBC as “a company which has close ties with the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party.”

The Gezi Park protests began in April, having started with a petition in December 2012. The protests were renewed on 27 May, culminating in the creation of an encampment occupying the park. A raid on this encampment on 29 May prompted outrage and wider protests. Although Turkey has a history of police brutality, the attack on a peaceful sit-in by environmentalists was different enough to spur wider outrage than such previous incidents, developing into the largest protests in Turkey in decades.

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turkey-protests-10A man holds a flag bearing the image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded modern, secular Turkey on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 and encouraged the country to throw off its religious traditions.

The Woman in Red

On the morning of 28 May, around 50 environmentalists were camping out in Gezi Park in order to prevent its demolition. The protesters initially halted attempts to bulldoze the park by refusing to leave. Police used tear gas to disperse the peaceful protesters and burned down their tents in order to allow the bulldozing to continue. Photos of the scene, such as an image of a young female protester (later nicknamed the “woman in red”) holding her ground while being sprayed by a policeman, quickly spread throughout the media across the world. The Washington Post reported that the image “encapsulates Turkey’s protests and the severe police crackdown”, while Reuters called the image an “iconic leitmotif.”

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turkey-woman-in-red-3The photos shows how the unknown woman first faces off with the massed ranks of riot police before one steps forward to spray the gas right into her face.

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turkey-woman-in-red-6Standing up for her rights: The brave woman is forced to retreat coughing and spluttering as the gas-wielding riot policeman goes on to spray the crowds of demonstrators behind her, leaving them in agony. Photos: Reuters.

On 31 May Police carried out another raid on the encampment in the early morning of 31 May. The police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters to surrounding areas and set up barricades around the park to prevent re-occupation. Throughout the day, the police continued to fire tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons at demonstrators, resulting in reports of more than 100 injuries. Sırrı Süreyya Önder was hospitalised after being hit in the shoulder by a tear gas canister. Some protesters threw rocks at the security forces. The executive order regarding the process decided earlier had been declared as ‘on-hold’ on 31 May 2013. 10,000 gathered in Istiklal Avenue. According to governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, 63 people had been arrested and detained. The police use of tear gas was criticised for being “indiscriminate.” The interior minister, Muammer Guler, said the claims of the use of disproportionate force would be investigated.

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Turkish riot police use tear gas to disperse demonstrators during protest against destruction of trees in park brought about by pedestrian project, in Taksim Square in central Istanbul

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On 17 June a general strike and protests took place on almost every part of Turkey.

The Turkey Standing Man

Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation,satyagaha, and other methods, without using violence. It is largely synonymous with civil resistance. Each of these terms (“nonviolent resistance” and “civil resistance”) has its distinct merits and also slightly different connotations, which are briefly explored in the entry on civil resistance. The modern form of non-violent resistance was popularised and proven to be effective by the Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi in his efforts to gain independence from the British.

Against the violence of the governments forces we can’t react with more violence, but with inteligence by many other modes of expression to make us understood without using a single word or action. In these days, a man showed us one of these forms. A silent, standing protest by performance artist Erdem Gunduz has been taken up by hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and spread to several Turkish cities. Mr Gunduz appeared in Istanbul’s Taksim Square at around 18:00 (15:00 GMT) on Monday and remained there until 02:00 when police moved in.


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His protest quickly captured the imagination of the protest movement. The hash tag “duranadam” (“standing man”) dominated Turkish-language Twitter on Tuesday morning. Hundreds of people in Istanbul and Ankara took up the protest on Tuesday.


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We are the people and the people should not be afraid of their governments, but governments should be afraid of their people.

duranadam

BRAZIL, THE COUNTRY OF THE WORLD CUP…

To read this Editorial in Portuguese go to the end of this post.

No, I’m not going to the World Cup!

