about the protests in Brazil
As most of you know, I am brazilian. I know a bit about the protests going on here, I participated in two of those events (I was even interviewed by a reporter). I’d like to take a minute to discuss it very briefly.
Brazil has been on the spotlight for the last years for several different reasons: BRICS, World Cup, Olympics, Economy, Presidents (Lula and Mrs. Rouseff), Energy Industry, etc.
The government has been conducting left-side party policies targeted to social areas. As a hence of a number of policies, millions rose to the middle class in Brazil. The country is now a middle class country. Of course this was advertised to the world by the left-party government - and the data is true. We are a country where the majority of our population is in the middle class.
With many reasons to feel optimistic about Brazil, why are people protesting on the streets?
Well, for one, because the government only speaks about the good things happening and seem to forget that other social problems are just as important as the goals reached. Many rose to the middle class, but inflation is here once again. The quality of public services (education, healthcare, transportation, to mention a few) is very questionable. Some questions came to mind for brazilians.
Some of them include:
- The taxes are incredibly high, so why aren’t we improving in such areas?
- Why are we deliberately hosting the World Cup and spending an incredible amount of money (this World Cup is costing to Brazil what the last three World Cups costed together) when we have such poor services?
- Will the investiment be returned to society or to private hands?
- Why is it costing this much? Where is all the money going to?
- Also, if corruption is so high among politicians, why don’t they go to jail when they are condemned?
What triggered the protests was an increase of 20 cents (in Reais, Brazil’s currency - U$1 = R$2,26) in the bus fare of São Paulo city. The media in Brazil did not cover the protests (at this time, very, very small) with the imparciality they should. However, with the help of smartphones, dozens of people uploaded videos of the pacific protests in which policemen were being very ridiculously abusive. And this by the order of the governor and the mayor of of São Paulo. Our biggest city.
This was it. It was the turning point of everything.
From this moment on, millions of Brazilians came to the streets to support the small movement in São Paulo and to release some of the frustration held for so long. The frustration mainly about the politicians in Brazil.
The generation of today feel completely disconnected with the political parties in this country. The frustration because of corruption has reached an unimaginable proportion: they claimed no one represented them, they were only Brazilians coming to the streets and very pacifically expressing their indignation and frustration with the way this country is being conducted.
The questions above summarize most of the indignation but there are many more voices and many more themes. I will cite just three more: the women’s rights; the Congress wanting to take away the Public Ministery’s power to investigate corruption; and the christian visions coming to politcs (specially to confront the LGBT movements).
I’m not sure where is all this going to but I know that some results are showing up already. For instance, the Congress approved a bill that makes corruption a heinous crime, a severe crime. Technically, the punishment will be even harder than it was. Also, they rejected (unanimously!) the bill which would take away the Public Ministery’s power to investigate.
As a brazilian, I see many wrong things with the way both the government is conducting the nation and with the protests denying a leader or a political voice. I hope all of this serves the purpose of utility and improvement which we need.
Unlike protests happening worlwide, this one is being conducted nationwide in a democratic, economically strong, and political stable country. Shouldn’t we all keep an eye? I think so.