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  • Protesters take part in a demonstration against coup-imposed President Michel Temer in the center of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 31, 2016.

    Protesters take part in a demonstration against coup-imposed President Michel Temer in the center of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 31, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

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Social movements took to the streets to demand respect for democracy in Brazil and the resignation of the coup government.

Just days before the Olympic Games begin, thousands of members of various Brazilian social movements took to the streets against coup-imposed President Michel Temer and the impeachment process against democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff.

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Under the slogan of "Out Temer, the people should decide," the nationwide protests took place in 24 states to demand the resignation of Temer. The protests were called by the leftist grassroots organization People’s Fearless Front, which called on other activists, leftist movements and progressive organizations to join its protests.

Thousands of people dressed in red from at least 30 different progressive and leftist organization took to the streets of Sao Paulo in support of Rousseff and to demand new elections.

"It is true that the PT (Workers' Party) is not at its best, in every part there is corruption, but the Temer government is even worse," Eunice Mariano told AFP at the protests.

He added that he considered the interim government illegitimate and accuses Temer of wanting to implement repression and to roll back Rousseff’s progressive policies. "We are already seeing how we are losing our rights."

Suspended from office on May 12, Rousseff was replaced – on an interim basis – by her vice president, Temer. If Rousseff is successfully ousted, he would finish out her mandate, which runs until the end of 2018.

Meanwhile anti-Rousseff protests also took place demanding her ouster and impeachment, which the country’s senate is expected to rule on in late August or early September. A two-thirds majority vote by the Senate would remove her from office.

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Other protests will be held during the inauguration of the Olympics, which will take place in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on August 5. Organizations will also march on August 9, which is when the final vote of the impeachment process against Rousseff could take place.

According to the president of the PT, Rui Falcão, the coup government has set out to destroy the achievements and social gains that occurred under the administrations of Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva before her.

For example, new Health Minister Ricardo Barros has said that access to public health should not be universal while announcing planned cuts to the social security system. Meanwhile, Education Minister Mendonça Filho has announced he will privatize all public universities and charge a monthly fee to students.

Minister of Labor Ronaldo Nogueira has also expressed support for flexible labor laws and announced plans to implement a project in which companies can outsource their services, leaving workers without protection.


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