- Published on Sunday, 30 June 2013 20:15
- Written by Nil NIKANDROV - Strategil Culture Foundation
The mass street protests in Brazil continue. Most of the protesters do not belong to any party and have no leaders with whom the authorities could negotiate about the demands being made.
It all began with a flare-up of discontent among Brazilians from the middle class and residents of poor neighborhoods with a hike in public transportation fares. Fares were high to begin with, and the most recent fare hike was met with indignation from city dwellers who do not have their own cars.
Transportation problems are a constant topic of critical speeches in the country. Many Brazilians often have to spend a total of 5-6 hours to get to work and then return home. The people's discontent was further roused by the appearance in social networks, as if on command, of materials about «multibillion expenditures from the state coffers» on the construction of sport venues for the World Football Championship in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Handwritten signs in the demonstrators' hands show that not all Brazilians live for football battles and sports records: «We need modern public transportation, quality education, medical services and guaranteed work». Calls to fight corruption are also heard. The «sports boom» is more and more often associated in public opinion with corruption in the government and the «mutually profitable connections» of some of its members with construction companies and financial and entrepreneurial circles. According to various estimates, between 300 and 500 people turned out for the demonstrations. The protests have not yet subsided. Organization of the protesters is conducted mainly through the «Forum for Fighting Ticket Price Hikes».
The signals for the protests were «mobilizing» messages from anonymous Facebook users whose location is as of yet difficult to ascertain. However, there are some conjectures about who these instigators are.
For example, on June 19 a photograph was published on the page of the Brazilian Facebook «Human Rights» community depicting the company's owner, Mark Zuckerberg, holding a sign in English saying: «It's not 20 cents! #ChangeBrasil!» It is well known that at the beginning of Zuckerberg's entrepreneurial career the CIA established contact with him and financed his business. His working connections with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) are no secret either. So Zuckerberg's incitement to protest after unexpectedly becoming alarmed by the increase in public transportation fares in Brazil is unlikely to be his own initiative.