Protests Are Spreading Across Brazil, And They're Getting Ugly

brazil protestDemonstrators protest near the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, June 16, 2013. The soccer match between Mexico and Italy for the Confederations Cup was played against the backdrop of teargas and rubber bullets as riot police confronted outside Maracana Stadium protesters angry over the amount of public money being spent on staging the event and next year’s World Cup. The posters read, ‘Dear rulers, where is the respect and fair play?’ (L), ‘FIFA Cup 33 billion, Olympics 26 billion, corruption 50 billion, salary 678 Reals, and you still think this is all about a 20 cent transportation increase?’

Tens of thousands of protestors are clashing with police across Brazil, with demonstrations spreading to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and other major cities, BBC reports.

The demonstrations are getting much worse for the Brazilian government, with protestors in the capital, Brasilia, breaching the high security area and climbing onto the roof of parliament.

The protests — which began last week in response to a 10-cent hike on bus fares — have moved to focus on much larger issues of corruption, low quality public education, and a heavy tax burden on citizens, according to Reuters.

Demonstrators have zeroed in on Brazil hosting next year’s World Cup — and spending billions in public money for new stadiums.

“We shouldn’t be spending public money on stadiums,” one protester in Sao Paulo who identified herself as Camila, a 32-year-old travel agent, told Reuters. “We don’t want the Cup. We want education, hospitals, a better life for our children.”

BBC has more:

Before Saturday’s opening match of the Confederations Cup in the capital, Brasilia, protesters tried to approach the Mane Garrincha stadium, but were dispersed by the police.

The following day, a similar march close to the Maracana stadium in Rio, where Mexico were playing Italy, was ended by police with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Eyewitnesses said police used riot control measures – including firing rubber bullets and tear gas – against peaceful protesters.

Last week’s crackdown has led Sao Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin to order police on Monday not to use rubber bullets against protestors.

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