Protests began in Brazil earlier this month, initially sparked by increased bus fares. However, as the weeks passed by, the protests morphed into something very different. The protests have been peaceful overall, yet the authorities have been accused of using tear gas and rubber bullets in Sao Paulo as the demonstrations have become more violent. The BBC reports:
“For many years, the government has been feeding corruption, people are demonstrating against the system,” Graciela Cacador told Reuters news agency.
Others complained about vast sums of money spent on hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics instead of being invested in health and education.
“This is a communal cry saying: ‘We’re not satisfied!’,” Maria Claudia Cardoso told the Associated Press news agency.
“We don’t have good schools for our kids. Our hospitals are in awful shape. Corruption is rife. These protests will make history and wake our politicians up to the fact we’re not taking it anymore,” she said.
“We need better education, hospitals and security, not billions spent on the World Cup,” said one mother who attended the Sao Paulo march with her daughter.
“We’re a rich country with a lot of potential but the money doesn’t go to those who need it most,” 26-year-old photographer Manoela Chiabai told the Associated Press.
Demonstrators chanted slogans, including “The people have awakened”, BBC Brasil’s Julia Carneiro reports from Sao Paulo.
As the protests in Brazil change over from bus fares to dissatisfaction with the government, all we can do is wait to see what happens. If anything, the worldwide explosion of anti-government protests indicate a general distrust of politics as usual.