Hundreds of thousands of predominantly young Brazilians are on the streets in all the major cities, demanding an end to corruption and more spending for the country's underfunded education and health services. Over a million demonstrated last night across Brazil, according to reports.

The protests were sparked two weeks ago by the high cost of public transport - protesters took to the streets when fares were put up - a rise which has been cancelled as a result of the protests. However the numbers on the streets have only grown as protesters demand that public services should be the priority - not the Olympic Games and the World Cup - which the country is due to host, costing the public purse $17 billion. Among the placards were some saying 'Teachers are worth more than footballers.' One high school student told the Associated Press: "We must invest in education before we invest so much money in the World Cup. We need schools, not stadiums."

The protests have grown despite, or perhaps even sparked by, a violent reaction from the security forces, which have attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets, causing 40 injuries in Rio de Janeiro alone, according to reports.

Two weeks before these unprecedented mass protests began, teachers were on the streets of Sao Paulo - Brazil's largest city, demanding that 100% of the compensation given to states for oil extraction should be spent on education. There is a shortage of at least 300,000 primary school teachers in the country, causing large class sizes and exacerbating the problem of violence in schools.

Meanwhile the youth and students are still continuing with their protests all over the country.