An estimated 1 million protesters took to the streets of Brazil early Friday, clashing with police and swarming through more than 80 cities in the biggest anti-government demonstration the nation has seen in years.
President Dilma Rousseff called for an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss how best to reach a peaceful resolution with protesters, who have been rallying for more than a week, The Associated Press reported. The crowds have grown in size — and in intensity.
Late Thursday going into Friday, violence spiked. At least one protester was killed in Sao Paulo after an angry driver — upset because he couldn't make way along a street — plowed his vehicle into the crowd, AP reported. And in Rio de Janeiro, where 300,000 are in the streets, police have been fighting for control with pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets.
At least 40 have been reportedly injured in Rio, and police aren't winning any public relations points with their presence.
"I was leaving a peaceful protest, and it's not the thugs that attack me but the police themselves," one protester told AP.
The protesters are largely unhappy with what they see as a corrupt government that spends wastefully and fails to address the needs of its people.
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