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I’m a brazilian citizen, and I love my country. I was born and I lived in Rio de Janeiro for my whole life and I don’t want a World Cup, I don’t want the Olympic Games and I don’t want in 2014 have to vote in politicians that not represent me! What I want and what all the brazilian people want (and need) are hospitals, schools, work opportunities, less corruption, less violence and better ways to have a life of dignity and safety.

Protests are legitimate. It’s not for 20 cents or less – that is the valor of the raise of the bus passages in many brazilian cities that sparked the wave of protests around the country – is much more than this. It’s for a better country. Better way of life.

say-no-to-the-world-cup

It’s enough!

The Brazilian people are tired of being humiliated by politicians liars, opportunists and corrupted.
The Brazilian people are tired of seeing people dying in the queues of hospitals without receiving medical care.
The Brazilian people are tired of seeing their children without access to education.
The Brazilian people are tired of paying the highest rate of duty in the world without receiving anything in return.
The Brazilian people are tired of corrupt and hypocritical politicians who only create laws for their own benefit – do you know what is PEC 37? It is a bill that aims to remove the power of investigation from some public entities as the Public Prosecutor and therefore will protect politicians suspected of corruption from being investigated and prosecuted by the courts and this law is to be approved by the Brazilian Congress.
The Brazilian people are tired of Marco Feliciano – President of the Human Rights Commission of the House of Representatives in Congress – a person racist, homophobic and prejudiced, and today he has approved the “gay cure” – a method of treatment to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals considered a crime and a violation of human rights worldwide.
The Brazilian people are tired of the violence, of not having security to go to work or go to the streets.
The Brazilian people are tired of the violence of the police forces – the police of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the biggest killers in the world.
The Brazilian people are tired of not having jobs and don’t have a decent wage: a policeman earns R$ 900 per month (US$ 418) to risk his life. A public school teacher earns R$ 1,500 (US$ 697) to work in schools without a minimum of structure to teach their students. A doctor in the public sector earn $ 2,000 per month (US$ 930) to work for 40 hours per week in hospitals without a minimum of condition to care their patients. The Brazilian minimum wage to a worker is R$ 678 (US$ 315). The salary of a Congressman or Senator is R$ 26,700 (US$ 12,400) plus benefits. After two terms of office (8 years) he can retire and receive a salary of R$ 5,800 (US$ 2,700) per month. The cost for the World Cup is estimated at R$ 30 billion (US$ 13,9 billion). The reform of the Maracana stadium costed alone R$ 1 billion (US$ 465 million). Do you think it is fair?
The Brazilian people are tired of the precarious, inefficient and expensive public transport.
The Brazilian people are tired of the promises and lies of governments that betrayed the trust of those who elected them.

The Brazilian people are tired. The people that are on the streets are shouting they are tired of all of this.

It’s enough.

If you are Brazilian or if you agree that this situation needs to change for the benefit of the Brazilian people, please share this post, reblog, repost and help to disclose the reality until the whole planet can understand what the Brazilian people are saying on the streets.

The protests that spread to cities across the country are legitimate and peaceful protests, but the police force always tries to silence the freedom of speech and the right of the people to express their dissatisfaction with the terrible reality of the country. The Brazil is not the country of the future. Because if we do not do something now we will have no future. Only empty stadiums and people dying of starvation.

Please take a minute or two to see the photos below about the protests in many brazilian cities.

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São Paulo: Inspired by the movement “occupy wall street” people took the streets of several cities in Brazil to protest against the increase in bus fares and against the terrible social and economic situation of the country.

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São paulo: “Stop the robbery or we stop the Brazil” – Brazil is one of the countries with more scandals of corruption in the policy, but on behalf of impunity no one politician was arrested until today.

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Since the protests began, the Governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, treated the same as “police cases”: The police were instructed to suppress all manifestations with extreme violence, even attacking journalists.

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Protesters demanding the end of the police violence against the people’s right to freedom of speech in a state that calls itself as “democratic”.

Por Ramiro Furquim/Sul21
“Protesting is not a crime. São Paulo we’re together”: Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a growing protest that is tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.

