RIO DE JANEIRO — Around 150 Brazilian activists held signs with angry slogans in downtown Rio de Janeiro in an “Occupy Rio” protest inspired by similar demonstrations in Spain and the United States.
“2012 Is the End of the Capitalist World,” read one sign. “Why is the world for everyone, but so many people are hungry?” asked another.
The activists, inspired by the “outrage” protests in Madrid and the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators in New York, moved into Rio over the weekend and are staying in tents pitched in the Cinelandia Plaza.
“It is not enough to combat the symptoms without addressing the cause,” said a female protester who refused to give her name, citing the need to maintain “the horizontal nature of this movement.”
“The cause of most of the problems in our world is the capitalist system,” added the woman, who said she had a degree in environmental studies.
The Brazilian protesters are mostly high school and college students, and members of leftist parties. Many are in direct online contact with similar protests around the world.
Brazilian protesters are also angry over forced expropriations made to build infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, as well as the building of the giant Belo Monte dam in an Amazon region of Para state.
A similar-sized group of “outraged” protesters has been camped out in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil’s industrial and financial capital, since October 15.