Mar 29, 2012

1964 Revolution Commemoration Disrupted

Brazil News

| RIO DE JANEIRO – A gathering to commemorate the 48th anniversary of the March 31st, 1964 military coup in Brazil ended in pandemonium Thursday afternoon. ‘Revolution 64,’ held at the Military Club in the center of Rio de Janeiro, was besieged by about 200 protesters and ended with a confrontation between protesters and Military Police.

Protesters disrupt a commemoration of the 1964 Brazilian Coup d’état or ‘Revolution’

Revolution 64 (Photo: Roberto Lima/Futura Press)

Police used pepper spray and tear gas to control the crowd. There was also an unconfirmed use of a Taser against a young woman. In all, 52 police officers – PMs and a Riot Police – responded to the demonstration. They made a shield around the site to ensure the safety of people leaving the Military Club, which is situated near the Cinelandia subway station in downtown Rio.

Police say that one person was arrested for assaulting one of the PMs. A mini-riot began shortly after the arrest, as protesters tried to interfere with the arrest. Protesters threw eggs and used red paint to simulate blood. They shouted words such as ‘murderer’ and ‘fascist.’ Some in the unruly crowd were injured.

A police spokesman denied that a Taser was fired but said that they would investigate anyway. “An audit will tell whether or not a Taser was fired, because, once it is fired, the [propulsion] capsule is triggered, and it can’t be denied. Usually at events like this we do not use the Taser, only when a specific threshold (as a possible aggression). That is, for this event, it is not recommended.”

The commemorative event, called “1964 – The Truth” is held every year at the Military Club. However, at today’s event, various leftist groups like the National Movement for National Struggle for Housing (MNLM), accompanied by activists from leftist political parties were mobilized to prevent the commemoration.

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