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Protesters attempt to enter Sao Paulo City Hall

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A vandalized press car from TV Record burns during a student demonstration in front of the City Hall in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18.

Mauricio Lima / Redux Pictures

Protesters take part in a demonstration organized by the Free Fare Movement outside the governor's palace in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 18.

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Riot police take positions during a protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 18.

By Todd Benson, Reuters

 SAO PAULO - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday sought to defuse a massive protest movement sweeping the country, acknowledging the need for better public services and more responsive governance at all levels.

 Speaking the morning after an estimated 200,000 Brazilians marched in more than a half-dozen cities nationwide, Rousseff said her government remains committed to social change and is listening attentively to the many grievances expressed at the demonstrations.

 "Brazil woke up stronger today," Rousseff said in a televised speech in Brasilia. "The size of yesterday's demonstrations shows the energy of our democracy, the strength of the voice of the streets and the civility of our population." Read the full story.

Nelson Antoine / AP

Protesters destroy ATM machines at a local bank in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 18.

Sebastiao Moreira / EPA

Brazilians protesters attempt to enter the Sao Paulo City Hall during a demonstration against high public transportation costs and the billions of dollars spent on the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, at the City Hall in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 18.

Nelson Almeida / AFP - Getty Images

A municipal worker sweeps the streets by two cars destroyed the previous night by demonstrators in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 18. Rio police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in clashes with protesting youths early Tuesday, after tens of thousands rallied in major Brazilian cities against the huge costs of hosting the 2014 World Cup.

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Furniture vandalized by demonstrators rests in the lobby of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (ALERJ), in downtown Rio de Janeiro, on June 18.

Victor R. Caivano / AP

A protester looks at vandalized cash machines at a bank during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, on June 17. Thousands took to the streets in largely peaceful protests in at least eight cities in Brazil on June 17, demonstrations that voiced the deep frustrations Brazilians feel about carrying heavy tax burdens but receiving woeful returns in public education, health, security and transportation. Officers in Rio fired tear gas and rubber bullets when a group of protesters invaded the state legislative assembly and later vandalized and looted properties in the area.

Alex Almeida / Reuters

Demonstrators shout anti-government slogans behind a banner, carrying the translated words "no violence," in Sao Paulo on June 17.

Victor R. Caivano / AP

A military police officer pepper-sprays a protester during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, on June 17.

Nelson Antoine / AP

A demonstrator waves a Brazilian flag during a protest in Sao Paulo, on June 17.

Felipe Dana / AP

Protesters are reflected on the glass of a building, left, as they march in Rio de Janeiro, on June 17. Protests in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities, set off by a 10-cent hike in public transport fares, have clearly moved beyond that issue to tap into widespread frustration in Brazil about a heavy tax burden, politicians widely viewed as corrupt and woeful public education, health and transport systems and come as the nation hosts the Confederations Cup soccer tournament and prepares for next month's papal visit.