Police fight police in Brazil protest

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Brazilian police participating in a protest march in São Paulo found themselves under attack from military police last night. Clothed as civilians, the officers were striking against low wages and protesting human rights violations by the government when rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas were fired at them.

The civil police officers had been on strike for a month, demanding a 15% pay increase. They had hoped their demands for a meeting with the governor would be met during the demonstration.

The attacks started as the demonstrators and strikers met a police barricade blocking the Palacio dos Bandeirantes, the city's government center, where the governor was working. The governor responded by ordering the riot police on the demonstrators, and later defended himself by accusing many of the marchers of not being police officers but 'political opportunists'.

At least 22 people were injured, including a police negotiator who was treated in a nearby hospital. One officer was wounded by a shot in the leg.