Brazil Govt Seeks Dialogue With Anarchists Linked to Riots

Friday, 01 Nov 2013 08:25 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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The Brazilian government wants to talk with anarchists believed responsible for the violence and destruction of property that has marred recent protests, according to MercoPress
 
Brasilia hopes to speak to the "Black Bloc" organization, the group authorities say has turned peaceful demonstrations violent and triggered repeated clashes with police in major cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, said Executive Office Secretary-General Gilberto Carvalho.

Saying "repression" would not get to the root of the problem, Carvalho emphasized that the government is "looking intensely for that dialogue" to resolve the conflict.

Carvalho's comments represent a marked change in the tone of official statements about the anarchists.  Brazilian military police recently described them as "criminals disguised as protesters" and President Dilma Rousseff called their behavior "anti-democratic barbarism."

Government outreach to the anarchists is complicated by the fact that little is known about their members and leadership, and there is no specific organization that officials can speak with. When they have infiltrated peaceful protest marches, the anarchists have typically been dressed in black and covered with hoods or masks.

The anarchists "thrive in cyberspace" and "are not unique to Brazil," the BBC reported last month, adding that since the 1990s, "they have been devastatingly and destructively active in anti-globalization protests from Seattle to Greece to Egypt."
 
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