To understand more about the Brazilian protests please read the Editorial No, I’m not Going to the World Cup. And please, don’t go to the World Cup 2014.
Thousand of people took the streets, manifesting themselves for a society with less corruption and in search of better living conditions: health, education, safety and improvements in the transport system. Besides Sao Paulo (with 100 thousand people), Brasilia (with 30 thousand) and Rio de Janeiro (over 300 thousand), there were also big protests in other Brazilian main cities, such as Porto Alegre (RS), Novo Hamburgo (RS), Belo Horizonte (MG), Juiz de Fora (MG), Curitiba (PR), Araraquara (SP), Itapetininga (SP), Bauru (SP), Santos (SP), Maceio (AL), Cuiabá (MT), Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ), Vitoria (ES), Fortaleza (CE), Belem (PA).
The Giant woke up.
What’s REALLY behind the Brazilian riots?
From CNN. Text by Phillip Vianna. Posted June 14, 2013.
The protests that have been occurring in Brazil go beyond the R$0,20 (US$0.10) raise in public transport fares.
Brazil is currently experiencing a widespread collapse of its infrastructure. There are problems with ports, airports, public transport, health and education. Brazil is not a poor country and the tax rates are extremely high. Brazilians see no reason to have such bad infrastructure when there is so much wealth that is so highly taxed. In the state capitals people spend up to four hours per day in traffic, either in their cars or on crowded public transport which is of very poor quality.
The Brazilian government has taken remedial measures to control inflation by cutting taxes and has not yet realized that the paradigm must shift to an infrastructure-focused approach. At the same time the Brazilian government is reproducing on a small scale what Argentina did some years ago: avoiding austerity and preventing the increase in the benchmark Selic base interest rate, which is leading to high inflation and low growth.
Other than the problem of infrastructure, there are several corruption scandals which remain without trial, and the cases being judged have been tending to end with the acquittal of the defendants. The biggest corruption scandal in Brazilian history finally ended with the conviction of the defendants and now the government is trying to reverse the trial by using maneuvers through unbelievable constitutional amendments: one, the PEC 37, which will annihilate the investigative powers of the prosecutors of the public ministry (the Brazilian equivalent of the District Attorneys), delegating the responsibility of investigation entirely to the Federal Police. Moreover, another proposal seeks to subject decisions of the Brazilian Supreme Court to the Congress – a complete violation of the three powers.
Those are, in fact, the revolts of Brazilians.
The protests are not mere isolated, unionized movements or extreme left riots, as some of the Brazilian press says. It is not a teenage rebellion. It is the uprising of the most intellectualized portion of society who wants to put a stop to these Brazilian issues. The young national mid-class, which has always been unsatisfied with the political oblivion, has now “awaken” – in the words of the protesters.
Protests have been staged in major cities across the country, but Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were the focal point of Tuesday’s marches. The thousands who gathered were mostly peaceful, and the atmosphere was almost festive. But at least one small group unsuccessfully tried to force their way into a municipal building.
Police for the most part stood back, but repelled those who tried to enter the government building by bashing its windows with police barriers.
Brazilians say they are angry about high taxes, corruption, and lavish spending on the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament, among other complaints. Protests on Monday were the largest in the country in at least 20 years.
President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday their message was being heard. “The direct message from the streets is for more citizenship, better schools, better hospitals, better health, for direct participation,” she said in a nationally televised address. “My government is trying and committed to social transformation.”
The feeling among the protesters is that they are paying into a system that is not giving them back enough in return. “It’s all about national priorities,” said Fernando Jones, a CNN iReporter who participated in protests in Rio de Janeiro. “We want health, we want education.”
Brazilians like himself find themselves asking how the government is using their taxes for its citizens, while watching as millions are spent on preparations for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. “People can’t take it anymore,” he said.
Thousands protest over rising costs of 2014 World Cup
The protests are being organized largely by university students and a group called the Free Fare Movement, which wants public transportation to be free of charge. The protests follow a week of smaller demonstrations that began in response to plans to increase fares for Brazil’s public transportation system, from 3 to 3.20 reais ($1.38 to $1.47), but have broadened into wider protests over economic and social issues plaguing the country.
Protesters say they are angry about, among other things, government decisions to spend money on the World Cup and other projects instead of improving health care, education and other social programs. Brazil is building stadiums and revamping its infrastructure ahead of the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, events that will put the world’s focus on the Latin American nation of 201 million people.
The protests have attracted international attention, and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Brazilian authorities Tuesday to show restraint in handling protesters. Last week, at least 100 people were injured and 120 arrested after violent clashes between police and protesters in Sao Paulo. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters and journalists, bringing complaints of brutality and targeting of media covering the events.
On this thursday, 20 June, more than 100 cities in Brazil were stage of more protests.