The Brazil bus fare protests have erupted into violence, with police firing rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds.
And all it took for this violence to spread was for local city governments to increase the price of bus fares in Brazil.
An organization calling itself the Free Fare Movement apparently started the Brazil bus fare protests with the intention of getting politicians to do away with bus fares and finance public transportation entirely though increased taxes.
The size of the Brazil bus fare protests is being estimated at between 5,000 to 10,000 people. The protesters, including reporters on the scene, were not given any warning before riot police stormed in. Two journalists were shot in the face with rubber bullets, with three even being arrested for simply covering the Brazil bus fare protests.
Maurício Santoro, an adviser to Amnesty International, explains what caused the Brazil bus fare protests:
“The hike in bus fares were the spark for this to happen. Public transportation in Brazil is expensive, unsafe and poorly managed, especially impacting poor commuters who have no choice but to rely on these systems.”
The governor of Sao Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, is lobbying for Brazil to be the site for the World Expo 2020. He calls the people behind the Brazil bus fare protests “thugs” and “vandals” and will not revoke the recent bus fare increase.
Marcelo Hotimsky, one of the Brazil bus fare protesters, denies this characterization, saying, “There are serious issues about mobility and life in the city. There is a great attempt to make those who go to the protests look like rioters to discredit us.”
How do you think the politicians should respond to the Brazil bus fare protests?