A million people across Brazil say ‘it’s not about 20 cents’

Conor Foley writes: Perhaps the most politically significant moment in the two weeks of popular protests that have shaken Brazil came at the opening ceremony for the Confederations Cup last Saturday. In Brasilia’s brand new football stadium, the crowd rose to their feet, turned their backs on the national team and loudly booed the president, Dilma Rousseff.

It was not exactly a Nicolae Ceausescu moment, and talk of a “Brazilian spring” is overblown – but the crowd’s reaction shows a dissatisfaction with Brazilian politics that was latent until now.

Hundreds of thousands have marched in demonstrations protesting against the rising cost of living, government corruption and the costs of staging major “prestige” events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.

Political protests are nothing new in Brazil, nor is the extreme violence with which they are often dealt by the police. What marks the current wave out is not just that they are bigger than usual, but a sense that they represent a much broader and still not entirely articulated sentiment. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email