Brazil Explodes: 1M Protest in 100 Cities

Several cities have seen violence

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 21, 2013 3:56 AM CDT | Updated Jun 21, 2013 7:57 AM CDT

(Newser) Brazilian protests have expanded to include one million demonstrators across 100 cities, the BBC reports. Several cities have seen violence, with one death after a car plowed through a barricade. Meanwhile, 29 were injured as police fired rubber bullets in Rio de Janeiro, and 26 were hurt in Brasilia, where protesters sparked a small fire at the foreign ministry. The protests began as a movement against a public transit fare hike—but with that fare increase now dropped, the causes have grown much wider.

"The intensity on the streets is much larger than we imagined," a member of the Free Fare Movement tells the New York Times. "It’s not something we control, or something we even want to control." Causes range from education to health care to government spending on sports; what ties it all together is a push against the political status quo, the Times notes. Why now? "We really don’t know," says an organizer. "People finally woke up." The diversity of themes is leaving officials unsure how to respond.

Police repel demonstrators trying to invade the foreign ministry during an anti-government protest in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Police repel demonstrators trying to invade the foreign ministry during an anti-government protest in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Agencia Brasil, Valter Campanato)
Military police detain a man during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Military police detain a man during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Protesters gesture to riot police as they stand in front of a burning barricade during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.
Protesters gesture to riot police as they stand in front of a burning barricade during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
A woman with a Brazilian flag on her back stands in front of riot police officers during a protest near the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.
A woman with a Brazilian flag on her back stands in front of riot police officers during a protest near the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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