domingo, 23 de junho de 2013

Brazilian protests for English readers

It's not by chance that these demonstrations across Brazil happen at the same time of Fifa's Confederations Cup. Just a year before the big event - Fifa's World Cup - Brazilians take the streets with diferent complaints: better public services (hospitals, transportation and educaction institutions) and above all a warning to politicians about their conduct.

What's happening now has a lot to do with the sports events because Brazil has spent a lot and will spend much more building stadiums and arenas. So far, Brazilian government invested more than 8 bilion pounds and Fifa wants more.

At the same time, many Brazilian cities decided to raise the price of public transportation. People filled the dots and started to protest in São Paulo. As already happend in other parts of the world, the social media has been an important tool of conection and mobilization and now there are more than 100 cities protesting.

As a developing country, Brazilians have a lot of reasons to take the streets; differently from people in Europe, however, people here are fighting for what they don't have, not for what they lost. The sports events just showed how politicians decided to spend the high taxes that common citizens are used to pay. For example, Brasilia government built a 300 milion pounds stadium to be used only during World Cup matches, since in Brasilia there are not important football teams to play there after the competition.

There are many different reasons why people are so angry. But, in a way or another, they are all conected. An important point is the lack of confidence on politicians and political institutions; citizens just don't feel represented by traditional parties and we are living now a very dangerous moment as well. This huge distance between what common people want and what their political representatives do caused a great disapointment. There are many who are even questioning the very existance of the parties. The problem is that there's no democracy without parties and Brazil has already experienced life with no political institution. The country has been under a military dictatorship during 21 years and many of Brazil's politicians of nowadays are people who fought against the military regime.

There is a solution for this major discontent, but it won't come in a short term. Brazilian political institutions must find a way to approach Brazilian street voices and hear what they have to say. Anyway these demonstrations already configure a new political fact and its weight will be considered in any political decision from now on.

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