Brazilian Protests Succeed In Reversing Bus, Subway Fare Hike

Tyler Durden's picture

The Brazilian protests, which swept through the country with the raging bear market (and the pulled mega-IPO) over the past week, and which had the goal of reducing a recent bus-fare increase among other assorted protest goals, appear to have succeeded. At least when it comes to the fare increase. As for the other protester demands, listed below, it may take a little longer.

AP reports:

Brazilian leaders in Sao Paulo say they are reversing a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares that has sparked widespread protests across the nation.


Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad and Sao Paulo state Gov. Geraldo Alckmin said at a joint news conference Wednesday that the fare increase is now reversed.


However, it was not clear what impact the action would have on the protests that have broken out in several Brazilian cities.


The protests have evolved into communal outcries that have moved well beyond the original demand that public transportation fares be lowered.


Protests are continuing in Rio's sister city Niteroi and in northeastern Brazil.

The good news: protests still work in some cases. The bad news: a 10 cent fare increase is a far more manageable issue to resolve than corruption, violence, police repression, and corrupt politicians which are some of the other protest causes.

Then again, at least the Brazilians are protesting for change: in the US, one only has to consider the epic indignation that the recent NSA spying scandal has unleashed and the mass throngs of people demanding a return of their constitutional rights. Oh wait...

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mikla's picture

Protests are fun, but reversing a "fare hike" is hardly sufficient "success" when you accept your position as a prisoner to a fundamentally corrupt system and a ruling elite.

Popo's picture

They'll also get bread and circuses:

Richard Chesler's picture

American peasant, stay away from me

American peasant, Obama let me be

Don't come hangin' around my door

I don't wanna see your face no more

I got more important things to do

Than spend my time growin' old with you

Now peasant, I said stay away

American peasant, listen what i say.

smlbizman's picture

minus that 25 age thing...i think we are all brazilians now

BlueCollaredOne's picture

Negative ghost rider. The average american's ass is, well, american.


Brazilians got DAT ASS.  


freewolf7's picture

Thank goodness we don't protest here in the United States.
Frankly, I get so uncomfortable with it all. That's what elections are for.
What's on tv?

Gringo Viejo's picture

Bus fare reduction?
Power to the peoples! Right arm!

Clas Greve's picture

... they had a long series of violent dictatorships up until the late 70's where protesting would get you shot or disappeared ... There is a very strong memory of of police and military repression which has to a large degree kept alot of people away from mass protests . In North America there is no real appreciation of the psychological effect that those events will have on a couple of generations of people and their children.  

For Brasilians it is a huge accomplishment to be able to protest (no matter the cause ) without fear of being dragged away in the night ... We take that for granted here (north america) because there is no living memory of surviving a brutal dictatorship where you or your family members could be dragged away in the night because of what you said at a public rally or in a cafe .

While things are slowly turning to shit here they have never gotten that bad . 

thereisonlyonelaw's picture

Oh please. A former terrorist is the president of the country. Brazilians are not scared of the government, at all. The military regime fell because brazilians had complete disdain for them. A democratically elected president then was deposed (by the people, not the army) for a combination of "corruption" and "incompetence". Violent protests have been going on for decades, including many which were pushed by the current ruling party. Most of the people who had trouble with the military regime, like for example the current president, were terrorists with sympathies for the Soviet Union. The brazilian military government was one of the tamest dictatorships in all of human history. For example, there was no "El Presidente for Life", the executive branch was not static, there was no cult of personality, there was no Peron, there was no Fidel, there were no firing squads, it was about as violent as the government today, which imprisons people for saying bad words like "nigger". It had censorship, it had "dissapearances", it had all sorts of nonsense and yes, it had political repression and violence, but it was actually a very soft progressive government relative to everything else going on around the world; and it pushed for many of the things (social reforms and socialist policies) that are now defended as sacred.

kito's picture

the mta.....weighed down by massive union bells and whistles......raises the rat infested subway fare 50 cents and there is barely a whimper from new yorkers.....the port authority raises their toll 5 bucks to cross the traffic plagued gw the port authority can raise revenue to rebuild their precious world trade center...............and nary a cry.............................this is bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cacete de Ouro's picture

Hold on, 1000 Reals is nothing. That visual graph is bullshit. Those who earn R$ 20000 per month are upper class. Upper class in brazil isn't even to do with salary, its to do with wealth...

