By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Demonstrations took place across Rio yesterday (July 11th), and although less people participated than expected, some protests ended in violence. It was part of new wave of protest that swept through Brazil amidst calls for a general strike by Union members.
In Rio, the main demonstration took place in Centro and started in the morning by protests in front of banks, trying to keep employees from working and with a general blockage of the central mail station, inhibiting the delivery vans. Yet, general commerce functioned normally on most accounts.
In the afternoon, around 2,500 protesters gathered on Rua Presidente Vargas and walked towards Cinelândia. The turn-out wass significantly smaller than at the beginning of the protest wave in mid-June, where 300,000 people took to the streets in Rio alone.
Things became tense however, when a protester threw a stone into the Candelária church and was subsequently arrested. A group of around fifty people then clashed with the military police, who responded with tear gas and pepper spray.
Later, further clashes between the police and protesters took place in Laranjeiras, when around 1,000 protesters moved towards the seat of the government Palácio Guanabara. Almost thirty people were arrested according to reports.
The wave of protests initially broke out in mid-June, because of increased bus fares, but soon turned into a demonstration against corruption, for better health and education and against spending on mega-events, such as the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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