“why such a big deal for a 10 or 20 cent hike in the bus ticket?” I kept hearing people saying words similar to these when talking about the current protests in Brazil but of course there is more than meets the eye. The protests are about much more than this, the hike in the bus fare was just the straw that broke the camels back. Just like the actions at Gezi park in Turkey, It was the move at the hands of the state that made an already fed up population take to the streets. The people were already fed up with the crumbling state of their educational system that lacks resources and pays its teachers meager wages. They were fed up with a crumbling health system that lacks the tools available to give proper care to its people. They were fed up with crime and corruption not only in the streets but in the political system. Fed up with the close alignment between government and Wealth/private interests and angry at the empty promises coming from politicians.
Many Brazilians are angry because while the country is projected to spend an astronomical amount of money, something around 30 billion dollars, to host the World Cup and Olympics, it’s schools, it’s hospitals and the lives of it’s people see no improvement. How can they not be upset and angry when billions are spent on building sports stadiums and arenas while there are children to educate, sick to heal and mouths to feed? The World cup and the Olympics might be great events that celebrate sport and bring together nations from across our globe, but will it help the Brazilian people? Most of the profits from the world cup will go to FIFA while most of the profits for the olympics will go to IOC ( International Olympics Committee). These events will not turn a profit for the Brazilian people but a large portion of the money needed to make these events happen comes from taxpayers money, this is definitely a cause for concern. There are more issues than the ones i stated above but most people aren’t informed about any of these and they think it’s crazy that a raise of 20 cent in the bus fare can cause such a commotion. They see the tip of the iceberg and think it’s a minuscule problem while a vast mass of issues floats hidden underneath.
I haven’t watched a lot of news coverage on this issue but from what i’ve seen it seems like the typical media response. They label the protesters as nothing more than criminals, violent thugs and agitators, who do nothing but promote violence and chaos and destroy public and private property. Most of us understand that the media foment lies, fear, and straight up bullshit. They serve private interests and do not inform the people. I hope you don’t blindly believe what they say. Do your own research on the subject and come to your own conclusions.
The response by the state has also been typical. Just like in Turkey and almost all other recent protest movements the state responds with full on force. They look to eliminate the protesters swiftly and efficiently and do so by employing violence. They don’t want to listen to the demands of a suffering population and attempt to solve the problems, their solution comes in the form of rubber bullets, tear gas, and batons. Regardless of how much power the state thinks it has, it is the people who hold the real power. We must come together peacefully, assemble, and march non-violently and let our voices and our cries for justice be heard. I stand in solidarity with the people of Brazil and all those who are taking to the streets against opression. We should all be angry at this because our grievances are all connected and they occur in one shape or another in our own nations as well, their problems mirror our problems in some sense. Power concedes nothing without a demand so we must shout, scream, and yell, until those in power hear our cries. Our world is in heaps of trouble and we have to make the deep, fundamental structural changes it needs before shit hits the fan. Let’s make our world a better place for us all.
In my last post is a video of some of the footage from the protest. Watching it you would think that the police is at war with its own people.