Brazil police forcibly remove protesting students

AP News
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Posted: Nov 08, 2011 11:26 AM
Brazil police forcibly remove protesting students

More than 300 Brazilian riot police forcibly cleared a university building that protesting students occupied for a week, arresting about 70 people Tuesday.

Police used battering rams to smash down doors in the dawn raid as a helicopter buzzed overhead. The students, mostly asleep when police arrived, did not resist arrest, officials said.

The students invaded the building Nov. 1 to protest police patrols on the campus of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil's most elite school.

A judge had ordered them to leave the building by late Monday, but the group refused.

The protest was sparked by the arrest late last month of three students for marijuana possession, which ended in a violent clash between hundreds of students and police.

Students complain they're subjected to random searches and intimidation by police on campus.

University administrators and police signed an agreement in September that allowed police to begin patrols on the campus in response to a wave of assaults on campus, one of which ended in the shooting death of a 24-year-old student.

After Tuesday's raid, police displayed Molotov cocktails they said they found inside the building, and said students had destroyed computers and painted graffiti on walls.

Marcel Soffner, a spokesman for the police, said they would continue patrolling the campus, and would even increase the number of officers there because of the tense situation with students.

The students who were arrested will only be freed after paying a bail of $600.