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Protests against the fare increase of public transport in São Paulo.

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Rio de Janeiro: a hundred thousand people take the streets to protest against the terrible political and social situation of the country.

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Thousands of people shut down a major street in Belo Horizonte during protest organized through social networks.

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Unprepared and poorly led the police reprove with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets a manifestation until then peaceful.

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Rio de Janeiro: police arrest a young who protested against the increase in bus fares.

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Protesters with masks of the movie “V for Vendetta”: “Fifa World Cup = R$ 28 billion; Olympic Games = R$ 26 billion; corruption = R$ 50 billion; minimum wage = R$ 678, and you still think it’s for 20 cents?”

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Brasilia: Hundred of protesters around the National Congress. Never had so many honest people in the Congress, demoralized after repeated corruption scandals.

Congresso nacional foi tomado pelo povo
Brasília: another shot of the Congress took by the people.

População foi convocada para ir às ruas
“Does not change in the urn. It changes in the streets”. “Come to the streets”.

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In Brasilia, police used pepper gas to disperse protesters, also reaching media professionals.

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Maria Hortência Brito, 19, is pregnant and participated in the protest held in Belém.

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Protests against the fare increase of public transport in Curitiba.

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Protesters climb on the roof of the National Congress. The protest is against spending in the Cup, corruption and improvements in public transport, health and education.

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Maceió, Alagoas state: “Education. Health. Safety. I want.”

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In Rio de Janeiro, a young woman holds a placard against abuse of the police force, and wear a mask and goggles to protect herself from possible rubber bullets and tear gas: “Police your oath is for the country and not for the rulers”.

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A man displays a poster with the image of the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, as a Nazi.

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Rio de Janeiro: Police attack protesters with pepper spray.

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A Young woman displays poster with the photo of Giuliana Vallone, reporter from the journal “Folha de S. Paulo”, hit by a rubber bullet shot from the São Paulo Military Police.

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Rio de Janeiro: protester wears a mask of “V for Vendetta” in front of the Municipal Theater.

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São Paulo.

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Brasília, National Congress.

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Rio de janeiro: The demonstrations that were peaceful turned violent because of truculence and unpreparedness of the police in dealing with this kind of situation.

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Attacked by tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray, protesters retaliated by throwing stones at the police.

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What was a peaceful movement turned to an urban warfare scenario. This is not the country we want. This is not the police we need.

Please, take only more minutes to watch the video below and you will understand what we want. We don’t want a World Cup. We just want a better country to us and our children.


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Please shared the photo below and the video pasting this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZApBgNQgKPU?feature=player_embedded on your website, social network, blog or send to email to your family and friends. Help to reveal the terrible truth about the World Cup 2014 and the lies of the Brazilian government.

say-no-to-the-world-cup

Peace and thanks for your attention.

mkenobi.

PORTUGUESE VERSION

BRASIL, O PAÍS DA COPA DO MUNDO…

To read this Editorial in English, please click here.

Não, eu não vou à Copa do Mundo!

i'm-not-going-to-the-world-cup

Sou um cidadão brasileiro, e eu amo meu país. Nasci e vivi no Rio de Janeiro por toda a minha vida e eu não quero uma Copa do Mundo, eu não quero Jogos Olímpicos e eu não quero em 2014 ter de votar em políticos que não me representam! O que eu quero e o que todo o povo brasileiro quer (e precisa) são hospitais, escolas, oportunidades de trabalho, menos corrupção, menos violência e melhores condições para ter uma vida digna e segura.

Os protestos são legítimos. Não é por 20 centavos ou menos – que é o valor do aumento das passagens de ônibus em muitas cidades brasileiras que deflagraram a onda de protestos ao redor do país – é muito mais do que isso. É por um país melhor. Uma melhor condição de vida.

say-no-to-the-world-cup

Já chega!

