By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – An ocean of yellow and green shirts swept through Avenida Paulista, one of São Paulo’s most famous avenues on Sunday, April 12th, calling for change and protesting against corruption and the Rousseff administration.
The scene was repeated in hundreds of cities across Brazil, and although the number of protesters was much lower than last month, officials say that the demonstrations attracted at least 700,000 people in 22 states. On March 15th, more than 2.4 million people had protested in Brazilian streets.
“I’m here for democracy,” said Evandro Silva in São Paulo. Silva, an auto mechanic, came to the demonstration with friends and although he admits that the numbers of attendees this time around were much lower than a month ago, he argued that this was not important. “For everyone of us who is here, there are five who are sitting at home and want a better Brazil,” he concluded.
In São Paulo, where the greatest concentration of people occurred, officials say that 275,000 went to the streets carrying signs and waving flags, calling for change. In Rio de Janeiro, a traditional PT party stronghold, 10,000 people were reported walking along the beachfront in Copacabana. In other major Brazilian cities the crowds varied from 15,000 to 40,000 people.
According to analysts interviewed by local media on Sunday night, protests like those seen this weekend are likely to continue to be a concern for the Rousseff administration. Unlike in the aftermath of the March protests, however, the government did not speak out after the protests, with cabinet members and the President herself keeping a low profile during the entire day.
Analysts also say that the protests are not the only factor the government should be concerned about. A poll released by Datafolha revealed that President Rousseff’s approval is at thirteen percent, down from 23 percent found in February. Those who considered the government bad/terrible went from 44 percent in February to sixty percent in this latest poll.