'Black Bloc' Anarchists Clash With Brazil Police

Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 09:22 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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So-called "Black Bloc" anarchists clashed with police in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Tuesday following peaceful marches to support striking teachers.
 
Shortly after more than 5,000 people marched peacefully in Rio, a much smaller masked group torched a police car, attacked shops, and threw Moltov cocktails, the BBC reported.
 
Shops were attacked in Sao Paulo, and police responded with tear gas and arrested dozens of people.
 
In Rio, small groups of masked men dressed all in black attacked banks and police and set fires across the city center.
 
Riot police responded with tear gas and batons. Some protesters later accused them of using excessive and indiscriminate force.
 
Many shops and banks in Rio had boarded up their windows after last week's much larger protests turned violent.
 
Police also cordoned off the Rio house of representatives, which was targeted last week.
 
Following Tuesday's march, masked protesters — reportedly members of from the so-called Black Bloc anarchist group — set fire to the boards covering the shops, along with trash bags and public telephones.
 
Metal boards were also taken by some groups and used as shields to confront the police.
 
A police car was set alight and protest slogans written on walls.
 
The violence in Rio has served to highlight the efforts of anarchist groups to use bread-and-butter issues like improved salaries and work conditions for teachers to engage in violence.
 
Following the previous week’s riots, BBC correspondent Wyre Davies wrote that the actions of a fringe element of protesters have “left many Brazilians shocked and asking tough questions about the future and direction of the protest movement” for workers’ rights.
 
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