Brazil’s biggest protests in two decades have intensified, despite government concessions meant to quell the demonstrations.
Thursday, 300,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of thousands more flooded other cities.
Police in Rio cordoned off the area around Maracana Stadium Thursday, worried that protesters would try to disrupt the Confederations Cup soccer match under way inside.
Anti-government protests have spread across Brazil in the past week. Originally triggered by an increase in bus and subway fares, the demonstrations focus on the government’s neglect of public services and rampant corruption.
The protests also are targeting the billions of dollars being spent to host the 2016 Summer Games, next year’s World Cup and this month’s Confederations Cup.
Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have scrapped plans to increase public transportation fees but that has not contained the protests.
The Confederations Cup soccer tournament began June 15 and lasts two weeks. The event that is considered a warm-up for the 2014 World Cup features teams from eight countries, including Brazil.