Brazilian citizens have gathered in what have become the largest protests in the country in the last 20 years. Over 200,000 people have flocked to Brazil’s largest city streets, including the capital, Brasilia to take a stand against the country’s police violence, bad public services, and government corruption.
The protests began earlier this month in response to a small increase in subway and bus fares. A few protesters became unruly and began to attack police officers, torched a parked car and even ruined a state assembly building.
Most credit the use of social media for the large turnout, which has snowballed in the past two weeks.
The core of Monday’s protests shifted from the largest city, Sao Paolo to Rio and grew to 100,000, local police said.
Protesters are also upset over billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on stadiums while public services in Brazil remain in poor condition. Much of the building is in preparation for the ongoing confederation cup, a soccer tournament that is a prelude to the 2014 FIFA world cup. Brazil is also host to the 2016 summer Olympics. The government is hoping that it will boost the country’s rising profile on the global stage.
Brazilian president Dilma Roussef has seen her ratings approval slip since her historic election in 2011. She is the country’s first female president.
Pope Francis is also preparing a visit to Rio in his first international trip to speak with catholic youth. His trip is expected to attract 2 million visitors.