SAO PAULO –- Tanned, toned activists marched and chanted across Brazil this week, protesting against governmental overreach with live music demonstrations, body paint and slightly more public copulation than usual.
The civil unrest was originally triggered by increases in public transportation fares, but even after Brazilian authorities offered a full reversal on that point, the protesters – 53 percent of whom are under the age of 25 – flocked to the streets. They seek to reduce corruption and fight official repression; they also seek to dance, dance, dance.
“It’s not really about the price [of transport] anymore,” 18-year-old student Camila Sena told the BBC. “People are so disgusted with the system, so fed up that now we’re demanding change.”
Sena added: “Our fruit salad is nearly perfect. Come back in two hours for a feast to delight your every sense, a celebration you shall retell to your grandchildren – once they’re old enough.”
Sweating from some combination of the samba, the lambada and nearby burning vehicles, activists teamed through Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, their eyes wide and their faces aglow with the vehement turmoil of youth. And what began as a Carnavale is threatening to burst into a full-blown government-overthrow rager.
In the city of Belo Horizonte, one demonstration went on for more than 10 hours, ending only when the participants ran out of E.
“Latin America has long been home to the world’s sexiest revolutions,” said Eduardo Pizarro, a former Chilean ambassador to the U.N. “There’s a reason college students like to wear the image of Che Guevara and not Leon Trotsky on their T-shirts. Brazil has one of the world’s fastest growing economies with an industrious, increasingly educated population, but, I mean, just look at them – those lithe arms were simply made for waving flags and throwing Molotov cocktails.”
Following in the so-called Prague and Arab Springs, international relations experts see similarities between the Brazilian protests and the ongoing unrest in Turkey, and have begun referring to the current round of unrest as the Great-Place-to-Visit-But-Wouldn’t-Want-to-Live-There Spring.