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21 Pictures Of The Anti-World Cup Protests In Brazil

Brazil's sports minister said there would only be "very small" protests at this summer's World Cup, but rioting and unrest has hit several host cities on Thursday, with less than a month until kick off.

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1. As many as 1,000 protesters took to the streets in Rio de Janeiro, chanting anti-World Cup slogans, as coordinated protests hit at least 12 cities on Thursday.

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP / Getty Images

Protesters are calling for improved public services and claiming that the money spent to refurbish Rio's Maracanã could pay for 200 schools. At the same time, teachers in the city are striking for better pay, conditions and have since been joined by bus drivers.

It's also four months until the country's presidential elections — meaning protestors are using the spotlight of the World Cup to highlight long-held grievances.

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5. During a riot practice scenario a man is seen throwing a shoe at police.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

The FBI has been brought to help train police in how to deal with large-scale demonstrations.

6. Protesters in Sao Paulo showed their anger at the money spent on the city's Itaquerao Stadium.

AP Photo/Andre Penner

Here, a member of the Homeless Workers Movement carries a Brazilian flag past burning tires.

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10. Demonstrators carried a bouquet with the message "Cup of death".

AP Photo/Andre Penner

Other demonstrators hold pictures of construction workers who died during the construction of World Cup stadiums.

11. Brazil has assured the 600,000 expected foreign visitors that they will be safe.

AP Photo/Andre Penner

The state has invested an unprecedented amount of money on civil and military security measures — with riot police standing ready across the country.

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13. Some of the worst violence was in northeastern state of Pernambuco, where military police are striking for a 50% pay increase.

AP Photo/Igo Bione-JC Imagem

Here, a civil police officer detains alleged looters after protests turned violent. The state capital, Recife, will host five World Cup matches.

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In a speech yesterday, President Dilma Rousseff defended the country's preparations for the World Cup and called on citizens to show "the hospitality that is part of the Brazilian soul".

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said that the unrest isn't related to the World Cup: "From what I've seen, these are specific claims by workers. I've seen nothing that is related to the Cup."

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