Biggest protests in 20 years sweep Brazil

Hundreds of thousands march in Brazil

By Todd Benson and Asher Levine, Reuters | SAO PAULO | Tuesday June 18, 2013

(Reuters) – As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.

The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil’s Congress building and then stormed it.

Monday’s demonstrations were the latest in a flurry of protests in the past two weeks that have added to growing unease over Brazil’s sluggish economy, high inflation and a spurt in violent crime.

While most of the protests unfolded as a festive display of dissent, some demonstrators in Rio threw rocks at police, set fire to a parked car and vandalized the state assembly building. Vandals also destroyed property in the southern city of Porto Alegre. Continue reading

Huge turnout in London for protest against austerity measures

About half a million people marched through the streets of central London to protest against government spending cuts.

March 26, 2011

Police officers and protesters clash on Piccadilly during marches in protest at government cuts on March 26, 2011, in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

LONDON, U.K. — About half a million people marched through the streets of central London today to protest against austerity measures.Protesters wove past all the major tourist attractions — Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus before reaching Hyde Park. Many marchers held signs paying tribute to the protests in Egypt — one read, “Rise up, Protest Like an Egyptian.” Other signs displayed British wit: “You are tightening your belts around our necks.”

It was the country’s largest demonstration since 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, when a million people turned out in protest. Continue reading