Daily Video

June 24, 2013

Protesters Demand Better Services in Brazil

Watch One Million Anti-Government Protesters Fill Brazil's Streets on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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When the Brazilian government announced a 20-cent fare hike on public transportation, people in Sao Paulo reacted with a small protest that was broken up by police. Since then, the protest movement has spread to other cities in the country and more than a million protesters have marched in the streets to demand better government services.

At issue is the amount of public spending on preparations for hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which many say would be better used to improve schools and bring down the sky-high cost of health care.

The protests have been mostly peaceful, but some youth have gotten into pitched battles with the police. The police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds, while some protesters smashed windows and broke into government buildings.

“The people are right to be demanding their rights, but only up to a certain point,” said Ronaldo Lima, a tax assistant in Rio de Janiero. “When it’s a question of breaking into shops, looting, stealing things, this has nothing to do with the protest movement.”

Warm up questions

1. Where is Brazil? What do you know about it?

2. What is the difference between a protest and a riot?

3. What is poverty?

Discussion questions

1. What did you find most interesting about this video?

2. Do you agree with the protesters who say that money spent on the Olympics could be better spent on social services? Why or why not?

3. How are these protests similar or different from other recent protest movements around the world?

4. Take a look at this list of poverty levels in different countries. What is Brazil’s poverty rate compared to others?

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