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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Right Wing in the Brazilian 2013 Cycle of Protests

The data associated with this publication are not available for this reason: IRB does not allow sharing of interview data

This article aims to investigate the narratives of the right-wing protestors that were present in June 2013 cycle of protest about their participation in it and some of the following interpretations and actions they had after that, especially regarding the pro-impeachment cycle, which started on the end of 2014. The aim is to have a closer look at the right-wing protestors in the 2013 cycle of protests to understand who they were, what were their practices and what principles guided them during that time. The, the paper is divided on three sections, besides its introduction and conclusion, as listed: (i) the presentation of June 2013 protests and its relations to contemporary forms of collective action; (ii) the analysis of the interviews made with 16 right-wing demonstrators in Belo Horizonte, systematizing their narratives in the concepts of actors, practices and grammars; (iii) the interviewees understandings of these protests in their lives and the impacts related to the pro-impeachment cycle. In the first, June 2013 is presented as a diverse and diffuse political event, in which could be found a political ambivalence between left and right-wins. In the second section, the paper found that the protestors went alone and without a political organization guidance to the demonstrations – the right-wing actors were individuals. As for the practices, two were considered as more distinctive of the right-wing: the critique of violence and the use of national colors. And for the grammars, it was found that they were guided by a nationalistic view related mostly to the people’s sovereignty against corruption and political elites. In the third section, it was possible to notice that the interviewees that acted on the pro-impeachment demonstrations, gave more importance to this second cycle than to the first one. However, those who disagreed with the president’s impeachment felt uncomfortable and “without a place” in such political developments. In conclusion, this paper finds that the June protests were important for the right-wing, but both the demonstrations and the right-wing were too dispersed then. It was the following events that made possible the actors’ continuous articulation and formation of collective actions and identities to gain space and strength to impeach the former president, and now, elect a right-wing-authoritarian president.

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