A nation wide strike will occur this Friday (April 28) in Brazil, popularly called “Greve Geral” or “General Strike” by Brazilians. The strike was originally planned by the country’s largest union organizations in protest of the federal government’s proposed alterations to labor and pension laws, spearheaded by President Michel Temer, who took the presidency after Brazil’s last president, Dilma Roussef, was impeached.

Because of the strike it is expected that public transportation, banking services, post offices and schools will be shut down throughout Brazil. Other services such as public hospitals and police will also see a severe reduction.

Strikes are frequent in Brazil, however it is not so common to see different unions calling for services to be paralyzed at the same time. In this case, not only are multiple sectors adhering to the same shut down, they are doing it for the same reasons. This generalized revolt can be attributed to the lack of support for Temer’s government and its reforms.

With a mere 10% approval rate according to some polls, Temer is quite possibly Brazil’s least popular president in history. Thus, large segments of society not traditionally participant in strikes will also be participating.

Churches of different faiths have been mobilizing their followers to support the movement and many traditionally conservative Catholic schools in Brazil have been announcing that they will not be opening their doors on Friday. The hashtag #EuApoioaGreveGeral (I support the General Strike) has skyrocketed to the top of trending topics on Twitter in the last few days.

In the Capital, Police stockpile teargas in preparation

In Brasilia, the State Government has ordered the closing of the ‘Esplanada dos Ministérios’, main access way to government buildings, where thousands are expected to appear tomorrow for protests. On Thursday morning,  Armed Forces have been seen setting up barricades in the area and accumulating crowd control gear in preparation for probable confrontations with protesters. Just days ago tear gas was used to repel hundreds of indigenous that were protesting anti-indigenous policies which they argued to be “genocidal”.

Brasilia – Police use teargas on indigenous protesters (Wilson Dias/Agência Brasil)

 

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Eduardo Pereira

Produtor Cultural

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