Rallies to continue in Sao Paulo: Protest leaders

Rallies to continue in Sao Paulo: Protest leaders

SAO PAOLO - Agence France-Presse
Rallies to continue in Sao Paulo: Protest leaders

A woman holds up a heart-shaped sign that reads 'One Brazil for all,' on Paulista Avenue where crowds gathered to celebrate the reversal of a fare hike on public transportation, in Sao Paulo, June 20. AP photo

The group that instigated protest rallies in Brazil's largest city said the demonstrations will continue, denying claims they had been suspended because of outbreaks of violence.

The Sao Paulo movement known as MPL said on its Facebook June 21 that protests which erupted about 10 days ago over a hike in public transport fares - and spread like wildfire nationwide - will go on, even though the increase has been repealed.

Some spokespersons for the group had the rallies were being suspended because some of the protests had turned violent. But MPL says it will press on until public transport is free of charge.

"The only way to change life is by fighting," the Facebook posting said. The protests have mushroomed into a national outcry over what protesters say are lousy schools, hospitals and other public services and corrupt politicians while Brazil spends billions to prepare to host the World Cup next year and the Summer Olympics in 2016.

The rallies come as Brazil is holding the Confederations Cup, which brings together national teams from around the world and is a dry run for the World Cup.

More rallies were convened for June 22 in other cities, such as Belo Horizonte and Salvador de Bahia.