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Union Protests Spread Across the Country, but Have Low Popular Turnout

07/12/2013 - 09h02

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FROM SÃO PAULO

The protests organized by the unions spread across all states, but did not come anywhere close to the demonstrations that took over the streets last month.

Though the agenda focused on labor rights, the gatherings Thursday did not have much support. The events, which were part of the "National Day of Struggle" and were organized by entities such as CUT and Union Force, gathered about 80,000 people in 18 state capitals.

Foto: Juca Varella/Folhapress
Highways and major avenues were closed, but the capital was in a holiday mood, with below average traffic.
Highways and major avenues were closed, but the capital was in a holiday mood, with below average traffic.

At the peak, the demonstrations for reducing the bus fares managed to mobilize over a million people in a single day throughout the country.

In São Paulo, 7,000 people gathered on Paulista Avenue, which was blocked for four hours. There, Folha caught dozens of "protesters" signing receipts for R$ 70 (US$ 31), paid as "an allowance" for them to be at the event and get some food.

Highways and major avenues were closed, but the capital was in a holiday mood, with below average traffic. Paulistanos (residents of Sao Paulo) opted to cancel appointments. Weak demonstrations were seen against Dilma Rousseff and her economic policy, and in defense of the president and political reform.

In Rio, scenes of violence from the June events were repeated, with a confrontation between military police and anarchists linked to the "black bloc" movement. A similar group held a protest outside the headquarters of Globo TV in São Paulo, without conflict.

Translated by DAVE WOLIN

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