|Written by Metalworkers Union of São José dos Campos – Brazil|
|Monday, 17 June 2013 20:05|
In São Paulo, the protest march was marked by violence of the Riot Police Troop- Military Police
A wave of protests against the public transportation fare increase took the streets in cities across the country on Thursday, the 13th. Demonstrations took place in São Paulo (SP), Sorocaba (SP), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Porto Alegre (RS), Maceió (AL), Goiânia (GO), Natal (RN) and Manaus (AM).
On this fourth day of demonstration in São Paulo city, capital of São Paulo state, which brought together 5000 people, what drew the most attention was the police violence. Around 150 people have been arrested and more than 200 were injured, among them seven journalists who were covering the act.
The photographer of the agency Futura Press, Sérgio Silva, was wounded in the eye by a rubber bullet and runs the risk of losing his eyesight.
Reports are that the demonstration took place peacefully along two kilometers, closely monitored by the police, until the coming of the Riot Police Troop, which after a few minutes, started throwing tear gas.
In an interview about the subject to Rádio France International, the governor Geraldo Alckmin referred to the demonstration as an issue for the cops to solve, “a police matter”. This is not the first time that the governor uses the Riot Police Troop against the population, after all, Alckmin was also one of the major responsible for the violent police action against residents of Pinheirinho in São José dos Campos, held in January 2012.
Earlier this month, the price of tickets for buses, trains and subway in the capital city (São Paulo) rose from R$ 3.00 to R$ 3.20. The municipality receives from the Federal Government more than R$ 1 billion annually as a subsidy to public transportation.
Across the country
The demonstration in Rio de Janeiro featured more than 2000 people and also happened peacefully until the final stretch, when there was confrontation with the police. This was the second demonstration against increases in the public transportation fare in the capital of Rio de Janeiro in less than a week.
Shouting slogans like “Rio will stop if the bus fare does not decrease”, the protesters demanded the suspension of the public transportation fares rising. On June 1st, the public transportation fare rose from R$ 2.75 to R$ 2.95.
In Porto Alegre (RS), more than 2000 people took to the streets against the possible public transportation fare increase from R$ 2.85 to R$ 3.05. The fare increase in Porto Alegre was suspended in April, according to the Justice determination after massive demonstrations. Since then, the Association of Bus Companies of Porto Alegre attempts to appeal the decision.
In Goiás (GO), the Court has also ordered the suspension of the metropolitan transportation fare increase from R$ 2.70 to R$ 3.00. This decision was taken on Monday, the 10th, given the end of the federal taxes collection, PIS and COFINS, which focus also on public transportation.