Wall Street Journal
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 16:11 CDT
Military policemen on Thursday tried to disperse students protesting against the rise in ticket prices of public transportation in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The latest in a string of protests against transportation-fare increases turned violent on Thursday, as tensions grow over unemployment and rising inflation in Brazil.
Thousands of protesters gathered in the late afternoon at the Municipal Theater in central São Paulo and marched through the city center. Just after 7 p.m., police began firing tear gas into the crowd, sending protesters running. People screamed "Fascist police!" and threw stones at the police as smoke filled the air.
The demonstration was the fourth since last week in response to a nearly 7% increase in public transport fares
in the city to 3.20 reais, or about $1.50. It was also met with the most force so far by police - by the end of the demonstration late Thursday night, after officers in riot gear pursued and shot at groups of protesters all around the city center, dozens of people had been detained. Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported that seven of its reporters were hit, with rubber bullets, including two who were shot in the face.
Earlier in the day, a strike by suburban rail workers had caused confusion in São Paulo, forcing hundreds of thousands of commuters to switch to emergency bus services or use their cars.