Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brazil protesters back on the streets over free public transport

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 Euronews report, 15 August 2013.

The movement at the origin of the recent wave of social unrest in Brazil has been back on the streets of Sao Paulo protesting over transport fares.

President Rousseff has moved to improve bus services in the country’s largest city but many continue to demand that public transport be made free.

Some burned an effigy of the state governor but the organisers from the Free Pass Movement (MPL) say the problem is more than a matter of who is in power.

“The MPL argue the problem is structural, it’s not a case of ‘this government’ or ‘that government’. It’s no good ousting the government if we don’t change how the transport system works. We’re challenging the business community’s interests and the way the system is controlled. Getting rid of the government won’t resolve the problem,” said Nina Capello of the Free Pass Movement.

After hours of peaceful protests there were some street clashes between protesters and police, and trouble as demonstrators got into the city hall.

The turnout was much smaller than in June, which saw wide-ranging national protests over poor public services, the high cost of living, corruption and the misuse of government money.
One million Brazilians took to the streets at the peak of the protests, rocking the country’s political establishment.

Sporadic protests and rioting have continued in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro but the numbers have dwindled from tens of thousands to hundreds.

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