SÃO PAULO—The latest in a string of protests against transportation-fare increases turned violent on Thursday, as tensions grow over unemployment and rising inflation in Brazil.
Thousands of protesters gathered in the late afternoon at the Municipal Theater in central São Paulo and marched through the city center. Just after 7 p.m., police began firing tear gas into the crowd, sending protesters running. People screamed “Fascist police!” and threw stones at the police as smoke filled the air.
The demonstration was the fourth since last week in response to a nearly 7% increase in public transport fares in the city to 3.20 reais, or about $1.50.
Earlier in the day, a strike by suburban rail workers had caused confusion in São Paulo, forcing hundreds of thousands of commuters to switch to emergency bus services or use their cars.
A similar demonstration Tuesday, also organized by the group called Movimento Passe Livre, or the free-pass movement, swelled to an estimated 12,000 people and also became violent, with protesters throwing stones and vandalizing buses and subway stations, and military police using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.
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