Sao Paulo, Brazil (4E) – Rioting in key Brazilian cities came to a lull Wednesday but the government deployed a special police force to counter possible vandalism when public protests resume on Thursday.
Members of the National Public Security Force will be deployed in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Fortaleza and the capital, Brasilia, which are hosting matches of the ongoing Confederations Cup football tournament, the ministry of justice announced.
The deployment of the police and firefighters from different states came following Tuesday’s clashes between police and rogue demonstrators who vandalized shops and banks while peaceful protesters demand better public service outside stadiums hosting the FIFA-sanctioned Confederations Cup. The protest in Sao Paulo drew 50,000 people on Tuesday with rioters attacking a TV station building and setting on fire one of its vehicles.
On Monday, 200,000 protesters marched in streets across the country to express anger over what they see as lavish spending by the government in hosting the Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The protesters demanded that the government instead spend money to improve health, education and other public services.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff promised to address the protesters’ demands and recognized their right to demonstrate.