Brazil Prez calls urgent meeting,over 1 million take to the streets

There were also growing calls on social media for a general strike next week.

Written by Associated Press | Brasilia | Published: June 22, 2013 1:20:17 am

Brazilians struggled Friday to comprehend the protests shaking their nation after 1 million anti-government demonstrators took to the streets the previous night in scores of cities,with clusters battling police and destroying swaths of storefronts and government buildings.

President Dilma Rousseff held an emergency meeting about the protests with the nation’s justice minister but didn’t make any comment afterward,continuing her largely silent response to the unrest.

Her aides said they didn’t know if she would address the nation in an attempt to calm protesters.

Rousseff has done little more than show brief support for the protesters since the biggest demonstrations seen here in decades began a week ago. That mute reaction has triggered furious criticism that she has let the situation spiral out of control.

There were also growing calls on social media and in mass emails for a general strike next week. However,Brazil’s two largest nationwide unions,the Central Workers Union and the Union Force,said they knew nothing about such an action.

A Thursday night protest in Sao Paulo was the first with a strong union presence,with members wearing matching shirts and a marching drum corps leading them down a main avenue. But the majority of protesters across Brazil have called for a movement with no political parties or unions,widely considering them tinged with corruption.

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