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Could police strikes spread in Brazil?

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Felipe Dana/AP

(Read caption) Soldiers maintain their blockade of the state legislative building, where up to 300 striking police officers and their families are holed up, in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday.

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• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, riorealblog.com. The views expressed are the author's own.

Carnival starts in less than two weeks, with 250 percent more porta-potties.  And possibly a dearth of police.

Rio de Janeiro’s military (street) and civil (investigative) police forces, and its firemen are threatening to strike starting on Friday.

The moment couldn’t be better – or worse. The military police of the northeastern state of Bahia are currently on strike, with army troops surrounding strikers holed up with their families in the state legislative building. The US consulate has advised putting off travel to Bahia, a prime spot for Afro-Brazilian Carnival celebrations, and Globo TV reported today that tour operators have seen a ten percent cancellation rate.

In Rio, police are posting frenetically on Facebook and in blogs (most links in Portuguese), with not much mainstream coverage on the possibility of a strike (or on demands or the politics involved).

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