Tiny Protests Explode as 200K Brazilians Rage

Anti-government protesters take to streets in 8 cities
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2013 3:30 AM CDT
Updated Jun 18, 2013 7:23 AM CDT
Fed-Up Brazilians Flood Cities
Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest in front of the Brazilian National Congress in Brasilia last night.   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

What began as a protest over a small hike in bus fares has mushroomed into a massive protest movement sweeping Brazil. Up to 200,000 anti-government protesters marched in at least eight cities across the country yesterday, voicing their anger at corruption, high taxes, and poor public services, Reuters reports. The protests, believed to be the biggest in 20 years, were mostly peaceful, but some demonstrators stormed the state capital buildings in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo last night, setting fire to the one in Sao Paulo, CNN reports.

Protesters complain that public services are collapsing while the government spends billions on stadiums for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. "We're massacred by the government's taxes—yet when we leave home in the morning to go to work, we don't know if we'll make it home alive because of the violence," a Sao Paulo woman marching with her 16-year-old son tells the AP. "We don't have good schools for our kids. Our hospitals are in awful shape. Corruption is rife. These protests will make history and wake our politicians up to the fact that we're not taking it anymore!" (More Brazil stories.)

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