RIO DE JANEIRO, (Xinhua): At least 10 people have been arrested when protestors clashed with police in a mass street demonstration demanding better public services, police said Friday.
Meanwhile, state Security Secretary Jose Mariano Beltrame said the army in Brazil’s port city of Rio de Janeiro, stationed there for the security of the Confederations Cup soccer games, may be called in to deal with riots.
“I will use the army if necessary,” Beltrame said at a press conference.
On Thursday, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians heeded calls via social networks to join anti-government protests in 100 cities against corruption and scant public services.
In Rio alone, an estimated 300,000 people poured into the streets. The protest advanced mostly peacefully through the streets in the downtown area, but went violent as some protesters trying to force their way into City Hall faced off against riot police.
The protesters threw rocks at police officers, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The demonstrators destroyed street signs and other public property, and attacked buses and banks. Several stores were looted and a network television van was set on fire.
Thursday’s march was the largest in Rio since protests erupted last week in several cities to protest public transport fare hikes in Sao Paulo that were already rolled back.
Protesters have called for another march Saturday in demand of better education, healthcare and other public services.
The fervor and magnitude of the protests forced President Dilma Rousseff to postpone a trip to Japan scheduled for next week, officials said Thursday.
On Friday, she held an emergency meeting with the cabinet to discuss the protests in the country of 190 million people, where mass protests have been rare in recent years.
Editor: Mu Xuequan