Some quick observations:
1. The stated reason for the protest was a reduction in Social Security benefits. Many Brazilians are upset that the retirement age has been increased. The Brazilian government is trying to deal with a system that has no more money – something the American government is going to have to deal with sooner or later.
2. The real reason for the protest was that labor unions are upset. They are looking at some of their benefits being cut, and are not happy, to say the least. This explains the thuggish behavior in the video (recorded here in São Luís) where a union flunky can be heard threatening a store that remained open with violence if they don’t close and participate in the strike.
3. The difference between the 2015-2016 demonstrations and the current demonstrations are plain to see for anyone who is watching. The protesters against the PT did not burn a single bus. This time around, the violence – especially in Rio, was epidemic.
4. Brazil’s big problem is corruption. It is what most Brazilians are really upset about, and that is a heart issue that affects the society as a whole. The antidote, of course, is Christ.