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 Brazil's Protesters Take To The Streets Again 
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Post Brazil's Protesters Take To The Streets Again
By BRADLEY BROOKS

SAO PAULO — Some of the biggest demonstrations since the end of Brazil's 1964-85 dictatorship have broken out across this continent-sized country, uniting tens of thousands frustrated by poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden.

More than 100,000 people were in the streets Monday for largely peaceful protests in at least eight big cities. However, demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte were marred by vandalism and violent clashes with police.

About two dozen people were reported injured.

The wave of protests, which began over a hike in bus prices, was also in large part motivated by widespread images of Sao Paulo police last week beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets during a march that drew 5,000. In Rio, the violent police crackdown on a small and peaceful crowd Sunday near the Maracana stadium incited many to come out for what local news media described as the city's largest protest in a generation.

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Brazilians have long tolerated pervasive corruption, but in about 40 million Brazilians have moved out of poverty and into the middle class over the past decade and they have begun to demand more from government. Many are angry that billions of dollars in public funds are being spent to host the World Cup and Olympics while few improvements are made elsewhere.

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Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/brazil-protests_n_3455660.html

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:31 am
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Post Re: Brazil's Protesters Take To The Streets Again
Sao Paulo Protests Rage In Brazil's Largest City
By BRADLEY BROOKS 06/19/13 07:11 AM ET EDT

SAO PAULO -- Tens of thousands of Brazilians again flooded the streets of the country's biggest city to raise a collective cry against a longstanding lament – people are weighed down by high taxes and high prices but get low-quality public services and a system of government infected with corruption.

That was the repeated message Tuesday night in Sao Paulo, where upward of 50,000 people massed in front of the city's main cathedral. While mostly peaceful, the demonstration followed the rhythm of protests that drew 240,000 people across Brazil the previous night, with small bands of radicals splitting off to fight with police and break into stores.

Mass protests have been mushrooming across Brazil since demonstrations called last week by a group angry over the high cost of a woeful public transport system and a recent 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares in Sao Paulo, Rio and elsewhere.

The local governments in at least four cities have now agreed to reverse those hikes, and city and federal politicians have shown signs that the Sao Paulo fare could also be rolled back. It's not clear that will calm the country, though, because the protests have released a seething litany of discontent from Brazilians over life's struggles.

Yet, beyond complaints about the cost for bus and subway rides, protesters haven't produced a laundry list of concrete demands. Demonstrators mainly are expressing deep anger and discontentment – not just with the ruling government, but with the entire governing system. A common chant at the rallies has been "No parties!"

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Many protesting in Brazil's streets hail from the country's growing middle class, which government figures show has ballooned by some 40 million over the past decade amid a commodities-driven economic boom.

They say they've lost patience with endemic problems such as government corruption and inefficiency. They're also slamming Brazil's government for spending billions of dollars to host next year's World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympics while leaving other needs unmet.

A November report from the government raised to $13.3 billion the projected cost of stadiums, airport renovations and other projects for the World Cup. City, state and other local governments are spending more than $12 billion on projects for the Olympics in Rio. Nearly $500 million was spent to renovate Maracana stadium in Rio for the World Cup even though the venue already went through a significant face-lift before the 2007 Pan American Games.


Attorney Agatha Rossi de Paula, who attended the latest protest in Sao Paulo along with her mother, called Brazil's fiscal priorities "an embarrassment."

"We just want what we paid in taxes back, through health care, education and transportation," said the 34-year-old attorney. "We want the police to protect us, to help the people on the streets who have ended up with no job and no money."

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Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/sao-paulo-protests-brazil_n_3464605.html

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:40 am
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