I am not going to go into a detailed account of current events or repeat any of the things people have been posting because that would just be, well, repetitive. As I watch the videos and read comments and mainstream media vehicles requesting photos and struggling to understand the protests, I tried hard to answer some of the questions myself and came up with some conclusions based on what I´ve heard and seen.
Basically, students started to protest because of the raise in bus/transport fares. With the increasingly unaffordable cost of living in Brazil, this just seemed to be the breaking point for an entire nation. At first, Brazilians watched from behind their TV screens as students were battered by the police and vandalized one thing or another. Then came the comments and reactions, the disgust at police violence and the vandalism. After that, other people started to adhere to the protest, people who don´t even use public transport; doctors, lawyers, people who are just dying to express themselves and decided it was time to take advantage of the tide before it died down. The excuse this time was police violence. The police backed down a little, but the people continued gathering, painting their own signs, complaining with their own voices about just about everything that is wrong with Brazil.
In one post, someone, who was praised for his honesty, said Brazilians hate violence, which is why these protests reached such colossal proportions. In my opinion, Brazilians hate confrontation, which is different. They act in groups and hate to tackle anything alone. Brazilians are collective but disorganized, so when they saw such a great opportunity to express their anguish, they took it, regardless of the initial reason for the protests. This is my opinion, mind you, so respect it before you jump at my jugular. To complain alone in Brazil is a sad affair because Brazilians don´t have the legal resources and solid institutions great nations need to survive.
The government claims it does not know why they are complaining. The protests were initially organized by an organization called Passe Livre, and they are still fighting to maintain the current public transport fares. So who are all the rest? They are Brazilians who are just sick of it all. You have to live in Brazil to understand the full extent of the problem because governments that send money to Africa and Cuba are supposedly governments of a well-off, stable, happy country. Brazilians live in a massive, destructive contradiction that lacks all common sense. Every day, they get up and ask themselves: if I work half a year just to pay taxes, why isn´t public transport, health and education like in Norway, like Japan, like in Germany?
The Brazilian government is confused because it “helps the poor”, it shares the income, builds houses to subsidize (they should at least be “free”) and gives the new dwellers credit to buy that TV and washing machine they badly want. They are failing to see that the people who are complaining are the middle class, the people who support the poor and the entire system, and that the new classe C they helped to create is facing problems they never even dreamed existed.
In summary, the protests in Brazil are about everything. I was amazed last night as I watched the thousands marching as the newsreader refused to shift from the “police violence” theory. Yes, it is a problem, but the underlying issues are way more important to Brazilians who work, pay tax and get nothing in return, and to the students who do not want to live as their parents do.
They deserve a better future and we have to help them in any way we can.