Brazilian workers mobilize to hold Lula to his progressive promises: Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets Friday in cities across the country, protesting high unemployment and interest rates despite recent signs that South America's biggest economy is turning around after its worst recession in a decade. Several thousand people marched kilometers down Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo, the Wall Street of Brazil's financial and industrial heart, in the biggest show of force by union members, unemployed workers and landless peasants. Demonstrators trying to pressure President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to keep his promises of job creation and redistribution of wealth also protested in Rio de Janeiro, the capital of Brasilia and other major cities in Latin America's largest nation. "It's tough to live in a country that's so big and rich in resources without hope," said Cesar Manuel Silva, a 65-year-old laborer who hasn't had regular work in five years. "We need big changes because we're all sons of God, but we don't have enough money for bread." Friday's protests came as the government reported industrial job growth in May for the first time in more than a year. That came on top of recent reports showing strong increases in industrial output and first-quarter economic growth of 2.7 percent. But protesters said the pace of the recovery is too slow. Most said they still support Silva, a former metalworker's union leader who became Brazil's first elected leftist leader. But they are disappointed his administration opted for a conservative fiscal policy aimed at reigning in inflation and prompting slow, sustainable growth for the first time in the country's history. "I voted for him, but I was expecting a quicker recovery," said Creusa Pereira Goncalves, a 44-year-old unemployed auto worker who brought her 12-year-old son to the protest to carry a flag demanding more jobs. "It's better to have jobs with high inflation than no jobs."


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