Come on...

Sabibaby's picture

"Those who earn R$ 20000 per month are upper class. Upper class in brazil isn't even to do with salary, its to do with wealth..."


I don't understand what you mean because if you are earning R$20,000 per month isn't that a salary?It's a good salary but what do you mean by wealth?

Why are they different?

123dobryden's picture

ghrrrr, thank you, i dont know why but after reading your question i feel much better, hahaha

Totentänzerlied's picture

Net salary vs net income vs net wealth.

Rich people have a hell of a lot more wealth than their monthly salary, if they even have a monthly salary.

GuyJeans's picture

Good salary does not necessarily equal wealth, especially when CB can devalue/inflate the currency you are paid with.  Things that store value and possibly produce may be considered wealth.  Truly wealthy people dont need to get paid a salary as their wealth produces for them.

thereisonlyonelaw's picture

What he meant is, R$2,000 a month is not an "upper class" wage. People earning R$2,000 a month here consider themselves on the high level of the poverty line. A cleaning lady can earn that much, which is equivalent to almost a thousand dollars (depending on where the exchange rate is). R$20,000 a considered a high level wage. Cashiers earn R$800 a month. Brazil is also a socialist country with universal healthcare so anyone can enjoy the poor service of public hospitals for free, and they are all over the place. What people are complaining about is that they are not getting enough benefits. These are Greek-style protests, nothing more. They are a horrible sign of things to come.

Dr. Engali's picture

Price controls coming soon. Then the real fun starts.

Sabibaby's picture

Brazil supposedly also has a 5.8 percent unemployment rate. So I guess things haven't gotten bad enough in the US or maybe the TV programming has gotten better?

Dareconomics's picture

The governor of Sao Paulo stated that the fares would not be reversed as late as yesterday afternoon. Will this concession satisfy the protestors or impel them to ask for more?

nonclaim's picture

Those living in other cities should now protest/demand from the governor why *they* have to pay for a bus ride in a city they don't live in.

What a great socialist concept that others should pay for your political gains ...

Freddie's picture

Just give em an ObamaPhone or SambaPhone.  They waste tons of money on stadiums and they pretty much suck at soccer anymore.   They can't beat the Dutch, Italians, Germans and Spaniards in the world cup.  National pride is corrupt gangster carnival and football which they are average at now. 

I guess it is better than the USSA's national pride of Obam, Honey Boo Boo, Snoop Dawg and Kim Kardashian.

The Gooch's picture

+100 for "SambaPhone"

I don't think this bone they're throwing will cut it.



jcamargo's picture

Of course, they will be asking now for free rides. It is official. Next they will probably ask for personal jet-packs. There are no limits.

jcamargo's picture

Of course, they will be asking now for free rides. It is official. Next they will probably ask for personal jet-packs. There are no limits.

JohnFrodo's picture

That was a joke, but the number of one percenters that commute by helicopter in Sao Paulo is no joke.

Cacete de Ouro's picture

A 'salary' in brasil is a defined amount which varies. So, for example, someone might earn 2 salaries or 3 salaries per month. Hard to grasp if you have never heard of this concept, I admit. So, a salary per month may be, like R$800. So some guy who makes R$2500 would make 3 salaries.
This person would be doing quite well in northeast. In south, not as much.

So, The graph is misleading. Not sure where it was sourced. It is very inaccurate.

I stand corrected though...

jcamargo's picture

I think the difference in relation to Obama is that our ruling leftwing party activelly supports radical fringe groups in order for them to put forward some claims, demand some 'rights', make some mess, and then the government comes in to expand their scope. 

Aparently they set them against Sao Paulo State opposition government, maybe wishing to see fewer hikes on transportation costs. Things got out of control and after use of police violence many other demands joined in and their numbers swelled.

