June 21, 2013 – BRAZIL– Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and key ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday following a night of protests that saw Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echo with percussion grenades and swirl with teargas as riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations in more than two decades. The protests were sparked last week by opposition to rising bus fares, but they have spread rapidly to encompass a range of grievances, as was evident from the placards. “Stop corruption. Change Brazil;” “Halt evictions;” “Come to the street. It’s the only place we don’t pay taxes; “Government failure to understand education will lead to revolution.” A vast crowd – estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants – filled Rio’s streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services…
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The Portuguese had been systematically slave trading since the 1440s and by 1500 had claimed Brazil. Within 50 years they had arranged major sugar plantations and between 1550 and 1800, Brazil alone absorbed 2.5 million African slaves.
And yet, in 1800 it’s black population was still only one million.
The No-Nonsense Guide to World History – New Edition, Chris Brazier. New Internationalist. 3rd Edition, 2011