Widespread Brazil protests mark independence day

Widespread Brazil protests mark independence day

RIO DE JANEIRO - The Associated Press
Widespread Brazil protests mark independence day

A policeman sprays anti-government demonstrators with tear gas outside the Congress in Brasilia, Sept. 7. REUTERS photo

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to scatter anti-government protesters who interrupted an independence day military parade in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 7, and demonstrations in dozens of other cities led to some scuffles between marchers and police.

Police said they arrested at least 10 people in Rio, and at least six marchers were injured.

It was one of more than 100 planned demonstrations across Brazil, with unions, student groups, anarchists and other groups calling for an end to political corruption and drastically improved public services in health, transportation, education and security.

In the capital Brasilia, about 1,000 protesters gathered in front of congress. While in the most part peaceful, police and activists clashed at times.

"We're here to remind the politicians that we'll remain vigilant," said Carolina Santos, a 24-year-old attending the demonstration in Brasilia. "We don't want corruption in public institutions and we want political reform that gives more power to the people."

Saturday's actions not nearly as large as those in June, when more than 1 million people took to the streets on a single night and violent clashes with police were seen in scores of cities.

Brazil's national football team was set to play a match later Sept. 7 in Brasilia against Australia, a game expected to draw demonstrators angered by the money spent to refurbish stadiums for next year's World Cup.