jovens protestando_poucaspalavras

The popular demonstrations taking place in Brazil can represent much more than they appear. It is not just a specific claim, although ihas started with the general increase in public transport fares.

On June 6, a small group of 2000 people gathered in the streets to protest against rising fares of  bus and metro determined by the Municipality of São Paulo. The increase was 20 cents – from R $ 3.00 to R $ 3.20.

What seemed just a timid protest, became a snowball. Spurred by calls made on social networks, especially through Facebook, students and young people swelled the demonstrations, getting solidarity in other cities that also had its public transportation fares increased.

But the fact that triggered widespread revolt occurred on June 13, when 10,000 protesters gathered in the city center of Sao Paulo and suffered violent repression by the military police, who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. The action was truculent and disastrous, remembering the times of repression during the military dictatorship that ruled between 1968 and 1984. More than a hundred protesters were injured and a dozen journalists were beaten by rubber bullet shots. The Military Police, acting without criteria, caused widespread indignation.

From that point, erupted a sense of accumulated general dissatisfaction with the Brazilian government and its impositions over Brazilian people. A sort of Indignation not relate exclusively to the current government of President Dilma Youssef, but mostly to the last 20 years of relationship between population and power. During this period, democracy was consolidated in the country and it is being conducted in the last ten years by the Workers Party, with social orientation. Despite the acceptance that President Lula won in his tenure and now also Dilma Youssef, the discontent of the protesters has deeper roots.

There is widespread dissatisfaction, especially among young people, about the government’s behavior in recent decades – and is not partisan or ideological. In the streets, youth asks  a wide range of demands: an end to corruption, a decrease in taxes, the containment of public spending, improved health, education and transportation services, transparency of government spending with completion of the World Cup and the Olympics and a generalized anger against politicians accused of corrupt, inefficient and malicious.

The movement, which began with leftist ideas, has also been used by representatives of the right, which justifies some conflicts that arose in the streets, and also the difficulty that the government has to deal with the demands of protesters.

But there is also a need to share that has not been witnessed since 1992. This year, young people took to the streets to call for the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Melo, involved with corruption. Since then, there has been no popular political demonstration.

Once the movement has achieved the repeal of increased public transportation passes, there is a feeling that it is possible to change the course of government decisions and conquer other claims. In more than 300 cities across the country, a population of over 13 million people took to the streets to participate in demonstrations to express, in short, a desire to have more control over their lives, and the government of President Dilma has unfolded to meet this cry. Besides revoking the increase of the public transportation fares, there is, in the government, a move to implement a comprehensive reform policy, and even a constituent. But the political and legislative measures do not seem to solve the problem of this huge population choked with indignation. Laws and policy reforms can not change a feeling so wide. There is a new generation getting into politics after two decades of silence, regardless of political parties or ideologies, accusing authoritarianism, arrogance and violence that the government has exercised against the citizen.

The outcry has left politicians stunned and unable to react. There was an omission almost unanimous among politicians, a clear demonstration that they did not know exactly what was happening. They Ignored, for example, the power of articulation that young people demonstrated using social networks and the internet to articulate demonstrations.

This is a detail that can be very eloquent. Because, more than all the claims, the feeling of youth is that there is a great distance between the universe in which they live and the political practices of the rulers and authorities in the country.