Latest Stories

Sao Paulo gripped by ‘Tropical Spring’ revolt

Loading the player...

That an event like the World Cup would bring football-mad Brazilians onto the street is expected, but that it would unite tens of thousands in protest has caught authorities by surprise. For the second night running Tuesday they flooded the streets of Sao Paulo waving the same green and gold flags they will surely brandish from the stands next year but also shouting themselves hoarse when confronted by authority. AFP

SAO PAULO—That an event like the World Cup would bring football-crazy Brazilians into the street was to be expected, but that it would unite tens of thousands in protest caught authorities by surprise.

Resentment at the estimated $15 billion being poured into hosting next year’s soccer circus has acted as a catalyst for anger among the young, many of whom have been left behind by the much-heralded Brazilian economic boom.

So for the second day running Tuesday they flooded the streets waving the same green and gold banners they will surely brandish from the stands next year but also shouting themselves hoarse when confronted by authority.

“The people united, will never be defeated,” they chanted as more than 10,000 boisterous protesters massed outside the Se Cathedral, in the historic heart of Sao Paulo, a sprawling megacity and Brazil’s economic hub.

Givalnido Manoel, an official of the leftist Socialism and Freedom Party, said the revolt marked more than anger over official waste and rising public transport costs in a World Cup host city.

“After the Arab Spring, the Turkish Spring, now we are seeing the beginning of a tropical spring in Brazil,” he declared.

On Monday, around a quarter of a million Brazilians marched nationwide in the biggest protest since those against corruption in 1992 under the rule of Fernando Collor de Mello, who was subsequently impeached.

On Tuesday up to 50,000 took to the streets in Sao Paulo alone, according to statistical institute Datafolha. Police estimated the crowds at 10,000.

The mood was festive outside the cathedral, with many singing the national anthem and crying: “We are the sons of the revolution.”

Tension did rise later when a large crowd headed to City Hall and tried to storm the building before they were repulsed by police wielding pepper spray.

A giant orange and yellow banner proclaimed: “The people united against corruption.” Others read: “We are the future of nation” and “Don’t come to the World Cup, it’s dangerous.”

“I am here to demand a better Brazil,” said 21-year-old student Juliana Alves. “They are spending billions of dollars on the World Cup, but virtually nothing on education. This is unacceptable.”

Alves echoed the views of many when she said she had lost confidence in President Dilma Rousseff, whose support has slipped since she was elected in 2010 as the heir to the popular Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

“She betrayed us. She serves the interests of big capital, the wealthy. She neglects the poor, the indigenous people and the young,” Alves declared.

Earlier Tuesday, the president had attempted to win over the protesters by declaring: “These voices need to be heard. My government is listening to these voices for change.”

“My government is committed to social transformation,” she added, hailing what she called the largely peaceful nature of the protests.

But many demonstrators voiced deep disillusionment with traditional parties and politicians.
“I feel the need for change,” said 39-year-old Andre Luis Napolitano Gustavo. “The state has a constitutional obligation to provide security, health and education for the people. But this government has failed us.”

Lusitania Silva Rosa, a 27-year-old student, said all politicians were corrupt. “I am part of a generation that does not accept corruption.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Brazil , Politics , protest , Soccer , world cup

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace