Brazil Protests Return With A Vengeance: Up To A Million Take To The Streets

Tyler Durden's picture

Currently going on in Rio: three hundred thousand (expected to rise to a million) have taken to the streets in Rio in the biggest protests so far sweeping Brazil:

If the Brazilian government thought that caving yesterday to popular demands against a $0.10 bus and subway fare hike would be enough to placate the millions and see a peaceful dissolution to the protests that had gripped the country in the past two weeks, it found out in less than 24 hours that ceding to the angry mob only emboldens the public to demand more (and with a list a grievances including corruption, violence, police repression and failed politicians the list of demands is sure to escalate). Sure enough, the very next day, the public emerged with newfound energy and momentum, as 300,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of thousands more flooded other cities in the largest protests yet.

Reuters reports:

Undeterred by the reversal of transport fare hikes that sparked the protests, and promises of better public services, marchers demonstrated around two international soccer matches and in locales as diverse as the Amazon capital of Manaus and the prosperous southern city of Florianopolis.


"Twenty cents was just the start," read signs held by many converging along the Avenida Paulista, the broad avenue in central Sao Paulo, referring to the bus fare reductions.


In the capital, Brasilia, tens of thousands of protesters by early evening marched around the landmark modernist buildings that house Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential offices.


The swelling tide of protests prompted President Dilma Rousseff to cancel a trip next week to Japan, her office said.


The targets of the protests, now in their second week, have broadened to include high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services ranging from hospitals and schools to roads and police forces.


With an international soccer tournament as a backdrop, demonstrators are also denouncing the more than $26 billion of public money that will be spent on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, two events meant to showcase a modern, developed Brazil. After the concession on transport fares on Wednesday, activist groups differed over what their next priority should be. But the competing demands of demonstrators appeared to add to the intensity of Thursday's protests.

Is a political crisis next?

The protests have shaken the once solid ground under Rousseff and her ruling Workers' Party, a bloc that itself grew out of convulsive demonstrations by Brazil's labor movement 30 years ago. Until inflation and other economic woes began eroding her poll numbers in recent weeks, Rousseff enjoyed some of the highest approval ratings of any elected leader worldwide.


The demonstrations have been largely non-violent and comprised mostly middle-class, well-educated voters who do not form the bulk of Rousseff's electoral base.


But she and her party have sought to get ahead of the complaints and embrace them as their own - a shift that contrasts sharply with a playbook that long relied on telling Brazilians that they had never had it so good. With little more than a year to go before presidential and gubernatorial elections, the unrest is forcing incumbents and traditional political parties to reconsider their strategies.


The decision to cut transportation fares illustrates what many analysts consider a reactive and contradictory response by a ruling class caught off guard.


"Were they wrong before or are they wrong now?" asked Carlos Melo, a political scientist at Insper, a business school in Sao Paulo, noting what had been a steadfast refusal to reverse a fare hike.

And hence the game theory response to popular unrest: yield to it, and it only demands more. Fight it, and generate even more animosity. Lose - lose, as Brazil is about to learn the hard way. The bigger problem, however, is that Brazil is merely the latest country in what is rapidly becoming the sequel to the Arab spring of 2011 - the Global Summer of 2013, which has so far seen protests in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Brazil, and Indonesia just to start, and all of it driven by that segment long-forgotten in a world hell bent on generating a wealth effect for those already wealthy: the youth, which has rarely had it as bad as it does now.

Going back to Brazil, here are some recent snapshots of what is going on tonight, courtesy of RT:

23:13 GMT: Riot police in the capital Brasilia have prevented a group of protesters from breaking through the police cordon towards the Congress.


Students shout slogans during a protest of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes, at National Congress in Brasilia, on June 20, 2013.(AFP Photo / Evaristo SA)

Students shout slogans during a protest of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes, at National Congress in Brasilia, on June 20, 2013.(AFP Photo / Evaristo SA)

22:45 GMT: Police fired large rounds of tear gas against protesters in the city of Campinas in Sao Paulo state in a confrontation adjacent to government buildings.

A Globo TV correspondent reported a tense situation as demonstrators faced off against riot gear-clad officer 22:23 GMT:

22:03 GMT: Police in Rio de Janeiro have already resorted to tear gas early Thursday evening to disperse a crowd making its way to city hall. Plumes of smoke could be seen on video broadcast by local TV. 

Authorities in Brazil's cultural capital expect as many as a million protesters to converge on the city, despite recent announcements by state governments to scrap plans to increase public transportation costs. Protesters intended to march on Maracana Stadium just as a Confederations cup football game was to kick off.

