By Pedro Ferreira, BACC-SE Reporter
A protest which started in São Paulo on June 06 over a 20 centavos (nine cents) increase in the city’s bus fare, has escalated into a nation-wide movement with tens of thousands of Brazilians flooding the streets of several major cities such as Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasília. As a result, late last night, officials from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro announced that the recent fare increases are officially repealed. The two states have shown to be the first of many in this trend. Though victorious, citizens are still holding up banners with the phrase “Não são só 20 centavos, (It’s not just 20 cents).”
The diverse crowds, ranging from a pacifist majority to a small number of radical activists, are now speaking out against government corruption; specifically attacking the Proposed Amendment to the Constitution 37 (PEC 37) which will limit the investigation power of the Public Ministry.
Protesters are also criticizing the spending of R$7 billion ($3.3 billion) on stadiums for next year’s World Cup. The activists call for “less circus and more bread”, suggesting that more of the public money (roughly 1/3 of the country’s GDP) should be applied towards education, health and poverty alleviation.