Protests escalate in Brazil as over one million take to the streets
The protests in Brazil have escalated to include over one million people who have reportedly flooded into an estimated 80 different cities, including downtown Rio de Janeiro, to protest against government corruption and to demand an improvement in public services.
Over the last few days there has been conflict between riot police and protesters in around five cities with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets being used by police to try and quell the protests.
One protester has been killed in San Paulo state, where a driver reportedly became angered at being unable to drive due to the protests and rammed his car into a group of demonstrators, resulting in the death.
There have also been clashes between police and protesters in Rio de Janeiro, with an estimated 300,000 people taking to the streets and arranging a demonstration near City Hall. Further clashes have also occurred in the capital Brasilia where demonstrators attempted to storm the foreign ministry building, as well as the north-eastern city of Salvador, the University town of Campinas north of San Paulo and the Amazon jungle city of Belem.
The protests were initially sparked by the rising cost of public transport and the $15 billion cost of hosting the football World Cup next year, which caused anger among the public.
Wallace Tarenta, a law student, told Sky News: “I have come here because we need more money for hospitals and teachers and security- not more stadiums for the World Cup.” One protester, Jorge Viera, said: “Brazil is a strong country, we have good natural resources and a strong government but nothing goes to the people.”
The Brazilian government are said to be holding an emergency meeting in the near future with president Dilma Rousseff cancelling an overseas trip to convene with her top cabinet members to discuss the escalating conflicts.