21:32 GMT: A huge demonstration is currently taking place in the Candelaria neighborhood of downtown Rio de Janeiro. At least 300,000 people have marched towards town hall, according to estimates by the police, who expect as many as a million protesters to gather later in the day. 

19:36 GMT: Rio de Janeiro authorities have ramped up police strength with an estimated 8,000 officers to be deployed to handle the demonstration the city’s center and security for the Spanish and Tahiti football teams. Some 1,200 riot police, armed with teargas and rubber bullets, will remain in barracks unless the protest turns violent. The increase comes after the authorities admitted they underestimated the scale of Monday's march, when only 150 officers were on duty to withstand a crowd of more than 100,000. 

15:00 GMT: Leaders in two of Brazil's largest cities reversed hikes in bus and subway fares that fueled the protests. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro both stepped down. "This will represent a big sacrifice and we will have to reduce investments in other areas," said the Mayor of Sao Paulo, Mayor Fernando Haddad.

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Stoploss's picture

Sure, rising rates are a great idea!

Clueless Economist's picture

WTF is wrong with these assholes?   They have the best football team in the world, and will win World Cup 2014.

They have the best ex_Communist bitch leader in the world.

Bunch of INGRATES!

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

i downvoted you because you just annoy me Krugdouche

Clueless Economist's picture

You are correct, in my private moments, I loathe myself too.

Even though, I am Professor Paul Krugman

Nobel Winner


Ivy Leaguer

NY Times Columnist


...and All-Around Douchebag

Hedgetard55's picture

They also have train surfing, and the hottest ho's on the planet.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Protest in Brazil is just excuse for scantily clad festival participation.

Pladizow's picture

Do they not have Snooki and dancing with the stars?

HelluvaEngineer's picture

That might save you in the final days.  Maybe.

max2205's picture

Geez they need snap and cellphones

surf0766's picture

There are no ex_Communists. Only dead ones.

Freddie's picture

Best football team in the world?  LOL!  They will get monkey hammered by the Germans and probably Italy, Spain, Holland and even Portugal.

Still - +1 million for the Brazilian people standing up against scum politicians.  I wish Amerikkans would do that to the Teleprompter.   Maybe they can have a Samba around lamp posts with some boiled rope then put up a few politician pinatas.

Paul Kugman - all around douchebag.


Non Passaran's picture

is that a white supremacist's take on World Cup 2014?

I say by 2014 half of those European teams won't be able to afford the  tickets to Brazil. Go eurocrash!

Freddie's picture

No.  They just are not that good anymore and the same thing with Argentina.   I like Brazilians except they always pretend they are the best in football and they are not anymore.

The Germans are top notch and so is Spain who plays Cruyff's Dutch style of Spanish football.  Right now the Germans are playing the best football in the world followed by Spain.

I admire for the Brazilians for marching and protesting against the scum politicians.  Ditto the Turks and Egyptians.

HulkHogan's picture

This isn't ESPN! Focus, bitchez.

Freddie's picture


My bad bro.  Don't taze me bro.

Again - kudos to the Brazilians for marching against the oligarchs and politicians.  Meanwhile Americans watch NBA and the Stanley Cup while they get screwed by the NWO.

Spanky's picture


I wish Amerikkans would do that to the Teleprompter. -- Freddie

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Brazil have always had a shit defence, the current incumbents are even worse, they have always relied on attacking flair to score more goals than their opponent. This team is very average based on past teams. They will have home advantage next year in the World Cup, but I don't think they can win it.



PTR's picture

Even their own coach admitted that they don't have the caliber to win it all.  

Fine be me.


BACK ON TOPIC- I haven't gone in-depth into the actual protests and issues (outside of ZH)- do Brazilians have a "I'm owed something" mentality like the developed world?  This just has a different feel than something from Europe and I'm trying to actually educate myself.

BandGap's picture

Bet you'd suck dick for pocket change Paul. You would and you know it.

One World Mafia's picture

In order to stop inporting our inflation they must depeg from the dollar and let their currency rise.  Goodbye inflation - for them, but the US would then have one less political partner in crime to prop up its phoney economy.

johny2's picture

Grande Brasil! When are the USA going to take away powers from the FED and the bankers?

SheepDog-One's picture

WOW now THAT'S a lot of thongs in 1 place!!

