Brazil protests over World Cup costs & rise in the cost of public transport spread nationwide
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Tens of thousands of people marched in Brazil's biggest cities on Monday night, as protests against a rise in the cost of public transport and the huge sums being spent to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup spread across the South American country.
As many as 6,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro for what were largely peaceful gatherings. However, police used tear gas and rubber bullets when a group of protesters invaded the state legislative assembly and threw rocks.
The atmosphere was festive in Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic hub, with a reported 65,000 people marching to the rhythm of drums and songs. There was little police presence, with many families among the throngs. However, the protests also ended with police firing teargas to disperse protesters trying to invade the state government building.
Thousands gathered at the National Congress in Brasilia, where protests began three days ago as the capital city hosted the first game of this year's Confederations Cup, a prelude to next year's bigger and more important World Cup.
There were also protests on Monday in Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza and Salvador -- all host cities for next year's giant football tournament -- with some violence reported.