June 20 - Protesters jam the streets of Rio in escalating demonstrations against high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Protesters took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Salvador on Thursday (June 20) as demonstrations over a range of social issues grew. Moves to lower transport fares and promises of better public services failed to stem the tide of discontent in Latin America's biggest country. Demonstrators flooded into Rio de Janeiro and more than 100 Brazilian cities in the largest protests here in over two decades. Though the transport fare hikes that sparked the unrest were rescinded in Brazil's two biggest cities on Wednesday, demonstrators by the hundreds of thousands took to the streets in locales as diverse as the Amazon capital of Manaus to the prosperous southern city of Florianopolis. The protests have tapped into a host of complaints about high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services, from hospitals and schools to roads and police forces. Using the Confederations Cup soccer tournament as a backdrop - a test run before next year's World Cup - protesters are also denouncing the more than $26 billion of public money that will be spent on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, two events meant to showcase a modern, developed Brazil. The unrest comes as Brazil, after nearly a decade-long economic boom in which the country's profile soared on the global stage, enters a period of uncertainty. Unlike the protests of the Arab Spring, or the more recent unrest in Turkey, the demonstrations in Brazil aren't directed at any one political party or a single politician.