Brazilians Protest FIFA World Cup Spending, Call For Better Services
Cities across Brazil "braced for demonstrations on Thursday, as disparate protest movements seek to criticize spending" on the upcoming World Cup and revive a call for better public services that swept the country last June, according to Eisenhammer, Fonseca & Doce of REUTERS. Thursday's protests "will gauge the ability of demonstrators to once again rally frustrated Brazilians and the competence of police to manage unrest that occasionally escalated over the past year into violence and vandalism." Though most demonstrations are expected to gain steam later in the day, "protestors in São Paulo, the country's biggest city, by early morning had blocked a major thoroughfare with burning tires and disrupted commutes elsewhere." Protests are planned in up to 50 cities throughout the day, "as demonstrators hope to rekindle momentum that led to millions of people hitting the streets last year during the Confederations Cup" (REUTERS, 5/15).