In Brazil, protests over spiraling high costs and poor public services have spilled into widespread anger.
It began as an isolated demonstration against a small increase in bus and subway fares in Sao Paulo. Many say it has now become a nationwide rally against government corruption but many deplore the violence.
“This is not an Arab Spring. Our problem is much easier to solve, but in an intelligent, civilised way. Breaking things is wrong,” said Rio de Janeiro resident, Jennifer Bittencourt.
“Everything going on right now is just hiding what’s really happening. It’s just drawing attention but I think that’s needed,” added restaurant owner Antonio Saffi.
Sentiments perhaps shared by Brazil’s President Dilma Rouseff who says the massive protests represent legitimate calls for better public services and more responsive governance at all levels.
Speaking the morning after hundreds of thousands of
Brazilians marched through more than a half-dozen cities nationwide, Rousseff said her government remains committed to social change and is listening attentively to the many grievances expressed.
Monday’s demonstrations were the largest show of collective dissent in Brazil since the economic crisis and a corruption scandal led to the toppling of a president 20 years ago.