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Crédito: José Cruz/Agência Brasil

Hundreds of thousands people took to the streets of cities and towns across the country on August 16 (2015) for an anti-government protests against the corruption and scandals like the Petrobras case. They have taken part in important cities like Sao Paulo, Recife, Belo Horizonte, Rio and Brasilia calling for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

Marchers took over Copacabana beach in Rio and also demonstrated outside congress in the capital Brasilia. Many wore the yellow shirts of the Brazilian football team, and sang the national anthem, carrying banners saying “Dilma Out”. At Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo, an estimated of 350,000 Brazilians took part of the protest, said the police, but The Datafolha polling firm estimated 135,000 people.

Organized protests on social media

In Rio de Janeiro, several thousand people, many brandishing green and yellow Brazilian flags, demonstrated at Copacabana Beach. The demonstration was planned to coincide with a cycling test event for next year’s Olympics in the city, but organizers changed the route and timing of the sports event to avoid a possible clash. Protests took place in some 16 states, including in the Amazonian metropolis of Belem, Recife in the northeast, and the central city of Belo Horizonte. In the capital, Brasilia, a march on a central avenue flanked by ministries and monuments appeared to have drawn several thousand participants.

Called mostly by activist groups via social media, the demonstrations assailed Rousseff, whose standing in the polls has plunged amid a snowballing corruption scandal that has embroiled politicians from her Workers’ Party as well as a sputtering economy, a weakening currency and rising inflation. But the protests drew relatively modest crowds, likely giving the president some breathing room. Huge numbers had come out for two earlier rounds of demonstrations this year.

A poll earlier this month by Brazilian firm Datafolha said only 8 percent of those surveyed considered Brazil’s government to be “great” or “good.” By contrast, 71 percent said the government is a “failure.” The Datafolha poll was based on interviews with 3,358 people on Aug. 4 and 5 and had an error margin of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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