The cries and demands of millions of people across the world have fallen on deaf, impassive and unresponsive ears. Illegitimate and unrepresentative government is a common thread in the wave of opposition sweeping multiple nations on several continents. Many governments have made their stance clear regarding the opinion of people on the streets — get back to work, we’re going to do what we want anyway. But after the most recent protests in Brazil, that government has chosen a more unorthodox response.
This oversimplification is not to discredit or disregard the amount of violence that emerged with the Brazil protests. Four people have died so far and many have been injured. However, President Dilma Rousseff and her Congressional counterparts have proven themselves to be more mature and rational human beings than politicians in Spain, the U.S. and, most recently, Turkey, to name a few.
In Brazil’s case, the proposed transportation fare hikes were cancelled. São Paulo’s state governor Geraldo Alckmin also announced that highway tolls would not be raised this year. Rouseff offered a referendum in response, to target the lack of public transportation funding.
She promised to spend approximately $22 billion on a National Public Transport Council (50 billion Brazilian Reals) for urban mobility projects. She also promised to channel approximately $6 billion in oil revenue towards education. Congress has received her suggestion and approved a bill earmarking 75 percent to education and 25 percent to health care.
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