While bartending at Feijao Com Arroz, Kamila Braga’s thoughts are far from Pompano Beach. They are with her friends and family in Brazil.
“If it keeps this way, it’s just going to fall down,” the 24-year-old said. “The whole country is going to fall down.”
Braga said the government in Brazil isn’t working for the citizens. Anti-government protests have gotten larger and more violent since they began two weeks ago. Dozens have been hurt, and so far eight have died, including a police officer.
“I don’t want to see people dying. I don’t want to see people getting hurt,” Braga said. “I don’t even watch the news anymore because I don’t want to see all the destruction just to make a point. I want that point to be made.”
This all comes as Brazil gets ready to take the world stage – spending billions preparing for the World Cup in a year and the Olympics in three years. But many have been left behind. There are millions still living in extreme poverty.
“Even if Brazil is one of the largest economics in the world we have one of the biggest inequalities,” one protester said.
”We pay so much in taxes and we don’t have health, education, human rights,” another protester said.
Braga said when she goes back to her home country to visit, she wants to return to the place she loves, not the one it is now.
“We’re losing something that we have is special over there,” she said.
Fighting to get that kind of Brazil back, the activists have even surprised themselves with their numbers, but there is no leader, no clear agenda, and for now, no end in sight.