Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, September 2013
Protests Against Sports Spending Interrupt Brazilian Independence Day Parades
September 7, 2013
More Anti-Sport Spending in Brazil, 2013
Brazil protests disrupt Independence Day celebrations
BBC, Saturday, September 7, 2013
Protesters in Brazil have disrupted Independence Day celebrations, demanding better public services and an end to corruption.
In Rio de Janeiro, some 200 protesters interrupted the traditional Seventh of September military parade, shouting anti-government slogans.
They clashed with police, who threw tear gas and arrested dozens of people.
There were further clashes in the capital, Brasilia, where President Dilma Rousseff was giving a speech.
She said there was "still a lot to be done" in Brazil and that there were "urgent problems to be addressed and the population has the right to demand changes".
But she said the country had "progressed as never before in the last few years".
The official ceremony went ahead without incident, but hundreds of demonstrators later clashed with police outside the Congress building.
Demonstrators also attempted to make their voices heard outside the Mane Garrincha stadium ahead of a friendly match between the Brazilian football team and Australia.
Police prevented demonstrators from approaching the stadium where Brazil played in the capital
Police stopped the march, which degenerated into violence. Some 50 arrests were made.
Many demonstrators accused the police of using excessive force.
"They never spoke to us. They came in in great numbers and began throwing tear gas canisters," student Leticia Hellen told Agencia Brasil.
In Rio, people who had gone to the parade with their families were caught up in the violence.
"I never thought I would go through this. My God! In such a beautiful country," said 63-year-old Josefa da Silva, who had been affected by tear gas.
The protests continued into the evening near the Rio de Janeiro state governor's palace.
Police used tear gas to try to disperse demonstrators in Rio's city centre
Police stopped demonstrators from approaching the building, in the Laranjeiras district, arresting some 50 people.
Streets were blocked off for several hours and a metro station was closed due to the violence.
Activists had used social media to call for protests in more than 150 cities.
Most of them went ahead peacefully, but there were clashes in a number of other protests, including those in Fortaleza and Curitiba.
In Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, police said around 2,000 people took part in a march calling for social justice.
Activists vandalised bank branches at the end of a march in Sao Paulo
The demonstration were largely peaceful, but towards the end activists attacked police officers and vandalised shops and bank branches.
Brazil saw a big wave of protests in June, as the country prepared to host the football Confederations Cup.
Initially, demonstrators demanded that a hike in bus and underground fares be revoked.
But the demonstrations grew into a much larger movement against corruption and excessive spending in preparations for next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which Rio will host.
Widespread Brazil Protests Mark Independence Day
ABC News, RIO DE JANEIRO September 7, 2013 (AP)
Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to scatter anti-government protesters who interrupted an independence day military parade in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, and demonstrations in dozens of other cities led to some scuffles between marchers and police.
Authorities said they arrested at least 10 people in Rio, and at least six marchers were injured.
It was among more than 100 planned demonstrations across Brazil, with unions, student groups, anarchists and other groups calling for an end to political corruption and drastically improved public services in health, transportation, education and security.
In the capital of Brasilia, about 1,000 protesters gathered in front of Congress. While it was peaceful for the most part, police and activists clashed at times.
"We're here to remind the politicians that we'll remain vigilant," said Carolina Santos, a 24-year-old at the demonstration in Brasilia. "We don't want corruption in public institutions and we want political reform that gives more power to the people."
The actions Saturday were not nearly as large as those in June, when more than 1 million people took to the streets on a single night and violent clashes with police occurred in scores of cities.
A Saturday afternoon match in Brasilia between Brazil's national football team and Australia drew one of the protests.
Police clashed with several hundred protesters near the stadium before the game, as demonstrators expressed their ire about the money spent to refurbish stadiums for next year's World Cup.
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