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Rio de Janeiro -
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Brazil's two biggest cities on Tuesday night to demand better pay for teachers and affordable housing.
Unlike similar protests a week ago, the demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo were largely peaceful, although some minor incidents of violence were reported.
In Sao Paulo, masked members of the so-called Black Bloc anarchist group hurled rocks, bottles and pieces of wood at police accompanying the demonstrators. Police used teargas and percussion grenades to disperse the protesters.
The violence in Sao Paulo broke out as hundreds of demonstrators were marching toward the governor's palace.
Earlier, activists of the “Roofless” movement tried to invade the Sao Paulo city council building, but were pushed back by police. They later regrouped in front of city hall in a peaceful rally that lasted about two hours.
In Rio de Janeiro, police said about 4 000 demonstrators gathered in the city centre to mark National Teachers Day and show their support for public school teachers who have been on strike for higher pay for more than two months.
Black Bloc anarchists tried to incite the crowd but were kept in check by other demonstrators.
Last week, a largely peaceful rally by about 20 000 demonstrators turned violent in Rio when small groups of masked protesters started hurling rocks and gasoline bombs at banks, stores and restaurants and set fire to a passenger bus.
Violence also broke out in Sao Paulo during a demonstration in support of the teachers in Rio. - Sapa-AP