More than 100,000 people protested over several days nationwide in Brazil to express frustration with heavy-handed police tactics, poor public services like health care, and high costs for sporting events like the World Cup, and a wider unease about inequality, corruption, etc. Major demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and elsewhere started peacefully but several led to clashes with police and arson attacks on cars and buses.
The people of Brazil tend to prefer partying to protest, but dissatisfaction with the government of Dilma Rousseff has them in a state of unrest. The same principles that laid the groundwork for the decade of the French Revolution that began in 1789 are in play in Brazil.
Several police were injured in clashes in Rio as a car was burned, office windows of banks, notaries and government buildings were smashed, and graffiti daubed on walls proclaiming “revolution,” “hate police,” etc.
Most of the rallies started peacefully until they confronted the police, which responded heavily with pepper spray and perhaps rubber bullets.
“We are here because we hate the government. They do nothing for us,” said Oscar José Santos, 19, a resident of one of Rio’s favelas or slums…
“I’m an architect but I have been unemployed for six months. There must be something wrong with this country,” said Nadia al Husin.
One group of demonstrators in Brasilia broke through police into the national congress building. Riots also occurred in Porte Alegre and Curitiba.
Most protesters were young and claimed that Facebook organized the protests known as the “vinegar revolution” (because protestors carried vinegar to counteract tear gas) or the “20-cent revolution (because of a 20-cent bus price rise).
It has been a long time since protests this large were seen on the streets of Brazil. But “Brazil is once again in crisis, with a constant rise in prices, so people are finally reacting.”
“At the same time anarchy is seeking to sweep away all law, not only divine, but human. The centralizing of wealth and power; the vast combinations for the enriching of the few at the expense of the many; the combinations of the poorer classes for the defense of their interests and claims; the spirit of unrest, of riot and bloodshed; the world-wide dissemination of the same teachings that led to the French Revolution—all are tending to involve the whole world in a struggle similar to that which convulsed France.” Education, page 228