Brazilians take to the streets over public spending
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Around 200,000 people took to the streets of a dozen Brazilian cities late Monday, June 17, in largely peaceful protests against the government's economic policies.
Around 100,000 people marched in Rio de Janeiro, where some masked demonstrators set fire to a car and threw stones at the regional parliament building.
The protests were originally against a hike in public transport prices, but demonstrators have widened their complaints to include corruption and the public spending on hosting football tournaments.
Thousands gathered in the political capital Brasilia in front of the National Congress building, where several protestors breached security and climbed onto the roof waving the Brazilian flag.
In the country's largest city, Sao Paolo, where the first demonstrations over bus fares broke out last week, the crowd reached around 50,000 on Monday, according to police.
There were fewer clashes between demonstrators and police than on previous days, local media reported.
Protestors held up banners criticizing the government for spending billions on the ongoing Confederations Cup and on hosting next year's World Cup.
The cities of Porto Alegre and Salvador also saw thousands of demonstrators, while police in Belo Horizonte used tear gas against the crowds. There was no indication of any injuries.
President Dilma Rousseff said the peaceful demonstrations were a legitimate part of the democratic process, but said this did not apply to the clashes outside Rio's state assembly.
The president of that assembly, Paulo Mello, called the attacks on its building "an act of terrorism." - Rappler.com