The government of Brazil was besieged by angry mobs prompted by transport fare hikes of public transportation. Manic responses came from the Brazilian populist spanning the cities of Manaus and the southern city of Florianopolis. Residents were outraged when government officials instituted policies to increase bus rates as well as ongoing corrupt practices of the administration.
Upon reversal of the plan Brazilians continued to vent disapproval of government policies in the country. Demonstrators poured into the streets of municipalities and even held protests near international soccer matches to voice their disapproval of government legislation.
“Twenty cents was just the start,” read signs held by converging masses in central Sao Paulo.
Tens of thousands protested in the capital of Brasilia. Protestors marched around the Congress buildings, Supreme Court and the presidential offices. Their intentions were to make the government realize that current policies were not in the interest of the majority of the citizenry.
The protests now entering its third week is disruptive and is leading to vandalism in the poorer districts of the region. Police in Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Olympics, chased looters from the city’s metro district. Rioters destroyed bus shelters and spot lights in Rio and other cities on Thursday night complicating things for residents.
TV Images displayed masked youths setting fire, marauding stores and defacing public property during demonstrations. The local media has reported two people have died as a result of protests and it is reported that a car plowed into a crowd of people injuring more than 60 people. The angry masses Brazil faces have embarrassed many government officials.
An activist group out of Sao Paulo, The Free Fare Movement, was instrumental in the rise of the nation’s protests. The group said it would stop organizing protests after a street fight broke out among other groups with dissimilar view points.
“Things turned ugly when some protesters sought to prevent left-wing political parties from waving their flags,” said Douglas Belome, a bank teller and member of the Free Fare group. “At least for now, there are no new demonstrations scheduled,” he told Reuters media.
The disruptions that have taken place in the government have been largely supported by the majority of Brazilians. However, some residents have begun to complain about the road blocks and other discomforts of protest repercussions.
“I support these (protests), but I think it’s out of control,” said Nilson Chabat, a 31-year-old gas station attendant on his way to work on Friday in Sao Paulo. “Many of us are angry but you can’t just go make a mess of everything.”
“They have been promising lots of things for many years, but it doesn’t go beyond that,” said Jeniffer Novaez, 18, a physical therapist. “I don’t know if they understand what is really happening here, but it’s been many years and we are thirsty. We want everything, and we want it now.”
BNDES, the national development bank, announced the approval of more than $1 billion in loans to expand the metro system in Sao Paulo. Brazil faced the initial angry masses in the city in which the increased bus fares were introduced to the public.
By Thomas Barr