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Good thing they got the Olympics.

blindfaith's picture

I dream.......

and when JP morgue no longer gets their 5% comission on each and every sale under the food stamp program...thanks to your politians...maybe, someone will get up off the couch and act like a human being.

200,000 over a green park

2,000,000 over 10 cent bus fare

hey, who won the finals.....hey...hey i am talking to you...hey!!!@!!

HardAssets's picture

We're taught in the public 'schools' that the American revolution was over a few pennies for the stamp tax and a little bit higher prices for their morning cup of tea. But that wasn't the motivating reason at all.

Years later a Revolutionary War  vet was asked why they fought. He replied "they thought they should rule over us . . . and we thought they shouldn't"

e-recep's picture

exactly the sentiment here in turkey. it may look like people in turkey are revolting for a park but the real reason is the one in your last sentence.

noless's picture

Until the petty lords are cowed to the will of the people, the understanding that "no bitch, you ain't getting rich off my back"; nothing will change.

I just can't stand all these fucking retarded slaves thinking they're making it/gonna make it, so you're my lord huh? Fucking why?

Fucking strait up.

Power hungry idiots, satiated by the robbed lives of a few, never bothering to understand that they have no real power even over their own life, except that which their masters grant them, the real few.

If you wish me to be your slave, then feel free to be mine, i prefer an even playing field however..

The saddest part is the sick desperation for respect at a job not so well done, why not just be honest? Oh, that's right, i forgot.

Jugdish's picture

Add some more flouride to the water. That ought to put 'em back to sleep.

Maos Dog's picture

You know, I started to become more radical after I moved to the country and started drinking well water.....

Just saying.........

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Me too.  Berkey.  Clarity.  Go figure.

monopoly's picture

THAT is just what we need here. Millions marching all over the nation with 2 million marching on Washington. Until that happens......No change. Same old shit. Carry on, nothing to see. 

Then, there will be change. Not holding my breath though.

kw2012's picture

careful what you ask for. Could be 20 million illegals marching in the US 

XitSam's picture

Don't worry, DHS has enough bullets for that.

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

And they will use them to arm the illegals.

Lore's picture

We should look for more depth to this coverage. Joe Sixpack doesn't take to the streets over a minor fee hike. Something else has been brewing, apparently for a long time. The world is watching. Official response in these first few countries will do much to set the tone for similar gatherings in other countries.

notquantumdum's picture

'Good idea, to not hold breath!

noless's picture

How did you feel about ows? Dirty hippies right? Sports.

There aren't people in the streets because the nsa and other agencies are explicitly destroying the lives of anyone who could lead an opposition either through direct coercion or blackmail, by means of their business or family, or by alternative methods unseen in the social fabric.

There will be no march, because the useless and petty have underhandedly grabbed the reigns.

Loki speaks in rumors, as half truths. His sons and daughters, through his wife, will ravage the land.

Until men stand and give no more to the falsehoods it will continue and then only the most conniving and useless fucks are left.

Grain of salt Bitchez!..

SheepDog-One's picture

They have no ObaMao phones or EBT swiping in Brazil!

notquantumdum's picture

Yet another socialist / state-planning utopia-state.  "We're all socialists now," right "Newsweek"?  (Or, was that a "Time" headline?  I forget.)

WelfareFTW's picture

i dont get these peasants getting so riled up about a 0.20 increase in bus fare. what am i missing?

freebies to the sheep can't be removed.. i get that.. but all this for a few cents... insane how used to the welfare state these ignoramuses have become...

tenpanhandle's picture

after all the wool is clipped, continued shearing starts to take the skin.  ouch...sheep start bleating. 

CheapBastard's picture

I'm surprised Europe hasn't blown yet. True, isolated riots in Paris (and many other Frnch Cities like Liege), Stockholm, all over Greece, and so on , but no massive simultaneous upheaval. I think I'll take the Family to Sea World this summer instead of The City of Lights, etc ....

on second thought, Sea World has priced itslef out of the market in my $135/ticket to sea dolphins? Plus foo dinside there? Screw that!





I'm a Cheap Bastard.

NidStyles's picture

Don't forget Seden, Switerland, Spain, and Italy.

Ghordius's picture

first you'd have to realize that riots are not the same as demonstrations, aka "taking the streets" as it's happening in Brazil. politically, they are two completely different breeds

dunce's picture

Corrupt politicians are siphoning off billions from state owned operations like Petrobras and the people know it. The 10 cents is just the thing that everybody sees, even the people that can not figure out what is happening in the big picture.

Seasmoke's picture

The police still protect the Congress. DUMB Motherfuckers