Here we compare strikes and their links to political protest movements in Brazil and India. We highlight the fact that large strike waves in the automobile industry (India) and the construction and public sectors (Brazil) preceded the emergence of political protest movements with significant middle-class involvement. These movements were directed against corruption and also, in the Brazilian case, against public transport fare hikes, the state of the public sector and the government in general. A key difference was that workers in India were more politicised than workers in Brazil; however, for the street protests, the reverse was true: Whereas the Indian activists just lambasted corruption, the Brazilian movement had a broader political agenda.
India, Brazil, Strike waves, Political protest movements, Middle-class involvement