[All links lead to Portuguese language articles]
The fourth protest of the Free Fare Movement, which took place this Thursday, June 13, in São Paulo was met with police repression in the form of pepper spray, rubber bullets and tear gas. According to the latest news, at least 235 people were arrested during the protests.
Nearly five thousand protesters gathered in front of the Municipal Theater as part of continued protests against the bus fare increase from 3.00 BRL (1.40 USD) to 3.20 BRL (1.50 USD). Protests have been ongoing since June 6 in response to the increase that was put into effect four days earlier. The case has already gained international attention.
The movement has been using a Facebook page to organize, and demonstrations have followed in other Brazilian state capitals that are also protesting fare increases for public transportation. Journalists and other opinion leaders have been discussing the fare increase in the national media, while citizens have been expressing their opinions through the internet. The protesters, who suffered police brutality during the protests, were referred to as “vandals”, by Governor Geraldo Alckmin and criticized by Mayor Fernando Haddad (currently in Paris). Nonetheless, both the state and city governments confirmed they will maintain fare increase.
The video below shows the police attacking members of the press.
The protests along Consolação Street can be viewed through footage from the security cameras that monitor the city's streets, was possible to watch the protests live at Consolação street.
The website O que não sai na tv (What They Don't Show on TV) is following the protests and posting in real time.
Rio De Janeiro
Pepper vs. Vinegar
Brazilian netizens on Twitter are protesting under the hashtag #pimentavsvinagre (pepper vs. vinegar). The words refer to the police's indiscriminate use of pepper spray and the vinegar-soaked cloth or bandanas that some protesters wear to counter the effects.
Another trending hashtag is #Consolação, the name of the street where the protests are taking place.
Sao Paulo resident Gabriela Reimberg (@gabyreimberg) tweeted:
@gabyreimberg: Brasil mostra a tua cara #pimentavsvinagre
@gabyreimberg:Brazil, show yourself #peppervsvinegar
Advertising agent Luis Salsicha (@LuisSalsicha) said:
@LuisSalsicha: e que esses manifestos não parem por aqui… hora de mostrar de quem é esse país! #pimentavsvinagre
@gabyreimberg:Hopefully these protests won't stop here… it's time to show (the world) who this country (really) is! #peppervsvinegar
Blogger Rafael Takano (@telefone) commented:
@telefone:Bombs being thrown at photographers and at the gas station located at the cross streets of Consolação and Maria Antonia. And now more…http://fb.me/2SpxemWOX
Brazilians are posting Passe Livre SP comments as part of online protests on the Free Fare page on Facebook. The social movement's posts have been receiving an average of 1000 replies from netizens per post, like this one calling for a fifth demonstration on Monday, June 17.