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Brazilians Have a Right to Protest, Their President Says, but Not to Overturn Her Election

MARCH 10, 2015

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    Video of protests in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, during a televised presidential address on Sunday night. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story

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    By ROBERT MACKEY

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    Faced with an economic downturn and corruption at a state oil company, Brazilians have the right to be angry, their president said Monday, but not to rerun the election that returned her to power in October.

    President Dilma Rousseff made the remarks in response to calls for her impeachment and widespread protests during a televised address the night before, the NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reported.

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    'People have the right to protest people don't have the right to ask for a third round of elections' @dilmabr on impeachment calls #brazil

    — Lulu Garcia-Navarro (@lourdesgnavarro) March 9, 2015

    Ms. Rousseff spoke on Monday at the presidential palace in Brasília, where she signed a new law designating the gender-related killing of a woman or girl a “femicide.”

    Despite the president’s comments, her opponents seem determined to drive her from office through protests, perhaps inspired by the success of similar efforts to oust the elected leaders of Egypt and Ukraine in the past two years.

    As the president’s speech was broadcast on Sunday night, Folha de S.Paulo noted, drivers honked their horns in cities across Brazil and “residents banged on pots and cursed the president while flashing their apartment lights.”

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    Tons of people in my neighborhood banging pots & pans on their balconies as Dilma Rousseff gives her speech. Guessing it's not wild approval

    — Alex Cuadros (@AlexCuadros) March 8, 2015
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    Not that anyone could hear over pot-banging, but Dilma didn't even hint at any error her govt might have made. Blamed drought, global crisis

    — Alex Cuadros (@AlexCuadros) March 9, 2015

    The cacophony, like a real-world echo of the “mad as hell” scene from the movie “Network,” was documented in brief video clips posted online by Brazilians in at least eight cities — São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Goiânia, Vitória, Salvador and Brasília — the journalist Fernando Rodrigues reported on his blog. In many of the clips, shouts could be heard calling on the president to step down, just four months after she was re-elected with 51 percent of the vote.

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    Protests against President Dilma Rousseff in Belo Horizonte on Sunday night. Rodrigo da Cunha Peixoto, via YouTube Continue reading the main story
    The sound of protests in São Paulo on Sunday night. Marcos Granadeiro Guimaraes, via YouTube
    Video bloggers in Brasília joined the pot-banging protest as their president spoke on Sunday night. Neguinha & Môre, via YouTube

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