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WhatsApp Organizes and Informs Demonstrators on Brazil's Roads
05/28/2018 - 12h23
A week ago, a message said that Brazil would stop as of last Monday, May 21, in a protest against the hike in fuel prices. It reached a WhatsApp group of 60 truck drivers in the region of Embu das Artes, São Paulo.
Some of them decided to take part in the protest, although the origin of the message was not clear, and created another group to forward the message.
On Friday, May 25, this group already had 290 people and became the main means of communication of the truck drivers protesting on Régis Bittencourt highway.
The means used to spread the message was the same in other Brazilian states making the strike continue even after the agreement announced by the federal government with truck drivers' representatives on Thursday evening, May 24.
"If we did not have this tool and the Internet, we would have dispersed after the government announced the end of the strike on television," said one of the truck drivers' leaders in the state of Goiás, Wallace Ladim, known as Chorão, who uses WhatsApp as a way to communicate with his fellow truck drivers.
Lafim says that the group that came to an agreement with the government was comprised of unions and employers, "The truck drivers also want lower gasoline and cooking gas prices," he says. And the message is forwarded on WhatsApp.
|Pictures, videos and messages spread on the app|
This is how truck drivers have exchanged messages on the strike and protests on Brazilian highways.
After the meeting on Thursday, the National Confederation of Self-Employed Carriers (CNTA), for example, disclosed a text with truck drivers' longtime demands, such as the "immediate suspension of tolls charged on suspended axles of empty trucks."
Translated by THOMAS MUELLO