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Mostly for Brazilian TEDsters, what do you think about the current wave of demonstrations over the country?

Did you participate in one of the demonstrations? What was your opinion about it? Do you think it's a valid way to fight for our ideals and against preposterous public service conditions, while billions are being spent in useless soccer stadiums for the world cup and the olympics?

I myself like the idea of public manifestations to make clear what the majority of the people are thinking, but I'm kind of insecure about the eficiency of all this acts. If the government just lower the public transportation fares, maybe the crowd will settle and stop fighting? How to make sure that something will change?

For the non-Brazilian TEDsters, what are your impressions of our country in this moment? What is the image of the brazilian uprising in your country like?

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    Jun 22 2013: Hi Gustavo,

    I'm from the UK and have never visited Brazil, so my impressions of your country have been informed entirely through our media.

    You've just confirmed that our media reports have got it right.

    I'm interested in the psychology behind demonstrations of this kind. A similar thing happened a few years back in Manchester UK, where the justification for demonstrating was on a single-issue only, but then very quickly morphed from that through multi-issue demonstrations into all-out violence and rioting where the base issues actually got blurred to the point of non-existence. It then became a free-for-all of unlawful disobedience where shops were looted, cars set on fire, businesses trashed, and police injured. Many of the rioters interviewed afterwards confirmed that they did not know or care what what the rioting was about. The mob took on a life of its own.

    What are the explanations for such behaviour? It seems that single-issue demonstrations can remain civilized and peaceful, but if there are generalized issues of long-standing diappointment and deep-seated resentments lurking in the background, these can easily take over and dominate. This is the point where "extreme issue ownership" moves into "extreme exuberance" in the release of suppressed emotions:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201108/understanding-why-people-riot

    It may also illustrate as a general point of note, that crowds can become uncivilized and seemingly unintelligent, while smaller groups and individuals are more considered when a serious issue needs to be brought to the forefront and negotiated.

    My impression of Brazil is of a vibrant, sporting, energetic culture and an emerging economy. Is that still accurate? The uprisings would now seem to contradict that image somewhat.