The protests in Brazil; or How the bus fare became political contradiction

Otávio Luiz Vieira Pinto

Abstract


 

It all began with 20 cents of Real (the Brazilian currency). The bus fare in São Paulo – the biggest city in the country – already expensive for its poor quality, was raised by twenty centavos, which triggered protests led by the group Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement, MPL). MPL, traditionally entwined with the Left, mobilized a group of people to show discontent with the fare and in the streets they were met by teargas bombs, rubber bullets and completely unjustified violence at the clubs and fists of the riot and military police. The disproportional aggression was contested by more and more people, and the protests started to get bigger and bigger. Soon, they spread through the whole country and beyond. Hundred thousands of people went into the streets shouting words of order every day, while thousands gathered in major cities in Europe, Canada and the United States to show solidarity to the demonstrators and denounce police ruthlessness and violence.


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