Around 100,000 people gathered in Rio de Janeiro yesterday to protest a law that would reduce the state’s share of petroleum royalties.

Here’s the short piece I wrote for the Christian Science Monitor.

The law is disastrous for the city and state of the same name and the president has already said he will veto it if passes in its present form.

I can see why Rio’s politicians are angry at the bill to the point they call people onto the streets to complain. Cariocas cannot stand people demeaning their city. To me, the definition of a Carioca is not someone born and bred in Rio, it is someone who loves the city unconditionally, no matter where they are from.

But seeing this kind of reaction makes me angry. O Globo said this was the biggest public protest in Rio since the 1992 rally to oust corrupt President Collor de Melo.

The Rio police shoot dead more than 1000 people each year. The number of favelas grows annually by around 200. Billions of dollars have been spent on cleaning up the Guanabara Bay and yet it is still a stinking fetid embarassment. The Pan Am Games were at least SIX times over budget and still left not one new highway or one km of the promised metro and light rail system.

Why don’t Cariocas protest about any of that?