More Than 100 People Arrested At World Cup Protests In São Paulo
The year's first major protest against the 2014 Brazil World Cup "drew more than 2,000 demonstrators" into the streets of São Paulo on Saturday, as "frustration over the cost of the tournament lingers in the host country," according to Brad Haynes of REUTERS. The demonstration in São Paulo "fell far short" of the more than 20,000 people who confirmed attendance on Facebook, "highlighting the diminished energy of recent protests compared to the public unrest during the Confederations Cup tournament held here last June." As the "largely peaceful" São Paulo demonstration wrapped up around sunset, local TV "registered isolated acts of vandalism, including broken bank windows, a smashed police car and a Volkswagen beetle engulfed in flames" (REUTERS, 1/25). In London, Tomas Jivanda reported more than 100 people "were arrested" during the protest. In some of the most dramatic scenes, "a family were rescued from a burning car which caught on fire after a man reportedly attempted to drive over a blazing barricade started by protesters on a road." Demonstrators "gathered in front of the São Paulo Art Museum for about one hour before heading out to another part of the city chanting slogans against the tournament." Several chanted, "If we have no rights, there will be no Cup." Police "responded with tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd" (INDEPENDENT, 1/26).
FALLING SHORT: The SUNDAY TIMES reported protests "were expected in more than 30 cities, but all except that carried out in São Paulo fell far flat of organizers’ expectations." In Rio de Janeiro, about 50 protesters gathered in front of the Copacabana Palace hotel, "holding signs blasting the World Cup." After about an hour, the crowd "moved onto a main street that runs along Copacabana beach, halting traffic as police watched from the side" (SUNDAY TIMES, 1/26).