For those outside Brazil, it went probably unnoticed the flood of messages on Twitter last Sunday night with the hashtag #vaiadilma (Boo Dilma in English).
Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff (PT, Workers Party) went to national television on Sunday (8) for a 15-minutes pronouncement, where she asked Brazilians for patience with the austerity measures adopted by the government and the weak economy.
The reaction was not all positive, especially in some regions of the country. In protest, residents of cities such as São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Vila Velha and Brasília shouted from their balconies and bang pots and pans.
What has been called “balcony protest” made its way to Twitter: last night, #VaiaDilma was in the trending topics in Brazil and amongst the most talked topics on Twitter worldwide.
Some have argued that the reactions were isolated and that they were concentrated in posh neighborhoods of rich capitals.
By analyzing* the tweets posted over the past days with the hashtags #vaiaDilma, #ForaPT (Get out PT) and ForaDilma (Get out Dilma), it is possible to see concentration, specially in the Southeast of the country – but not isolation.
The volume of messages are higher in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, with the predominance of São Paulo city. The more you zoom in the map, the more you see that São Paulo have concentrated the posts. If you want to zoom in in the map, click here.
The atmosphere of animosity may be concentrated, but it is growing. Next Sunday (15) a march is expected from those who support an impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, despite the unlikeliness of the procedure.
An event on Facebook, called “Vemprarua” (Come to the Streets), run by an unknown institution, has 272,545 members at the moment. The community posts videos and convocations asking Brazilians to march on the 15th.
It is important to put numbers in perspective: Brazil is a massive country, with more than 200 million people. The universe of 272,545 members does not represent a significant amount of the population.
However, the narrow margin of victory Dilma had just five months ago in the presidential elections might play a role.
Some influential voices, as journalist Bruno Torturra, called attention to the insensitivity of Dilma: appearing on television one week before the march without addressing hot topics, as corruption scandals that members of the government coalition are involved into, was not the best political decision.
Dilma’s opponent in the last election, Eduardo Jorge (Partido Verde, Green Party) joked that Dilma’s speech in national TV was actually the invitation for the 15th March.
If the president’s speech was a “shot in the foot”, we are yet to see.
Explore the full map:
*Sample: 25,000 tweets collected, 800 posts visualized.
Original version of this article at the personal blog of author.