Source: Al Jazeera
Protesters clash with police even after two biggest cities reverse increase in bus and subway fares.
Protesters in Brazil have continued to clash with police, even after authorities in two of the biggest cities rolled back the transit fare hikes that triggered two weeks of nationwide protests.
The bus and subway fares rollback in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday marked a major victory for the protests, which are the biggest Brazil has seen in two decades.
But the government’s move, which comes into effect next Monday, was not enough to placate all protesters.
Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators as they moved towards the 13 kilometre bridge that connects Niteroi to the city of Rio de Janeiro across the Guanabara Bay.
Protesters were trying to block access to the bridge.
Later, a group of protesters overturned a bus and smashed cars despite cries of “no violence” by many protesters, who were marching peacefully.
Protester Leandro Pergula called the demonstrations “an awakening”.
“This is not just because of a fare hike. This is for our rights. The people woke up,” Pergula said.
‘Hospitals not stadiums’
Another protester, student Taina Rodrigues, said she wanted good hospitals “and not football stadiums”.
The demonstrations swelled with fury at the government’s lavish spending on the football Confederations Cup, next year’s World Cup, and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which critics say comes at the expense of social programmes.