The first surprise about the Brazilian protests is that they have taken place at all. The second surprise is their scale. On reflection, they should have taken place years ago. The recent hike in bus fares was simply the last straw for a nation tired of being treated like otários ("suckers") – as a taxi driver put it to me on Sunday – by its ruling classes.
Demonstrations in modern Brazil are usually left to small groups belonging to the country's beleaguered "social movements" and therefore easily ignored by the media, which is dominated by the all powerful Globo conglomerate. Protesters depicted as troublemakers, lazy students, leftists and rich kids without a cause – as one prominent social commentator in Rio described them last week – are quickly discredited and forgotten.… Seguir leyendo »