Latin America

Protest rallies turn violent in Brazil

Protest rallies turn violent in Brazil

Protesters across Brazil have staged rallies in support of striking teachers in the Latin American country, with massive demonstrations in the country’s two largest cities turning violent.

A group of demonstrators clashed with police Tuesday night in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo following protest marches, which were attended by thousands of people demanding better pay for teachers and affordable housing.

In Rio, a group of protesters hurled gasoline bombs, stones and bottles at riot police forces, who responded by using tear gas and pepper spray against the demonstrators.

This is while extra police forces were deployed in Rio in anticipation of a huge protest march as demonstrators gathered in the city center to mark National Teachers Day and to show their support for the public school teachers who have been on strike for more than two months, seeking higher payments.

Moreover, security forces also cordoned off Rio’s House of Representatives, which was targeted during a massive protest rally just days ago.

Last week, a huge protest march by some 20,000 demonstrators turned violent in Rio, where small groups of masked protesters started hurling rocks and fire bombs at banks, stores and restaurants and set fire to a passenger bus.

Clashed between security forces and protesters also broke out in Sao Paulo, where shops were reportedly ransacked and several banks were vandalized.

Four police officers were also reported injured during the clashes in Sao Paulo.

Earlier in Sao Paulo, the homeless activists of the so-called ‘Roofless Movement’ attempted to invade the city council building, but were driven away by police. They later regrouped in front of City Hall in a peaceful rally that lasted nearly two hours.

Security has become a challenge in cities in Brazil, which will play host to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

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