Brazil Strives for Change
Citizens in Brazil are protesting against their government for recent atrocities against their own people. What has started as a protest against the increase of public transportation fares has turned into a protest of historic proportions. Many think that individuals were going on the streets to protest only about that change. However, the various protests that have been occurring since June of 2013 in cities as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, and Salvador, are due to individuals who are striving for a better country with a dignified public health system, no police brutality, honest politicians, and a government with no corruption. Citizens are also protesting against the exorbitant amount of money that is being spent for international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup.
Those protesting are from a wide range of ages. They have organized numerous peaceful protests to raise their voice against corruption. Their main goal is to make an impact on society and to see change in their country. They feel money should not be used for politicians’ personal satisfaction, but rather; should be invested in fighting poverty, improving education, and fixing the healthcare system.
Even though the majority of protests were set to be peaceful and untroubled, a few individuals have caused some tumult by destroying banks and government-owned property. This minority group has attracted both national and international media attention. Despite this, Brazilians persevere on their fight for a more dignified and democrat country.
In late June, the government responded by meeting with some of the protest leaders and discussed their ideals of a democratic country. The president, Dilma Rousseff, introduced a “national pact” in which she promised to invest $23 billion dollars in public transportation, provide the country with a better public healthcare system, improve education, and included a provision to ensure less government corruption. Rousseff still hasn’t put her words fully into action, which is the reason why the protests continue. Some aspects of the protests have succeeded for the citizens of Brazil. For example, the government is no longer seeking to raise public transportation fares.
Brazilians who live around the world also helped to raise attention to what is currently going on in their country. Amanda Melgaco, who is a Suffolk University student from Brazil, expresses her personal opinion; “I think it’s very simple: The people have spoken, it’s time for the government to listen. The protests are a perfect example of democracy; I commend my fellow Brazilians for exercising their rights.”
For updates on the ongoing situation in Brazil, stay tuned to The Suffolk Voice.