The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

June 20, 2013

Brazilians fill streets with protest, violence

(Continued)

RIO DE JANEIRO —

Clashes were also reported in the Amazon jungle city of Belem, in Porto Alegre in the south, in the university town Campinas north of Sao Paulo and in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador.

"This was meant to be a peaceful demonstration and it is," said artist Wanderlei Costa, 33, in Brasilia. "It's a shame some people cause trouble when there is a much bigger message behind this movement. Brazil needs to change, not only on the government level, but also on the grass roots level. We have to learn to demonstrate without violence."

The protests took place one week after a violent police crackdown on a much smaller protests in Sao Paulo galvanized Brazilians to take to the streets.

The unrest is hitting the nation as it hosts the Confederations Cup football tournament with tens of thousands of foreign visitors in attendance. It also comes one month before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the nation, and ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, raising concerns about how Brazilian officials will provide security.

Mass protests are rare in this 190 million-person country, with demonstrations generally attracting small numbers of politicized participants. The ongoing, growing marches have caught Brazilian governments by surprise, but have delighted many citizens.

"I think we desperately need this, that we've been needing this for a very, very long time," said Paulo Roberto Rodrigues da Cunha, a 63-year-old clothing store salesman in Rio.

In Salvador, police shot tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse a small crowd of protesters trying to break through a police barrier blocking one of the city's streets. One woman was injured in her foot.

Elsewhere in Salvador some 5,000 protesters gathered in Campo Grand Square.

"We pay a lot of money in taxes, for electricity, for services, and we want to know where that money is," said Italo Santos, a 25-year old student as he walked with friends toward the square.

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