The huge protests in several Brazilian cities in recent days have come as something of a surprise after years of mainstream Western media coverage on Brazil`s apparently rapidly developing economy.
Brazil, as part of the “BRICs” (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), has in recent years been seen as a ‘hope’ for the global economy. These “emerging” economies would supposedly be the new motor for the world economy as the old powers, Europe and the USA, slow down.
This superficial analysis has ignored the distribution of wealth in a country long known for its staggering levels of inequality. The year 2012 had the highest number of strikes for the previous 16 years, including a huge student strike at the national universities.
Can the current struggles for public transport, housing and the democratic right to occupy the streets be unified into a great national movement for the right of the workers, youth and people to own and control their own cities?