The magnitude of the protests is one unseen for an entire generation, drawing comparisons only to the 1992 demonstrations against then-President Fernando
Collor de Mello, who at the time was being investigated for an influence-peddling scheme that led to his impeachment and eventual resignation.
Late yesterday afternoon, both São Paulo and Rio municipalities tried to accommodate the original demand, announcing a
reversal of the bus fare increases. These measures follow similar ones one day earlier by other state capitals across the country such as Recife, Cuiabá and Porto Alegre. But it appears
to be too little, too late: "It's not just about 20 cents" has become a popular rallying cry, and a popular Facebook graphic refers to the bus fares "
the tip of the iceberg
Roughly 50,000 paulistanos showed up again in São Paulo, South America's largest city, on Tuesday for a follow-up demonstration. Another protest
is planned for this afternoon in Rio, the turnout of which may well top
But where does the movement go from here?
Eduardo Maciel, an IT analyst and a carioca (resident of Rio), believes protestors have the wind at their back: after last night's fare reduction,
"I believe there will be a feeling that people can actually change things," he says. But also taking note of the imbalance in education level of those who
have turned out -- 77 percent of them have a college degree, prompting
popular Brazilian daily Folha de S. Paulo to write that they "are not representative of the Brazilian demography" - Maciel, 26, adds that the
protests will truly gain momentum "if somehow we can reach a bigger portion of society." Indeed, a group from the impoverished Complexo de Alemão favela will participate in tonight's march.
Juliana Marques, a 24-year-old sociology student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, is less optimistic. She believes that while today's protest
in Rio will likely be very large, perhaps to show support for Monday's success, crowds will taper off in the future due to a lack of consensus. "Those who
will regularly continue to go are more activist people who have a specific agenda," argues Marques. Such a description, of course, doesn't apply to every
The Salad Uprising has been a largely leaderless endeavor, with different factions - opposition political parties, social movements, and student
organizations - jumping into the mix and bringing with them a wide-ranging directory of concerns. The Brazil chapter of international hacktivist
conglomerate Anonymous has issued a set of demands. Operation Stop the Increase, formed after the
bus fare hike, is now calling for the fare to be revoked entirely. Some protestors on Monday
expressed dissatisfaction toward TV Globo, a popular privately-owned nationwide channel that is seen by some as a mouthpiece for the government. Marques
points to her desire for the formation of a parliamentary commission to investigate secretive bus contracts in Rio. Maciel supports the rejection of a controversial impunity bill currently
being debated in the Brazilian Congress, as well as the resignation of Senate President Renan Calheiros, who is currently embroiled in his own corruption scandal. The laundry list goes on.