35 Million-Strong Strike Against Temer’s Neoliberal Reforms Brings Brazil to a Halt

Sunday, April 30, 2017
By Paul Martin

Global Research
April 30, 2017

Amid record levels of unemployment and a terribly unpopular government, unions and citizens from all walks of life are taking part in one of Brazil’s biggest ever strikes.

Since early Friday morning, more than 35 million people in Brazil have been taking part in one of biggest general strikes in the country’s history against President Michel Temer’s neoliberal reforms, bringing the country to a standstill.

The strike was largely organized by Unified Workers Central, or CUT, the largest union federation in Latin America, and the Workers Party of Brazil, former President Dilma Rousseff’s political party.

“Temer does not even want to negotiate,” said Vagner Freitas, national CUT president.

Freitas estimated that the strikes would break previous records with more than 35 million people participating by leaving their work.

n Brazil’s biggest city and economic hub, Sao Paulo, only one metro line was operating, 70 major routes were blocked off as was access to the city’s major airport. Before daylight, a number of protesters clashed with police while trying to occupy a vacant building. Police were also seen firing tear gas to disperse protesters and at least 12 people were detained.

Similar scenes were also seen further South in Santos, where police reportedly used tear gas in an attempt to clear roads leading to the city’s port. In the city of Goiânia in central Brazil, police were seen violently breaking up protesters, with one man being forcefully grabbed and another shown bleeding.

David Miranda, the first LGBTQ city councilor of Rio de Janeiro, was hit by a car during Friday’s protests after setting up traffic cones to block vehicles. The car stopped in front of Miranda and suddenly accelerated, toppling him and another protester. Both demonstrators were not criticially hurt.

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