Things That Matter

Here’s Why So Many Brazilians Are Protesting One Of The Presidential Candidates

Women from across Brazil took to the streets on Sept. 29 to protest far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. With the vote coming on Sunday, women are protesting against what they say are his misogynistic, homophobic and racist views. The protests, a reflection of the #EleNao (#NotHim) movement that has gathered steam on social media, happened in countless cities nationwide, including Sao Paulo and Brasilia. The protests came the same day that Bolsonaro left from a Sao Paulo hospital where he received treatment after being stabbed during a campaign rally on Sept. 6.

The protesters are using the hashtag #NotHim as the rallying cry to prevent Bolsonaro from taking office in the October election.

Bolsonaro is currently leading polls with around 32 percent of support among voters polled, but also has the highest rejection rate of any candidate. Bolsonaro, a Rio de Janeiro congressman since 1991, has made misogynistic comments in the past, as well as controversial statements on issues relating to race, sexuality and Brazil’s military government. According to Al Jazeera, In 2014, Bolsonaro told fellow congresswomen Maria do Rosario: “I would never rape you because you do not deserve it.”

An estimated 150,000 people turned up at one march.

Organizers say that 150,000 people — mostly women — participated in the march in São Paulo that took over Largo da Batata, a major street in the west of the city. Bolsonaro’s rejection rate among women is 50 percent, according to the latest polling by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (IBOPE), and 33 percent among men. Protesters in the streets spoke about the fear and bigotry that Bolsonoro has brought to the political aisle.

“We’re saying to those people who are undecided: Not him,” Selia Figueiredo, a banker in São Paulo told ABC News, who said she worried for her rights as a gay woman if Bolsonaro were to win. They can vote “for anyone else, but not him.”

Bolsonaro’s candidacy has attracted international attention because of the rise of populism in many countries.

Bolsonaro’s campaign has focused on culture-war issues and “traditional” family values that some say would make life harder for minorities. He hasn’t changed his rhetoric during the campaign and has kept up his praise of Brazil’s military. He has also vowed to give police permission to shoot first and ask questions later.

Brazil is in the middle of a moment of intense and unusual turmoil after a tumultuous few years. It has suffered a deep recession and the impeachment of its first female president. Many see this political uproar in Brazil as an example of political extremism and populism similarly to Brexit in the United Kingdom.

Some say Bolsonaro has drawn support from those in Brazil that are tired of the left.

The male-female split in Brazil now can be compared to the divisions in the United States in 2016 when Donald Trump was running. For Brazil, this polarizing moment in politics has brought urgency to what is shaping up to be a pivotal election.

“This is a strong societal reaction to a candidate that is a threat to the entire Brazilian population,” Ivan Valente, a congressman for the left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party told the LA Times. “And it’s because of all of these women coming together to fight for their rights that we have a chance at avoiding taking several steps backward by electing Bolsonaro.”


READ: Protestors Forced Ted Cruz Out Of A Restaurant Demanding To Know His Thoughts On Brett Kavanaugh

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The Last Wild Macaw In Rio de Janeiro Visits the Zoo Everyday Because She’s Lonely

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The Last Wild Macaw In Rio de Janeiro Visits the Zoo Everyday Because She’s Lonely

via Getty Images

If you’re the type of person who constantly complains about being single, this story will most definitely resonate with you. In Rio de Janeiro, there is a macaw that experts believe is the only free macaw currently living in Rio. To make things more tragic, this Brazilian macaw is so lonely that she makes daily visits to her fellow macaws at Rio de Janeiro’s zoo.

Every morning, a blue-and-yellow macaw (affectionately named Juliet) flies into the enclosure where the zoo’s macaw lives and canoodles with her fellow species.

According to the staff of the Rio de Janeiro Zoo, Juliet has been making daily visits to the enclosure for 20 years. The last time a blue-and-yellow macaw like Juliet was seen in the wild was in 1818. So it’s safe to say she’s fiending for some company. The average lifespan of a macaw is 35-years, which means Juliet has spent the majority of her life as a single lady.

“They’re social birds, and that means they don’t like to live alone, whether in nature or captivity. They need company,” said Neiva Guedes, president of the Hyacinth Macaw Institute, to the Associated Press. “[Juliet] very probably feels lonely, and for that reason goes to the enclosure to communicate and interact.”

Luckily for Juliet, the Rio de Janeiro Zoo is launching a program called Refauna that is aiming to breed and reintroduce blue-and-yellow macaws back into the wild.

The Refauna program plans to breed 20 macaw chicks and give them “training” on “forest food sources, the peril of predators and avoidance of power lines.” Once they’re thoroughly educated, workers will release the birds into the Tijuca Forest National Park to live full, free lives. Some people are hoping that with so many macaws flying free out in the open, Juliet will feel less lonely.

But some animal experts are warning the general public not to feel too bad for Juliet. “We don’t want to project human feelings,” biologist Angelita Capobianco told AP News. I look at the animal, and see an animal at ease.” That’s nice to hear. We love a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to thrive.

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

Things That Matter

At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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