Brazil Boiling: Video of brutal clashes as country gripped by protests

Violent clashes have erupted in the northern city of Fortaleza in the hours leading to a Confederations Cup match with Mexico. Dozens were hurt as riot police unleashed tear gas and barrage of rubber bullets at a crowd of some 30,000 Brazilian protesters. Protests and clashes continued in other cities as well.

“An estimated one million people took to the streets in Brazil on Thursday…. The targets of the protests, now in their second week, have broadened to include high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services ranging from hospitals and schools to roads and police forces.” – Reuters

“Police initially reported tens of thousands of protesters in Rio de Janeiro but later said the crowds had grown to more than 300,000 people. One death was reported in Sao Paulo state, where a young man was run over by an SUV at an intersection during a demonstration, state police said.” – CNN

“The major demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and elsewhere started peacefully but several led to clashes with police and arson attacks on cars and buses.

The large turnout and geographic spread marked a rapid escalation after smaller protests last week against bus price increases led to complaints that police responded disproportionately with rubber bullets, tear gas and violent beatings.

Coinciding with the start of the Confederations Cup – a World Cup test event – the rallies brought together a wide coalition of people frustrated with the escalating costs and persistently poor quality of public services, lavish investment on international sporting events, low standards of healthcare and wider unease about inequality and corruption.” – The Guardian

“Today’s protests are the result of years and years of depending on chaotic and expensive transportation,” said Érica de Oliveira, 22, a student who was among the demonstrators.

A large number of protesters in São Paulo on Monday were university students, but middle-aged professionals and parents with children in strollers were also present. The scene seemed at once furious and festive. Some protesters had draped Brazilian flags over their shoulders; one held up a sign that read, “Brazil Colony, until when?” – NYTimes

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