Brazil: Waking the Sleeping Giant

A mass movement calls for a quicker return to full democracy

For weeks, Rio de Janeiro had been gearing up for the event. The words diretas já (direct elections now) became inescapable, splashed across posters, walls, buttons, T shirts and bumper stickers. Climbers scaled one of the peaks that surround the city and mounted a 35-ft.-high cloth banner bearing the slogan. At Maracanã stadium, the huge electronic Scoreboard flashed the words repeatedly during soccer matches. The climax came last week, in Brazil's biggest public demonstration ever. An estimated 1 million people swarmed...

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