At the beginning of June, some Brazilian municipalities and local state governments decided upon a change in prices of public transport, with an approximate increase ranging between 5% and 10%, depending on the city or state. Minimal issues were expected as a result of this change because on average, the inflation rate sat on approximately 6% a year and, there was at least a two year gap since the previous increase in price. However, the motion put forward has triggered protests in many Brazilian cities, with a youth movement reiterating demands for free transport for students.
Brazilians experience new forms of political participation
The initial protests comprised of small opportunist groups who went to the extent of smashing windows and the entrances of some metro stations; provoking harsh reactions from local state police. Far worse, some rioters in São Paulo surrounded a policeman and assaulted him. Two days later a new march was organized, with approximately two thousand participants. It is alleged that police came out to avenge the attack on their colleague and subsequently reacted with extreme violence. Unfortunately, this confrontation also came to affect some people who were not actively involved in the protest, with an extreme incident of a journalist who lost her eye due to a rubber bullet being shot and another incident where people inside cafés were allegedly beaten with riot police sticks.