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  • The action on Thursday was the third demonstration against the increase in the fare of the public transport ticket.

    The action on Thursday was the third demonstration against the increase in the fare of the public transport ticket. | Photo: @pontejornalismo

Published 17 January 2020

At least ten people were arrested during the incident and the rest of the protesters were dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Military police repressed protesters linked to the Free Pass Movement and arrested at least ten people Thursday during the third protest against the increase in public transport taxes in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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The citizen movement met in front of the Municipal Theater late in the afternoon and then headed towards the Republic Square, peacefully, always accompanied by the police, with the intention of reaching the city's main avenue.

During the march, flags of student movements, such as the National Union of Students and the Brazilian Union of Secondary Students were seen, as well as political groups among which were the Socialism and Freedom Party, the Unified Workers Socialist Party and the Party Revolutionary Communist.

Once in the square, while waiting for the end of the act, another group of military police blocked the demonstration and arrested two girls, who were dragged by the police to a car, without knowing the reasons.

"Since the beginning of the march, the intention of the João Doria military police was clear: to prevent students from complaining," teleSUR's correspondent in Brazil Nacho Lemus said. 

The São Paulo Military Police prevented students summoned by Passe Livre from demonstrating against the increase in the price of public transport. They repressed with rubber bullets, batons, and tear gas. 

In total, a dozen people were arrested and the rest of the protesters dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets, as Lemus reported, although the organizers said the protest route had been presented in advance to the authorities.

According to them, a group of about 500 people was prevented from following the planned route due to the fear of making traffic more difficult, which was already complicated due to the floods that left the heavy rains in the afternoon.

The action on Thursday was the third demonstration against the increase in the fare of the public transport ticket, after Mayor Bruno Covas and the Governor of Sao Paulo Joao Doria announced the increase of 4,30 to 4,40 reais (1.03 to 1.05 dollars).

"Another ten cents in the passage in a context where unemployment increases, poverty increases, the population is experiencing difficulties due to the cost of living, which only grows, increasing the passage again is a direct attack from the mayor and the governor to the poorer population, " Gabriela Dantas, a member of the Free Pass Movement said.

Last Thursday, the police also used non-lethal weapons to contain the protesters from the movement when they tried to enter the subway station. So far the demonstrations have taken place weekly and a new action is already scheduled.

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