It quickly evolved to a protest againt the status-quo. The government calls its propaganda advisor and now pretends not to be in power, but siding with the protestors fighting for 'more rights', as if they would be throwing stones at their own buildings, 'fighting for a better country'. We are used to this kind of tactics, they are quite evolved in South America.

Right now the movements that sparked this wave of protests are trying to claim some kind of leadership. Let's see, but it looks like this thing it is moving by itself now.

thereisonlyonelaw's picture

Shortly before these protests, teachers were protesting in the same way for higher wages. The difference being that there are a whole lot more people that benefit from subsidies to public transport. Governments are caving in to these demands but it's not like they are magically saying "Ok, you are right! We abolish this unjust raise in prices!". These are standard socialist protests for more money. Money is being shifted around based on how angry the recipients of aid get. When the money has to be cut from somewhere else to finance the transportation system, the "somewhere else" will protest. If the global economy collapses, so will democracy in Brazil.

yogibear's picture

Why can't we do that with property taxes? It would be citizens vs the SEIU, police, firemen and teachers.

Monedas's picture

Brazil has just enough of what Haiti has too much of .... good time Charlies .... ready to party .... forward .... Negronomics !

johny2's picture

Brazil may be the real black swan, who could ever predict Brazil protesting against the football world cup? 

JohnFrodo's picture

If things get realy bad I will join facebook and send a outraged tweet as well.

Milestones's picture

I commented earlier--got lost I guess. IT IS NOT BRAZIL., it is BraSil. Doubt me, look at their currency. It is their country and language. We now say Beijing not Peking. BraZil is our spelling, not theirs. Picky I guess, but if you go there you will get corrected.      Milestones

thereisonlyonelaw's picture

I can assure you, brazilians don't call New York, New York. Brazil is the original spelling as far as I know, so if anything it is more corret than the Brasil that brazilians use today.

Clas Greve's picture

What is important to understand about the bus system in Sao Paulo is that it is incredibly crowded and theft at the point of a knife or gun is very common ... people routinely get mugged on the buses so to raise rates, while providing poor service and no security, is worse than a joke . In Brasil 10% to 20% of the money of many large contracts will disappear in bribery and corruption by the politicians and the rich ... the gap between the rich and the poor in Brasil is enormous and unlikely to ever change however at least the younger generation have learned to protest and aren't yet getting disappeared like in the 70's ...

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Brasil will need a lot more restructuring than just a 10c reduction, esp if they want the World Cup / Olympics to go well. Btw, never forget little Bulgaria. Who had a minor (and old style flags n pottering along) protest of their own! BBC

Btw: I was doing some reading on Turkey today (I recommend this article on internal minutiae to the protests), and came across something interesting. Erdogan came to power owing the IMF ~$22.5 billion. Turkey currently owes them ~$0.9 billion, and has refused further IMF loan infusions. I don't have a grasp of how cleverly he plays the Game, but it could be that he's decided that that $0.9 billion can be paid off before his democratic tenure ends, and then he can put a finger up to the IMF (America) and go his own way (cf regional politics - which we've seen in regard to Syria).


That's a back of the envelope theory, not worth much (since I don't have enough history of the relationship between AKP - IMF - USA), but it's one that would explain his refusal to concede anything to the protestors and his subsequent crack-downs. Other Nations have done weirder things to avoid IMF debt.

Element's picture

Alternatively he's just a petty narcissistic arrogant belligerent arsehole, who's selling tickets on himself. As for Turkey stepping out alone, what was all that requesting of PAC3 missile systems from NATO a few months ago? A sign of Turkey's pending plunge into isolationism, or a jaunt into geopolitical independence? The truth is simple, he's a dodgy religious nut, pretending to be a secularist model of good conservative govt ... while wearing grandad's checkered blazer circa 1972!! ... what's next, the comeback of the feckin' Safari-Suit craze, of 1973?


Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Oh, he can be that at the same time, for sure, for sure.

dunce's picture

Every time a protest demonstration succeeds it spawns two more and they soon are institutionalized.