Brazil's Lula says protests good for country, calls on youth to join politics

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-19 10:28:58

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Thursday said the ongoing waves of anti-government protests starting in June are good for the country, local media reported.

Speaking to college students at a national university in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in Sao Paulo state, Lula said, "from protest to protest, we 'fix our roofs'."

"From protest to protest, one day you will reach the presidency," he said, encouraging the nation's youth to get involved in politics to bring about the changes they want.

Protests are taking place in different parts of the world, Lula noted, with the difference being that "in Europe, they protest to not lose what they have gained, while in Brazil, the protests are meant to attain more."

The former Brazilian president called on politicians to listen to the demands from the street, and called on the students not to give up politics or political parties.

The speech follows an editorial by Lula published in The New York Times Tuesday, in which he said the recent protests were not driven by a rejection of politics, but by a desire to make further social progress.

He also said political parties, including his own Workers Party, need to undergo a "profound renovation."

Young Brazilians started to march in June to demand more funding for health and education.

In the largest protests the country has ever seen in two decades, protestors demanded upgrades to public transport, health and education, and criticized the billions of dollars spent on the 2014 World Cup and other sporting events.

Posted in: Americas

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