After a chorus of cries for social justice echoed through the streets of Brazil for days, protesters called for a time out Wednesday. Despite the anticipated lull in street marches, the government will beef up security with the deployment of elite police officers and firefighters.
The protests, which started over a hike in bus fares, have had some effect.
A handful of states have passed laws to lower the price of a city bus ticket since protests began, and politicians elsewhere showed signs of bending to the public pressure Tuesday, saying they may also notch fares back down.
But reducing the price would come at a cost, Sao Paulo's mayor said after a meeting with Free Fare representatives.
"This means less investment in other areas," Fernando Haddad said.
Local health care and education in the city could suffer as a result.
The Brazilian consulate in Miami offered no comment on the protests late Wednesday. About 200,000 Brazilians live in South Florida.
Protesters didn't buy it.
"The money is there," Free Fare spokeswoman Marina Ramos said in Sao Paulo on Tuesday.
It's about how it's spent, and that's what the massive demonstrations have been about, she said.
Protesters say the poorest are being short-changed while the government spends the large bills on new stadiums and glitzy infrastructure for the soccer World Cup Brazil is hosting next year and the Olympic Games coming in 2016.
They complain that corruption is driving up the costs.
The country's investment in those projects includes money for health and public transportation, Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes has said.
"There is absolutely nothing contradictory between organizing a World Cup and investing in health and education," he said.
But such assurances have not been enough for protesters, who will crank marches back up Thursday. Tens of thousands have confirmed online that they will take to the streets once more cry to out against high taxes and living costs, and for better health care and better education.
Bigger, more festive
Wednesday's day off is nothing out of the ordinary for Brazilian protesters, who also took Saturday and Sunday off. But it stands in glaring contrast to the loud, voluminous demonstrations that reverberated across several cities a day earlier.
Crowds originally protesting bus fares grew into multitudes decrying social injustice on Tuesday as broad avenues filled to capacity for blocks.
There were over 200,000 confirmed participants, according to the main organizer, the Free Fare Movement.
The protests come amid the soccer Confederations Cup tournament, a friendly array of matches, in which the host country, Brazil, plays against a small group of national teams from around the globe. The cup serves as a precursor to the World Cup.
The National Force, made up of specially trained firefighters and police officers, will deploy to states hosting the games, the Ministry of Justice said late Tuesday.
The government has stressed that the force's mission is to mediate and not repress.
Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, told peaceful protesters Tuesday that their message was being heard.