O povo brasileiro está cansado de ser humilhado por políticos mentirosos, oportunistas e corruptos.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de ver pessoas morrendo nas filas dos hospitais sem receber cuidados médicos.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de ver seus filhos sem acesso à educação.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de pagar os mais altos impostos do mundo sem receber nada em troca.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de políticos corruptos e hipócritas que somente criam leis em benefício próprio – você sabe o que é a PEC-37? É um projeto de lei que pretende retirar o poder de investigação de órgãos como o Ministério Público e por consequência irá proteger políticos suspeitos de corrupção de serem investigados e processados pelos tribunais e esta lei está para ser aprovada pelo Congresso brasileiro.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de Marco Feliciano – presidente da Comissão de Direitos Humanos da Câmara dos Deputados no Congresso – uma pessoa racista, homofóbica e preconceituosa que hoje aprovou a “cura gay” – um método de tratamento para converter homossexuais em heterossexuais considerado crime e uma violação aos direitos humanos em todo o mundo.
O povo brasileiro está cansado da violência, de não ter segurança para ir para o trabalho ou mesmo de sair às ruas.
O povo brasileiro está cansado da violência das forças policiais – as polícias de São Paulo e do Rio de Janeiro são as que mais matam no mundo.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de não ter empregos e de não ter um salário decente: um policial ganha R$ 900 reais por mês para arriscar a vida. Um professor de escola pública ganha R$ 1.500 para trabalhar em escolas sem um mínimo de estrutura para ensinar seus alunos. Um médico da rede pública ganha R$ 2000 por mês para trabalhar 40 horas por semana em hospitais sem um mínimo de condição para cuidar de seus pacientes. O salário mínimo brasileiro de um trabalhador é R$ 678. O salário de um Deputado ou Senador é de R$ 26.700 mais benefícios. Após dois mandatos (8 anos) ele pode se aposentar e receber um salário de R$ 5.800 por mês. O custo para a Copa do Mundo está estimado em 30 bilhões de reais.A reforma do estádio do Maracanã custou sozinha R$ 1 bilhão. Você acha isso justo?
O povo brasileiro está cansado de um transporte público precário, ineficiente e caro.
O povo brasileiro está cansado de promessas e mentiras de governantes que traíram a confiança daqueles que os elegeram.

O povo brasileiro está cansado. As pessoas que estão nas ruas estão gritando que estão cansadas de tudo isso.


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Já chega.

Se você é brasileiro ou se você concorda que esta situação precisa mudar para o bem do povo brasileiro, por favor compartilha este post, reblogando, repostando e ajudando a revelar a realidade até que todo o planeta possa entender o que o povo brasileiro está dizendo nas ruas.

Os protestos que se espalharam pelas cidades ao redor do pais são protestos legítimos e pacíficos, mas as forças policiais sempre tentam silenciar a liberdade de expressão e os direitos das pessoas de expressar sua insatisfação com a terrível realidade do país. O Brasil não é o país do futuro. Porque se nós não fizermos alguma coisa agora nós não teremos futuro. Apenas estádios vazios e o povo morrendo de fome.

Por favor tire um minuto ou dois para ver as fotos sobre os protestos em muitas cidades brasileiras.

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São Paulo: inspirados pelo movimento “ocupe Wall Street” as pessoas tomaram as ruas de várias cidades no Brasil para protestar contra o aumento nas passagens de ônibus e contra a terrível situação econômica e social do país.

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São Paulo: “Parem com a roubalheira ou paramos o Brasil” – Brasil é um dos países com mais escândalos de corrupção na política, mas por conta da impunidade nenhum político foi preso até hoje.

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Desde o início dos protestos, o Governador de São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, tratou os mesmos como “casos de polícia”. Os policiais foram orientados a reprimir todas as manifestações de forma violenta, atacando inclusive jornalistas.

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Protestantes pedem o fim da violência policial contra o direito das pessoas à liberdade de expressão em um Estado que se proclama “democrático”.

