Brazilian environmentalist and former presidential candidate Marina Silva on Thursday here called the social protests a "movement of beauty and majesty" that have "the potential to change" the country in a speech at the second "Efe Cafe da manhã" (Efe Morning Coffee) forum.

Silva, who in the 2010 presidential election finished in third place with about 20 percent of the votes, said that the country's "awakening ... was just a question of time."

The former environment minister recalled that a few years ago she had warned that the public's "dissatisfaction ... was going to shift from the virtual to the real" at any time.

"Contending with the unforeseeable is part of the human condition and the protests were latent and the explosion of voices, of causes, of proposals, evidence that there is no satisfaction with the method of political representation," she emphasized.

The ex-senator said that "politics is not a repetition, it's a unique act at each moment," and in that regard she mentioned that she once was labeled by a communications media outlet as someone who was "ostracized" for having raised the alarm about public dissatisfaction.

"I'm ostracized by the current political model, and the demonstrations in the streets are not dangerous since 99 percent are people who are here peacefully, presenting obvious causes: health care, education, security and mobility," she said.

The protests began in Sao Paulo on June 10 at first over the hike in urban transportation fares but later spread across Brazil with a broad series of demands and demonstrations, some of which resulted in acts of vandalism and police repression.

"The best thing about the new situation is the fact that the people are taking on that role of activism," said Silva, who distinguished the Brazilian popular movements from those facing the Arab and European countries.

"Nobody (is) questioning the legitimacy of those who were democratically elected to govern and that removes any possibility of authoritarianism in these marches," she said.

Silva said that politics "is an act of service, what must change is the agenda, independent of who may be in government."

She added that the wave of protests went through different periods and phases: "First they tried to minimize it, after that to diminish it, then to direct it and, finally, on the part of a certain sector, to belittle it," she said.

In her remarks during the series of economic, social and political debates organized by Agencia Efe - Spain's international news agency - with the support of the Cervantes Institute of Sao Paulo and the sponsorship of Banco Santander Brasil, Silva reaffirmed that she is against presidential reelection and defended the concept of a single five-year term in office.

"If there were to be no reelection of President Dilma (Rousseff) she would be more involved with these social movements," Silva said.

Upon being questioned about the changes she has made in her own political affiliation, the historian and educator justified her actions by saying: "Leaving (a party) is not a fault; it can be a virtue."

"I left the PT (Workers Party) and the PV (Green Party) over questions of principles and proposals, and I was persuaded to create a new party: the Sustainability Network," or Rede, Silva said.

She defined herself as a "progressive sustainablist" and not as a politician of the right or left.

The party managed - in the record time of three-and-a-half months - to collect the 500,000 signatures needed to ensure its formal recognition and it currently claims to have 750,000 supporters. EFE