Brazilian anti-austerity protests end in violence

April 29 (UPI) — Anti-austerity protests in several large Brazilian cities ended in violence early Saturday as protesters clashed with police and setting buses ablaze over proposed measures that would change labor laws.

Police launched rounds of teargas and rubber bullets at demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, near President Michel Temer’s home. At least eight buses were torched.

Brazilian labor unions called a nationwide strike on Friday to protest a proposed pension change that would set the minimum retirement age at 65 for men and 62 for women. Private-sector workers are currently able to retire at a much younger age, depending on individual circumstances. It was the first such demonstration in two decades.

Union leaders said the strike was largely successful. Millions of workers in key sectors that include automobile production, education, banking and government took part, organizers said.

San Paolo, the country’s financial hub, was all but closed on Friday. In Rio de Janeiro, protesters stopped traffic and lit fires on bridges.

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