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Widespread Brazil protests mark independence day

Saturday - 9/7/2013, 4:43pm  ET

A woman confronts military police during protests after the military ceremony of Independence Day in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Brazilians are protesting against corruption and poor public services despite a heavy tax burden. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to scatter anti-government protesters who interrupted an independence day military parade in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, and demonstrations in dozens of other cities led to some scuffles between marchers and police.

Authorities said they arrested at least 10 people in Rio, and at least six marchers were injured.

It was among more than 100 planned demonstrations across Brazil, with unions, student groups, anarchists and other groups calling for an end to political corruption and drastically improved public services in health, transportation, education and security.

In the capital of Brasilia, about 1,000 protesters gathered in front of Congress. While it was peaceful for the most part, police and activists clashed at times.

"We're here to remind the politicians that we'll remain vigilant," said Carolina Santos, a 24-year-old at the demonstration in Brasilia. "We don't want corruption in public institutions and we want political reform that gives more power to the people."

The actions Saturday were not nearly as large as those in June, when more than 1 million people took to the streets on a single night and violent clashes with police occurred in scores of cities.

A Saturday afternoon match in Brasilia between Brazil's national football team and Australia drew one of the protests.

Police clashed with several hundred protesters near the stadium before the game, as demonstrators expressed their ire about the money spent to refurbish stadiums for next year's World Cup.


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