Over the past week, São Paulo, Rio and other cities have been the scene for an uncommon social habit in the country: protests. This is a brief explanation of what's happening at my country for my gringo friends:
Riot, why again?
Just like in Turkey, it started for a punctual reason: the 10cents of dollar increase in the urban bus pass.
What were they protesting for?
For the government to cancel the price increase.
Really, for ten cents??
Yes, that's when the real reason for the riot starts to appear. As for every other tax and fee paid for public services, people feel they are paying more and getting less. The average time a person spend in a bus in São Paulo is three hours daily, only to go to work.
So the ten cents actually represent a disapproval of the current government?
I hope so! It's certain that the protest is against corruption and bad transportation. The crowd is also taking advantage of the momentum of the riot to express themselves against everything that is wrong in this country, as a friend of mine said. Absurdly high taxes and very low service in public transportation, infrastructure, education, healthcare, safety, etc. this video can explain it better: http://youtu.be/AIBYEXLGdSg
Why is the police reacting with violence then?
They say they are just reacting bc protesters are vandalizing the city. Still, the police is certainly another corrupted institution in the country that doesn't work.
Is it true?
Yes, it is true. There's a small number of vandals taking advantage of the protests and deviating the mass media focus from the reason of the protests to their immediate consequences.
Are the protests somehow linked to political parties or movements?
In theory, no. However, some are saying that the vandalism is a maneuver to destabilize the state government of São Paulo, the strongest state in the country. The federal government also suggests that the protests have electoral purposes. Hard to say if it's true.
Do I support the manifests?
Definitely yes! Even though I can't participate in the actual protests because I'm still recovering from a broken knee, I'm proud of my friends who are taking part in it.
I don't know if it's a political maneuver, if the vandalism is real, if I took 3 hours to get at home bc of the manifest. All I know is that the manifests are a sign that the Brazilian people are opening their eyes to the absurd of their reality! And if people can't establish a productive communication with their political leaders (after all the profound level of corruption prevents anyone of trusting them), then protesting is a a very healthy way of practicing democracy. Yes, democracy is not about having the right to get to work without traffic caused by vandals as some say. It's much more than that. And some are working to get there. Sorry any inconvenience caused.