Many protesting in Brazil’s streets hail from the country’s growing middle class, which government figures show has ballooned by some 40 million over the past decade amid a commodities-driven economic boom.
They say they’ve lost patience with endemic problems such as government corruption and inefficiency. They are also slamming Brazil’s government for spending billions of dollars to host next year’s World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympics while leaving other needs unmet.
Attorney Agatha Rossi de Paula, who attended the latest protest in Sao Paulo along with her mother, called Brazil’s fiscal priorities “an embarrassment.”
“We just want what we paid in taxes back, through health care, education and transportation,” the 34-year-old attorney said. “We want the police to protect us, to help the people on the streets who have ended up with no job and no money.”