Last night across major cities and small towns in Brazil, an estimated 1 million people took to the streets, the largest protests in the country since the military dictatorship days of the mid-1980s. Here is what Reuters reported late last night:
Undeterred by the reversal of transport fare hikes that sparked the protests, and promises of better public services, demonstrators marched around two international soccer matches and in locales as diverse as the Amazon capital of Manaus and the prosperous southern city of Florianopolis.
While the protests remained mostly peaceful, the growing number of participants led to occasional outbursts of violence and vandalism in some cities. In central Rio de Janeiro, where 300,000 people marched, police afterwards chased looters and dispersed people crowding into surrounding areas.
“Twenty cents was just the start,” read signs held by many converging along the Avenida Paulista, the broad avenue in central São Paulo, referring to the bus fare reductions. Police there said 110,000 people lined the avenue.
In the capital, Brasilia, tens of thousands of protesters marched around the landmark modernist buildings that house Congress and the Supreme Court and briefly set fire to the outside of the Foreign Ministry. Police said about 80 of the protesters, some with homemade explosives, made it into the ministry building before they were repelled.
In Ribeirão Preto, near São Paulo, a 20-year-old demonstrator died after a driver plowed a jeep into a crowd. Brazilian media reported hundreds of minor injuries across the country, including a Rio television reporter who recounted being hit by a rubber bullet fired by police.
As expected, social media played part of the massive content sharing that chronicled the protests. The #ChangeBrazil hashtag continues to be extremely active on Twitter. Hashtags #vemprarua and #protestorj also trended.
One student from Brasilia told dashburst.com the following:
Social media has been really useful during the protests going on in Brazil this past week. Through social media pages, Brazilians from all around the country and even Brazilians living abroad are sharing opinions about this so-called ‘revolution.’ Facebook and Twitter are being used as the main places to organize protests since Brazil’s main media channels are against the fights and will obviously not publicize protesters’ messages. Among serious efforts, useful tactics calling attention to the movement are memes, gifs, and videos, which are shared daily.
In addition several Facebook and YouTube videos have gone viral. In the following Facebook video, which has already gotten over 38,000 shares in less than 12 hours, shows footage of the 20-year-old protester struck dead by a car in Ribeirão Preto:
YouTube has several videos of last night as well. Here are two of the most viral ones. They were both posted last night:
This Storify shows many of the stunning images shared this morning on social media: