What began as a localized protest against rising bus fares last week in Brazil has become a national outcry, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators challenging everything from government corruption and the rising cost to living to the billions of dollars invested into the World Cup and Olympic infrastructure.
More than 215,000 citizens took to the streets Monday night in over 40 cities and 12 state capitals in the second week of protests here in Brazil. In Brasilia, the country's capital, protesters occupied the national Congress. In Rio de Janeiro, an estimated 100,000 mostly peaceful protesters marched, and a breakaway group attacked a state legislative assembly building.
The demonstrations started last week in São Paulo in protest of the increase in a single bus fare from 3 reals to 3.20 (roughly $1.40 to $1.50), but went national when images of police brutality against the protesters in São Paulo spread rapidly across social media. Brazil's military police were shown beating unarmed protesters and firing rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protesters, passers by, and journalists.