Brazil despair: Protests over transport, inflation gain intl support (PHOTOS)
Hundreds are readying to rally across the world to support thousands of Brazilian protesters who have been taking to streets across the country over skyrocketing crime rates, insufficient, overcrowded public transport and other calamities.
Over a thousand people have confirmed they will take part in a
rally in Dublin, Ireland, scheduled for 1pm local time Sunday in
sign of solidarity with Brazilian protesters, many of whom are
"Brazilians living in Ireland are also outraged by the way the
government treated the protesters after the announcement of
abusive fare increase," according to a statement on the
Dozens of demonstrations are also being organized in other
cities, including Paris, Madrid, London, Berlin, Brussels,
Boston, Chicago, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Mexico City and
Buenos Aires. In general, the actions are scheduled for Tuesday.
Many of the demonstrations called by the social network are
linked to the event called Democracy Has No Border.
Thousands have already signed up to attend.
On Thursday night, Brazil’s Sao Paulo saw a crowd of 5,000 demonstrators cordoning off the main avenues, vandalizing buildings, leading to traffic chaos – for the fourth time in just over a week.
Rallies were also staged in Rio de Janeiro and the southern city of Porto Alegre.
Security forces cracked down on the protests, using tear gas and rubber bullets to curb the unrest. Some 200 arrests were made. Several people, including journalists who were covering the protests, were injured in the crackdown.
The demonstrations were initially triggered by a 10-cent hike in bus fare, bringing the price to the equivalent of $1.60, and fueled by 6.5 percent inflation, as well as other economic problems.
This, in turn, led to an 8-percent drop in the country’s President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity.
"This city's a piece of trash and we shouldn't have to pay anything for terrible services," Lucia Pereira, a 19-year-old student, told local TV in Sao Paulo, as quoted by Reuters.
There were protesters who opposed the transport fare whatsoever, saying public transportation should be free.
Some demonstrators pointed out that they were inspired by the current unrest in Turkey, with slogans like "Peace is over, Turkey is here!" chanted in the crowds.
The authorities opposed the turn that the rallies have taken.
"Vandalism, violence and obstruction of public roads are not acceptable," Sao Paulo state Governor Geraldo Alckmin tweeted as the crackdown was taking place.
A survey of Sao Paulo residents by polling firm Datafolha, taken before Thursday night's protest, indicated that 55 percent of respondents supported the demonstrators.
Demonstrators are planning another major march in Sao Paulo for Monday evening.