Boston Review was good enough to publish this short article by Ana Claudia Teixeira and I. A follow-up comes out next week.
On June 13, overzealous military police in São Paulo attempted to end a bus-fare protest with batons and and tear gas. The sweeping arrests and rubber bullets were able to disperse much of the crowd that night, but not before images and testimonials were circulated widely, including of journalists and bystanders being attacked. This had been the fourth and largest demonstration of the Free Fare Movement, which had been agitating since the beginning of the month against a 20-cent rise in bus fares. Outrage quickly turned to Twitter-speed mobilization, and the movement flooded the streets again on June 17, this time with over 100,000 people and with companion protests in other large cities as well. Throughout the country pepper spray was treated with vinegar, police violence with outrage and more mobilization, and by week’s end not only had the bus-fare hike been repealed in both São Paulo and Rio, but millions of Brazilians had joined the movement with a growing list of demands, protesting World Cup projects and calling for long-promised political reforms such as the stalled campaign financing reform proposal. Continue reading “‘Pardon the Inconvenience, We Are Changing the Country’* | Boston Review”