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Friday, September 12th, 2014

Brazil Independence Day Celebration Marred by Violent Protests


Brazil’s Independence Day celebrations have been marred as anger at the authorities again spilled over into outbreaks of violence.

According to Aljazeera,” Protesters in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday interrupted a military parade marking Brazil’s Independence Day, prompting a clash with police that injured at least five people, authorities said. Activists across Brazil had planned a day of protests against government corruption.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to scatter the dozens of protesters, arresting at least 10 of them.

Five people were injured and taken to a hospital, civil police said of the clashes on Saturday.

The protesters, some masked, entered the downtown avenue where the military was parading. The demonstrators shouted slogans, and the clash with police followed. The firing of tear gas prompted spectators, many of them families with children, to flee the area.

Police chased and fired rubber bullets at several protesters who escaped through side streets, according to local news site G1. At least one bank branch near the demonstration was vandalized, it said.

“The protest at the Rio parade was one of more than 100 planned anti-government demonstrations across Brazil on Saturday.”

Brazilians of African Descent Demanding Political, Economic Equality
According to the BBC:

“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.

“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.

“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.”

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