Speech delivered by the President of the Republic of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, about protests in Brazil
Brazil has risen a stronger country today. The greatness of yesterday’s demonstrations bear proof to the power of our democracy, to the strength of the voices from our streets and to the civility of our population.
It is good to see so many young people and adults - grandchildren, parents and grandparents - gathering around the Brazilian flag, singing the national anthem, proudly saying ‘I am Brazilian’ in their struggle for a better country.
Brazil is proud of them. We must praise the peaceful nature of the acts of yesterday.
The peaceful character of yesterday's events also showed the proper action of the public security institutions to ensure the people’s free demonstration, coexisting peacefully.
Unfortunately, however, it is true that there were isolated acts of violence against persons and public and private property, which we must condemn and deter vigorously.
We, government and society, know that all forms of violence are destructive and regrettable, and only generate more violence. We can never accept to live with it.
That, however, does not overshadow the peaceful spirit of the people who took to the streets yesterday to democratically ask for their rights.
These voices from our streets must be heard. They go beyond, and this was made quite clear, the traditional mechanisms of institutions, political parties, associations and the media itself.
Those who were on the streets yesterday gave a very clear message to the whole society and especially to government leaders at all levels.
This clear message from the streets is for more citizenship, better schools, better hospitals, better health centers and the right to participation.
This clear message from the streets shows the demand for high-quality and affordable public transportation.
This clear message from the streets is for the right to influence the decisions of all governments, the legislature and the judiciary.
This clear message from the streets is one of repudiation of corruption and the misuse of public money.
This clear message from the streets proves the intrinsic value of democracy and the participation of citizens in the pursuit of their rights. And I want to tell you that my generation knows exactly how much this has cost us.
I saw a very interesting sign yesterday that read: ‘Apologies for the inconvenience, we are changing the country.
I want to say that my government has heard these voices for change and that my government is focused on and committed to social change, starting with lifting 40 million Brazilians into the middle class and the end of extreme poverty.
My government, which wants to expand access to education and healthcare, understands that the demands of our population change. They change when we change Brazil.
Because we have promoted inclusion, because we have increased income, because we have expanded access to employment, and because we have given more people access to education, there arose citizens who want more and who are entitled to have more.
Yes, we are all facing new challenges. Those who went to the streets yesterday want more. The voices from the street want more citizenship, more healthcare, more education, more transportation, and more opportunities.
I want to assure you that my government also wants more, and that we will achieve more for our country and for our people.