Few thousand people gather in Brazil's biggest city to protest bus and subways fare hike

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SAO PAULO — A few thousand people took to the streets of Brazil's biggest city Friday to protest over an 18-cent increase in bus and subway fares, and some clashed with police.

The Sao Paulo police department said on its Twitter page that the demonstration by at least 2,000 people began peacefully. But two hours after the protest began, some people started throwing rocks at patrol cars and smashing store and bank windows.

TV images showed police dispersing the crowds with tear gas and pepper spray. Police said at least 50 people were taken into custody.

Police in Rio de Janeiro said about 400 people protested there.

The fare hike went into effect earlier this week, some 18 months after a 10-cent rise helped trigger historic nationwide demonstrations.

The June 2013 protests against higher transportation fares mushroomed into demonstrations against corruption, poor public services and the billions spent on last year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Friday's protest was organized by the Free Pass movement, which kicked off the 2013 demonstrations.

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