June 16, 2012
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From the BBC 6-17-2013
As many as 200,000 people have marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities, as protests over rising public transport costs and the expense of staging the 2014 World Cup have spread.
The biggest protests were in Rio de Janeiro, where stone-throwing youths clashed with police, and in Sao Paulo.
In the capital, Brasilia, people breached security at the National Congress building and scaled its roof.
The protests are the largest seen in Brazil for more than 20 years.
The trigger was a 2 June increase in the price of a single bus fare in Sao Paulo from 3 reals ($1.40, £0.90) to 3.20. Authorities said the rise was well below inflation, which since the last price increase in January 2011 has been 15.5%, according to official figures.
The mass of people gathered at Sao Paulo’s Largo da Batata was impressive – but more impressive was that after the demonstration began, thousands more kept arriving, streaming peacefully towards the city’s main avenues in a constant flow.
Their bright banners bore diverse demands – but all reflected a fatigue with what people here get from the state. I repeatedly heard the word “tired”: protesters told me they were tired of corruption, of nepotism, of high taxes paid for poor public services.
People chanted that others should join the movement and that “the people have awakened”. They warned foreigners not to come to the World Cup – because of the billions of dollars being spent on stadiums.
Soon Sao Paulo’s main avenues were blocked and part of the demonstration headed towards the state’s Government Palace. There were clashes with police, but nothing like the crackdown seen last week.
This protest was mirrored on the streets of Rio, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and other cities. Brazilians are asking for change – in a scale the country hasn’t seen fordecades.
In the country soon due to host the World Cup and Olympics, many are now complaining that vast sums of money are being wasted instead of used for health and education, says the BBC’s Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo.
See the rest of the story here: BRAZILIAN PROTESTS
Political leaders have also been accused of nepotism and corruption.