Brazil Coach Calls For Calm To Confederations Cup Protests, As Quarter Million Demonstrate
Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari "has called for protesters to remain calm after demonstrations rocked the country during the Confederations Cup," according to Ben Smith of the BBC. Speaking before Brazil's match against Mexico on Wednesday, Scolari "likened the problems to the 2011 riots in London, a year before the Olympics." Scolari: "It is normal in a democracy to accept demonstrations and for them to be seen and heard by the government. My wish is that they stay peaceful and democratic." Tens of thousands of people "have protested across Brazil about the high cost of the tournament and next year's World Cup, in a country still lacking in public services" (BBC, 6/18). In London, John Aglionby reported Brazil "is to deploy federal police special forces in five major states to reinforce security" for the Confederations Cup. The justice ministry said that the National Public Security Force "would be sent to the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Ceara and the capital, Brasília." All are currently hosting Confederations Cup matches. Recife was "the only city hosting matches not to request support." At least a dozen cities across Brazil "have witnessed protests in the last week" (FT, 6/19).
CYBER ATTACK: In London, Adam Whitnall reported the 2014 World Cup has become "a major target for protesters, with a cyber attack bringing down the government's official website for the event." The Brazil branch of computer hackers group Anonymous "posted a series of links on Twitter to other government sites whose content had been replaced by calls to citizens to come out to the streets." In an attempt to quell the unrest, at least four cities "have agreed to reverse the bus fare price increase that sparked the first demonstrations last week" (INDEPENDENT, 6/19).
MORE ON PROTESTS: Recently in Brazil, "big protests have developed out of nowhere, driven by economic injustice mostly, the biggest of them" Monday night and again last night, according to NBC's Brian Williams. NBC's Mark Potter said "an estimated quarter million Brazilians took to the streets in more than a dozen cities. Most were peaceful, though there was violence." Potter noted, "Many in the crowds complained about rampant corruption, crime, low wages and a lack of social services … as Brazil spends billions to build stadiums for next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics." Univ. of Miami School of Law Dir Jessica Carvalho Morris said, "When you have a population of 13 million people who are going to bed hungry every night, it's hard to justify building so many stadiums with public funds." Potter noted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff posted a statement on Youtube that stated the protestors have "valid complaints and needed to be heard." But Potter said that with Brazil "about to move on to the world stage with international sporting events, not to mention hosting the Pope next month, many wonder if it will be ready" as "more protests are expected" ("Nightly News," NBC, 6/18).