Brazil’s president grasps for answer to protests, violence

by Brian Winter, Reuters
June 21, 2013

SAO PAULO | Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will hold an emergency meeting of top aides on Friday to figure out how to respond to massive protests that brought 1 million people into the streets and also resulted in widespread vandalism and injuries.

Demonstrations across the country on Thursday night were the biggest yet by a movement that came from seemingly nowhere over the past week, and has rallied Brazilians angry about a range of issues from corruption and poor public transportation to billions of dollars being spent to host the soccer World Cup next year.

While the protests are not targeted at Rousseff herself – or any specific politician – the left-leaning leader is under huge pressure as marches have become increasingly violent and also contributed to a recent selloff in Brazil’s financial markets.

Rousseff was set to meet with members of her Cabinet at around 9:30 a.m. (8.30 a.m. EDT) in Brasilia, a government official said.

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