In my post on Thursday I pondered what might happen once the initial objectives of the Brazilian protests – to reverse an increase in bus fares – had been achieved. Would the demonstrations dissipate or having tasted success would they move on to target one of the many other grievances protesters had subsequently raised?
Well, further protests on Thursday, Friday and Saturday suggested that for the moment at least, it certainly wasn’t the former.
On Thursday, over one million people across eighty cities formed what were the largest protests to date. Here in São Paulo over 100,000 people, including myself, poured onto Avenida Paulista – the city’s main avenue – in what felt like part celebration and part call to arms to demand action on other issues (including corruption, the cost of the World Cup, FIFA, poor public services and creaking infrastructure).
You can read the rest of this article here at Planet Ivy.
Whilst many of the protests around Brazil on Thursday became violent, the one in São Paulo remained relatively peaceful. However, there appeared to be a noticeable difference in its demographic. As I noted in my post for Planet Ivy the tariff protests had predominantly consisted of young, middle class students, but this one drew a far more mixed crowd. Most noticeable were the different groups and factions marching in blocos, almost like Carnaval, but this time minus the samba and instead with a bit of tension. Anyway, below are some of the photos I took as a record of the night.
Avenida Paulista and Rua Consolação towards the beginning of the protest.
Like many of the hundreds of thousands who have now joined protests across Brazil in recent days I watched the initial protests – about an increase in bus fares in São Paulo – from afar when they broke out on 6 June.
Why? Well, prior to Monday, when I decided to venture out onto the streets myself, I felt that despite broadly agreeing with the objectives of the protest, and even being a daily user of the city’s public transportation myself, it was probably not my place to get involved. As a ‘gringo’ and a guest of Brazil I didn’t feel it was my fight to fight – and to be honest, even now I feel a little uncomfortable commenting upon and writing about what effectively is probably none of my business.
However, what motivated me to go out on Monday, and I think this sentiment may well be shared by many others, was seeing the extent of the violence (rubber bullets, tear gas, etc) the police used last Thursday to put down what was widely reported as being a peaceful protest. The net effect of this was that whilst the actions of the police may have successfully extinguished Thursday’s protest it had the converse effect of igniting a far broader outrage throughout Brazil.
You can read the rest of this post here at Planet Ivy.