Foto shared by Linha de Fuga

WITNESS Ally Among 200 Arrested Protesters in Rio de Janeiro: Please Take Action

Posted on October 17, 2013 by Priscila Néri

Photo above was shared by Linhas de Fuga

UPDATE: The remaining 60 activists detained were released within a week of this blog post. Victor Ribeiro was one of several detained through late October 2013 when he was finally released as well. On May 19, 2014 he was absolved of all charges.

Roughly 200 people were arrested by police in Rio Tuesday after protests brought thousands to the streets in support of public school teachers striking for better work conditions. According to local reports, this is the greatest number of arrests in one day since the ongoing protests first erupted in June, with many of those arrests having been carried out arbitrarily, randomly and with extreme violence, lack of proper procedures, and the absence of proof or adequate justifications.

WITNESS friend and video activist Victor Ribeiro was one of those arrested and is among the 60 who are still detained.  His friends and family are requesting help in spreading the call for justice – please take a moment to sign and share this petition demanding the immediate release of those arrested without legal basis.

Here are some images from the night of October 15th:

Video: A Shield and Megaphone During Rio’s Protests

From the start of the protests in Rio, video has played a pivotal role in helping expose abuse against protestors. Videos have:

All along, an increasing number of livestreamers have also been broadcasting events in realtime to prove the peaceful nature of most protestors (see this video activist livestreaming his own arrest and warning the officer that his actions were being seen by 500 other people).

Videos have provided such useful examples that the collective of lawyers at Advogados Ativistas has used citizen video to illustrate an ongoing thread of instructional commentary on exactly what the law allows and what it does not (see this example of how they’re using video to educate protestors on their legal and constitutional rights).  “The streets are a practical course in law,” says the collective.

Though violence has been a mark of police response to the public protests since June, the crackdown has intensified recently, with authorities desperate to show they are in control of the situation as sponsors of events like the 2014 World Cup reach out to Brazilian president Dilma to express fears of risks to their profits if the protests continue during the games next year.

This crackdown has come not just in the form of increased violence on the streets, but also in the form of heightened digital surveillance of activists, new laws meant to restrict protests and codify dissent as “organized crime”, and an unprecedented wave of direct targeting of people using video to capture the protests.

But activists vow not to bow down, and the spirit of resistance seems to linger despite the violence, as we can see in this video of protestors applauding arrested activists as they’re driven away in a bus:

TAKE ACTION: Please take a moment to sign and share this petition demanding the immediate release of those arrested in Rio without legal basis.

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Fernando Caldas October 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Why are those people protesting ?
    I will give you 3 reasons (but of course is much more complex):
    1 Health system: 20 babies day in a Hospital because the Government said there is no money
    – Same week Brazil Goverment invest 70 billion from Public Savings into FIFA 2014.
    2. Education system is broken
    3. Safety does not exist

  2. Ana Paula October 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    This is the Dilma’s World Cup Country! This is how they treat who fight for real democracy!

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