What began as a demonstration against the rising cost of public transportation in São Paulo has become a full-on national protest movement giving voice to long-brewing anger over how the Brazilian government has been spending its taxpayers' money. The country is getting ready to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, and that means massive expenditures on stadiums and other infrastructure projects being built for the events rather than things that a lot of Brazilians seem to care about, including health care, better schools and fighting corruption.
Monday saw the fifth demonstration in São Paulo in the past week against fare hikes on subways and buses. It was by and large a peaceful and festive affair, unlike some protests that have turned into riots in previous weeks; according to some estimates more than 100,000 people participated. It wasn't all sunshine and slogans, however – skirmishes did break out and some factions of protesters tossed Molotov cocktails at the Bandeirantes Palace, the governor’s office, and riot police responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd.
But protesters stayed on the streets well into the night. And they’ll likely, peacefully or not, continue to voice their greivances against their government.
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