Brazil's Million-Strong Protests Rage On

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 21 2013 10:33 AM

Last Night's Protests in Brazil Were the Biggest Yet

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Demonstrators stand next to a fire during a protest part of what is now called the 'Tropical Spring' against corruption and price hikes, on June 20, 2013, in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil's massive protests, which began last week over a since-canceled hike in public transportation fees, are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The latest estimates peg the number of protesters who took to the streets to voice their anger during last night's demonstrations at roughly one million people. The largest show of displeasure appears to have occurred in Rio de Janeiro, where the Associated Press estimated 300,000 demonstrators poured into the seaside city's downtown, where many clashed with riot police.

Given the size and scope of the protests, things have reportedly remained relatively peaceful during the past week, although that appears to be changing, with an increasing number of demonstrations turning violent and. Last night, the country saw its first fatality from the protests, when a teen was run over by a car. NBC News with the details:

The 18-year-old man was killed when a Jeep smashed through a barricade in the small city of Ribeirao in the state of Sao Paolo during latest wave of anti-government rallies. The male driver fled the scene before police could catch up with him, local press sources reported.
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According to the AP, the driver drove into the crowd after he "apparently became enraged about being unable to drive along a street."

Reuters reports that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will hold an emergency meeting of top aides this morning to figure out how to respond to the growing protests. Finding an answer won't be easy. The protests aren't targeted at Rousseff—or any other specific politician—but instead seem to be fueled by a more general anger aimed at everything from government corruption to high taxes, and poor public transportation to the billions being spent to host next year's World Cup.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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