Por Ramiro Furquim/Sul21
“Protestar não é crime! São Paulo, nós estamos juntos”: dezenas de milhares de manifestantes marcharam pelas ruas das maiores cidades do Brasil na segunda-feira em um protesto crescente que está se tornando uma revolta generalizada contra a precariedade dos serviços públicos,a violência policial e a corrupção nos governos.

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Protestos contra o aumento das passagens no transporte público em São Paulo.

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Rio de Janeiro: cem mil pessoas tomam as ruas para protestar contra a terrível situação social e política do país.

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Centenas de pessoas fecham a maior avenida de Belo Horizonte durante protesto organizado através das redes sociais.

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Despreparada e mal comandada a polícia repreende com gás lacrimogênio, spray de pimenta e balas de borracha uma manifestação até então pacífica.

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Rio de Janeiro: polícia prende um jovem que protestava contra o aumento das passagens de ônibus.

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Manifestantes com máscaras do filme “V de Vingança”: “Copa Fifa = R$ 28 bilhões, Olimpíada = R$ 26 bilhões; corrupção = R$ 50 bilhões; salário mínimo = 678 reais; e você ainda acha que é por R$ 0,20?”

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Brasília: Centenas de manifestantes em volta do Congresso Nacional. Nunca teve tanta gente honesta no Congresso, desmoralizado após repetidos escândalos de corrupção.

Congresso nacional foi tomado pelo povo
Brasília: outra foto do Congresso tomado pelo povo.

População foi convocada para ir às ruas
“Não muda na urna. Muda na rua!!”. “Vem pra rua”.

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Em Brasília, polícia usou gás de pimenta para dispersar os manifestantes, também atingindo profissionais da imprensa.

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Maria Hortência Brito, 19 anos, está grávida e participou no protesto em Belém.

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Protestos contra o aumento nos transportes públicos de Curitiba.

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Manifestantes sobem no teto do Congresso Nacional. O protesto é contra os gastos com a Copa, a corrupção e a precariedade no transporte público, saúde e educação.

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Maceió, estado de Alagoas: “Educação. Saúde. Segurança. Eu quero!”

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No Rio de Janeiro, uma jovem segura um cartaz contra o abuso da força policial, e veste uma máscara e óculos para se proteger de possíveis balas de borracha e gás lacrimogênio: “Polícia, seu juramento é pra a pátria e não para os governantes”.

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Um homem exibe um poster com a imagem do governador do estado do Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, como nazista.

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Rio de Janeiro: Polícia ataca manifestantes com spray de pimenta.

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Uma jovem exibe um poster com a foto de Giuliana Vallone, repórter do jornal “Folha de São Paulo”, atingida por uma bala de borracha disparada pela polícia militar de São Paulo.

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Rio de Janeiro: manifestante veste uma máscara de “V de Vingança” em frente ao Teatro Municipal.

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São Paulo.

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Brasília, Congresso Nacional.

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Rio de Janeiro: as manifestações que eram pacíficas se tornaram violentas por conta da truculência e do despreparo da polícia em lidar com esse tipo de situação.

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Atacada por gás lacrimogênio, balas de borracha e spray de pimenta, os manifestantes reagiram atirando pedras nos policiais.

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O que era um movimento pacífico se converteu em um cenário de guerrilha urbana. Este não é o país que nós queremos. Esta não é a polícia que nós precisamos.

Por favor, tire mais alguns minutos para assistir o vídeo abaixo e você irá entender o que nós queremos. Nós não queremos uma Copa do Mundo. Nós só queremos um país melhor para nós e nossos filhos.


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Por favor, compartilhe a foto abaixo e o vídeo copiando o link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZApBgNQgKPU?feature=player_embedded em seu site, rede social, blog ou envie por email para sua família e amigos. Ajude a revelar a terrível verdade sobre a Copa do Mundo 2014 e as mentiras do Governo brasileiro.

say-no-to-the-world-cup

Paz e muito obrigado por sua atenção.

mkenobi.