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 The 2008 Manaus and Tabatinga riots were a set of connected public disturbances that broke out in the said cities after the independence of Palmares. They resulted from restrictive legislation imposed by the government.  


Background

After a successful coup which destroyed the temporary republican government of Palmares, military authorities had seized control of the state's government. Most troops which had exectued the coup were in the North securing Essequibo Province, with only two companies of troops in the immediate area around Manaus, and three companies in Tabatinga. Various dissidents, including pro-Brazilians, republicans, and those simply looking for destrcution, began to gather in the centre of Manaus. Soon they numbered close to 10,000. 

Riot - Manaus

The government chose this point to announce the outlawing of meat-eating. This provoked the crowd, armed with sticks, rocks, and Molotov cocktails, into a rage, and they began to attack nearby parked cars. Police were sent in, but the protestors attacked them, killing eight and disarming them. They then began to move through downtown, burning buildings and beating up police.  Eventually, the crowd began to head for the Manaus Opera House, where the government was housed. The army officers were unwilling to deploy their troops in th city, fearing they would join the protestors. One company, however, was made up of Central Amazonians, few of whom spoke Portugese or had sympathy for the protestors. Led by COlonel Tavares de Lurdes, they deployed into the city centre, where they manned a barricade. The two groups calshed at around 1:00 in the morning. The crowd charged the barricade, only to be beaten back in vicious close-quarters fighting. The protestors atrtacked again, but were beaten back with small-arms fire. However, as the mob made successive attacks on the barricade, the troops began to run out of ammunition. De Lurdes decided to attack, many armed with clubs and spears,, his troops charged the protestors, who broke. Another company of troops arrived,  and they began to drive the protestors south, where they trapped them against the river. The protestors now surrendered. 


Tabatinga

In Tabatinga, the troops had not been so lucky, and were overrun. The protestors seized several arsenals, lotting houses and stores as they rampaged through the town. When morning arrived, however, they found several armoured cars approaching. These proved invulnerable to small-arms fire, and although one was destroyed by a Molotov cokctail, the others began to machine-gun and run over the protestors. The mob dispersed, and troops were able to reoccupy the town. 


Repercussions

  The government imposed varying sentences on captured protestors. Several received life imprisonment, while sentences of 10 - 15 years were not uncommon. Some were also conscripted into the army, where they were assigned permanent menial labour. Historians have pointed out that the protestors probably came within one city block of felling the government by storming the Opera House. As it was, this contributed greatly to the decision to abolish democracy permanently and merge the military and police forces.

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