Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Sao Paulo again on Tuesday night, furious at high taxes, poor public services, and a government tainted by corruption.
More than 50,000 people massed in front of the metropolitan cathedral in Brazil’s largest city. A few clashed with police as they tried to enter city hall. Other protesters formed a human chain to stop them, shouting: “Peace, peace.”
Demonstrations have ballooned out of protests over a rise in bus and underground fares in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and elsewhere. Four cities have already put the brakes on the increase and there are signs that Sao Paulo will do the same. But that is unlikely to quell the anger.
The protests “are acute manifestations of the great stress experienced by a large portion of the population of the largest urban centers in Brazil,” said Communist Party (PCdoB) chairman Renato Rabelo. He called on the government to tackle the country’s housing crisis and “establish an integrated plan for the development, renewal, and humanization of cities.”
The protests were an important part of democracy, Rabello added. “The voice of the people must be carefully listened to and answered.”
President Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist guerilla, hailed the protests today as a sign of the strength of Brazil’s democracy. “Brazil has woken up a stronger country,” she said. “It is good to see so many young people and adults … together holding the Brazilian flag, singing our anthem, and fighting for a better country. “Citizens emerged who want more and who are entitled to more. I want to assure you that my government also wants more, and we’ll get more for our country and our people.”
More mass protests are planned for today and Brazilian expats have rallied in Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Denmark in solidarity.
As well as complaints of corruption and inefficiency, the £10 billion cost of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has added fuel to the fire.
This article was reposted from Morning Star.