If you have seen posts floating around Twitter and now Facebook with the hashtag #changeBrazil #acordaBrazil, if you are mystified by the sudden appearance of Brazil in your newsfeed, if you know nothing, or even if you already know of the situation in the South American nation, here are 5 things you should know regarding recent events and the future of Brazil. Discuss them or ignore them, share them or deny them – these are the facts.
1. The reason behind the unrest goes much deeper than transportation prices.
While it is true that the latest wave of mass protests was spurred on by a hike in bus fares across the country, Brazilians have a lot more on their plate than affordable public transit. In fact, the government has recently reversed its decision to raise bus fares. But the people continue to march.
“It’s not really about the price anymore,” said Camila Sena, an 18-year-old university student at a protest in Rio de Janeiro’s sister city of Niteroi. “People are so disgusted with the system, so fed up that now we’re demanding change.”
The protesters and political activists are pushing back against a long string of what they consider sleights by their government. They call for their tax money to pay for less crowded hospitals and decent education, not multibillion dollar stadiums.
2. The mainstream media doesn’t want you to know about it.
Starting years ago, Brazil’s government has had control of major media outlets. The Brazilian mainstream media’s close relationship to the government has stopped it from giving unbiased reports as well as ignoring those stories that do not favorably cast the ruling class. [Source]
3. Billions are being spent on stadiums that won’t be used beyond the World Cup.
In fact, some are only being used for only three games, and many are being constructed in locations with no professional soccer team to speak of. This leaves Brazilians with overwhelming tax debt and no way of benefiting from their investment once the 2014 World Cup has ended. [Source]
4. People are being forcefully evicted from their homes in preparation for 2014.
Slums across the country are being bulldozed in order to make way for roads and stadiums. Some people are relocated to abandoned areas while others are left completely homeless.
5. Police are firing upon peaceful protesters.
Bonus video of police joining with protesters!