Protesters massed in four Brazilian cities Monday in what they hoped would be their biggest demonstrations yet against a hike in public transport fares, stoking fears of more clashes with police and raising questions about security during big events like the current Confederations Cup and a papal visit next month. With the nation’s reputation on the line, authorities vowed to avoid the sort of bloody confrontations that shocked Sao Paulo last week. Police commanders said publicly they would not fire rubber bullets during the protest or use riot police units. Authorities said they would respond with force only if protesters destroyed property. On Thursday in Sao Paulo, riot police charged into crowds of peaceful protesters, firing rubber bullets and tear gas and beating some demonstrators. Protest organizers said more than 100 people were hurt. Police only confirmed about a dozen injuries. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets again Sunday when several hundred protesters marched near Maracana stadium before a Confederations Cup match between Italy and Mexico, part of an eight-team warm-up tournament for next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil. But there were no clashes Monday as thousands of people protested before a Confederations Cup match between Tahiti and… Read full this story
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