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Media Blackout? Leftists Protest, Firebomb US Consulate in Brazil Ahead of Obama Visit

Morgen on March 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I couldn’t find this reported anywhere in the US media, and it doesn’t seem like some sort of minor incident either. From Ultimo Segundo in Brazil, with (imperfect) translation provided via Google Translate:

A protest against the visit to Brazil of U.S. president, Barack Obama, ended in confusion late on Friday (18) in the center of Rio de Janeiro. It should arrive to the country tomorrow evening and stay until the morning of Monday (21).

According to the Reserved Service of the 13th Military Police Battalion (Tiradentes Square), the protesters threw a Molotov cocktail at the U.S. Consulate. Part of the device reached a vigilante and his vest caught fire. To counter the confusion, MPs threw stun grenades and tear gas.

The PM said at least 13 people attending the protest were arrested and taken to the police station the avenue Gomes Freire (Precinct 5) in the center.

According to the corporation, about 100 people attended the protest. They are part of organizations like the CUT (Central Unica dos Trabalhadores), Sindipetro (Union of Oil), UNE (National Union of Students) and MST (Landless Movement).

The march began in front of the Candelaria church in downtown Rio, and followed by the Rio Branco Avenue until you reach the consulate. Were displayed banners reading “Obama, go home” and “Imperialism no! Obama, take the jaws of the pre-salt. All the solidarity of peoples in struggle.”

Many other blogs and media outlets in Brazil have also reported on this in the past hour.

Also, not 100% sure if these images are from the same protest – I’m thinking they must be – but take a look at some striking images which apparently no one in the MSM has seen fit to publish…yet anyway. (Click to enlarge)

Many more like these here.

It’s no wonder that the White House announced earlier today that the President will no longer be speaking at a public square in Rio. It seems that the President’s days of pontificating before enraptured foreign audiences may be over.

Update: Credit to Josh Gerstein at Politico for posting on this, but will the editors bump it to the front page?

On second thought, only a half-cheer for Gerstein. He calls it a “brief demonstration” when the event clearly lasted from sometime during the day (afternoon?) into the evening. And the picture he chose to crop doesn’t exactly paint the full picture.

Update 2: Apparently the phrase “Obama, take the jaws of the pre-salt” translated in the article above from “tire as garras do pré-sal” would have been better translated as “take your jaws (hands) off our oil”.

Update 3: Velvet Hammer at Ironic Surrealism has found a bunch of videos of the protests on You Tube. Click over to see those.




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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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