Brazil Is Waking Up: Hundreds of thousands rallied across Brazil yesterday on the biggest day yet of the largest protest movement to rock the country in 20 years. The protests, which began over the exorbitant cost of hosting the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, have mushroomed into a wider call to end government corruption and improve the quality of public services such as education and healthcare. Slogans such as “Brazil, country of corruption,” “enough, it’s time to speak” and “Brazil is waking up” echo in major urban centers throughout Brazil, as police and protesters face off in a burgeoning movement that has made extensive use of social media.
Bulgarian Demonstrators Win Reforms: Over the last week, tens of thousands have protested in Bulgaria against the appointment of lawmaker Delyan Peevski as head of the security service of Bulgaria’s newly-elected, Socialist-led coalition government. Protesters charged that the appointment of Peevski, whose mother owns several newspapers and television channels, was motivated by private interests rather than the public good. In response, Bulgaria’s Parliament dismissed Peevski from his post on Wednesday, backed government plans to raise the minimum wage and state pensions, spearheaded public consultations to pick his replacement, and planned to reform an outdated electoral system in an attempt to assuage public opinion.
Mass Arrests in ‘Moral Monday’ Protests: This Monday, 1,000 protesters rallied outside the North Carolina legislature in Raleigh to protest extensive Republican legislative attacks on workers’ rights, equal access to education, healthcare, environmental regulation, and more. The North Carolina NAACP has so far organized seven such ‘Moral Monday’ protests, which have mobilized thousands and resulted in 480 civil disobedience arrests so far.