By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – A peaceful march to mark the anniversary of the 2013 protests against transportation tariff increases turned violent Thursday night after a group calling themselves members of the black bloc burned trash and cardboard boxes in the streets, trashed an automobile dealership and broke the window fronts of three banks.
The protest, organized by the group Free Pass began peacefully with close to 1,300 participants, minutes after the start of World Cup game Uruguay versus England in São Paulo.
By early evening however, when most Free Pass protesters had already dispersed, a much smaller, but violent crowd blocked a part of São Paulo’s beltway and set aflame trashcans and wooden debris.
As local TV cameras rolled live footage of the action, some protesters broke into an auto dealership and smashed car windows using fire extinguishers. Police were nowhere to be found during the violence.
By the time police did arrive, the group was already heading towards the center of town, wrecking street signs, parked cars and thrash containers along the way.
Exactly one year ago, on June 19, 2013, São Paulo governor, Geraldo Alckmin announced he was revoking the R$0.20 cent tariff hike for urban buses and metro, after a series of protests and demonstrations brought hundreds of thousands to the city’s streets to protest. The São Paulo protests sparked demonstrations throughout Brazil against transport tariffs, for better education and health, and against government corruption.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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