SAO PAULO, Brazil - Police in southern Brazil fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters who tried to invade a supermarket to protest high food prices, part of widespread demonstrations yesterday across more than a dozen states.

Police commander Paulo Mendes Roberto Rodrigues said about 500 protesters in Porto Alegre were met by police in the parking lot of the supermarket and stopped from entering the store.

Protesters then threw rocks at officers, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas, he said. The crowd dispersed but regrouped at a nearby plaza and blocked traffic.

Rodrigues said five demonstrators and six officers were injured, none seriously. A dozen protesters were arrested.