July 12 - Clashes in Rio de Janeiro after a day in which Brazil's unions hold a one-day strike. Rough Cut (reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Rio de Janeiro once again became the hotbed for clashes between protesters and police after tens of thousands of union demonstrators blocked roads and snarled traffic in dozens of Brazilian cities on Thursday (July 11) in a one-day strike aimed at seizing the momentum of huge protests that swept the country last month. A large group of protesters gathered outside Rio's Guanabara Palace, the official residence of Rio State Governor Sergio Cabral, whose resignation protesters have demanded. Police fired tear gas, water cannon, and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Protesters responded by upending trash cans and lighting them on fire in the middle of the street. Overall in Brazil, the disruptions were limited compared to mass protests in June that drew more than a million supporters in the largest demonstrations in two decades. Rio, which was the locus for violence during the June protests, remained peaceful during the day as unionized bus drivers, metal-workers, stevedores and bank tellers took to the streets on Thursday as organized labour sought to push workers' rights to the forefront of the national debate. However, as the evening protests disintegrated into violence, some complained that they got more than they bargained for. Union groups played a marginal role in the June protests, which were sparked by outrage over higher bus fares and led to demands for better public services, an end to political corruption and more investment in healthcare and education. Organized labour was sidelined in the June demonstrations, but is now trying to assert leadership and provide direction for what was a diverse and leaderless protest movement.