Brazilian Police Fire Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets at Teachers During Protests

Published March 15th, 2018 - 09:40 GMT
(AFP/ File Photo)
(AFP/ File Photo)

Brazilian riot police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse public school teachers protesting against proposed changes to their pension plans.

The violence erupted in the major Brazilian city of Sao Paulo on Wednesday after teachers started chanting anti-government slogans in front of the city hall.

The teachers had gathered in front of Sao Paulo’s City Council as negotiations were underway to raise civil servants’ monthly pension contributions from 11 percent to at least 14 percent.

The clashes reportedly began when only some of the striking teachers were allowed inside the city hall and those left outside shattered the windows before police intervention.

The municipal educators have been on strike since March 8, denouncing the proposed reforms. Other changes to the pension plan also included the creation of a supplementary rate that could take the tax rate even higher.

Sao Paulo’s Education Department said that teachers at 93 percent of the 1,550 schools administered by the city government were on strike.

The number of teachers on strike and the number of students affected by the walkout was not immediately available.

People have been staging crippling protests in various Brazilian cities over the past year, demanding a halt to the government’s austerity measures. 

President Michel Temer took over in 2016 after the impeachment of leftist President Dilma Rousseff, who was found guilty of doctoring financial government accounts. He has promised to revive the economy after two years of recession, but his center-right government is no more popular than Rousseff’s.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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