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Brazil Protesters Keep Up Pressure On Government

By BRADLEY BROOKS

SAO PAULO (AP) â¿¿ About 50,000 protesters energetically returned to the streets of Brazil's biggest city Tuesday night, a demonstration of anger toward what they call a corrupt and inefficient government that has long ignored the demands of a growing middle class.

The protests were well organized via social media and mostly peaceful, like those the night before that drew 240,000 to the streets in several cities to demonstrate against the shoddy state of public transit, schools and other public services in this booming South American giant. Many railed against a gap between Brazil's heavy tax burden and its notoriously poor infrastructure.

Demonstrations have ballooned from initial protests last week called by a group complaining about the high cost of a woeful public transport system and demanding a rollback of a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares.

While the protests have grown, reversing that fare hike remains the one concrete demand emanating from the streets. The rest, so far, are expressions of deep anger and discontentment â¿¿ not just with the ruling government, but with the entire governing system. A common chant at the rallies has been "No parties!"

"What I hope comes from these protests is that the governing class comes to understand that we're the ones in charge, not them, and the politicians must learn to respect us," said Yasmine Gomes, a 22-year-old squeezed into the plaza in central Sao Paulo where Tuesday night's protest began.

Nearby, Bruno Barp, a 23-year-old law student said he had high hopes for the growing movement.

"The protests are gaining force each day, there is a tremendous energy that cannot be ignored," Barp said as demonstrators poured into the central plaza, which was aflutter with banners and echoing with chanted slogans. "All Brazilians are fed up with the government and the poor services we receive, everyone is ready to fight for a change."

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