Brazil police detain 230 in World Cup protest

Police used rounds of tear gas and stun grenades on protesters, kettling around 230 people before they were taken to local police stations.

Brazil police detain 230 in World Cup protest
A protest in Brazil's capital city against issues surrounding the country's hosting of the 2014 World Cup ended in running battles between riot police and protesters Saturday, with at least 230 people detained.

Police said around 1,000 people took to the streets around the central Republica area of Sao Paolo around 5pm, many of them protesters masked and a number bearing anarchy symbols. 

At 6:40pm a small number of protesters began to throw garbage cans and glass objects at police, while others vandalized a number of banks and shops – graffitiing anti-World Cup and anti-capitalist slogans. 

Streets were strewn with garbage and some protesters were seen kicking telephone booths and bus stops.

Police responded with rounds of tear gas and stun grenades, kettling around 230 people before they were taken to local police stations.

A 24-year-old Brazilian protester told the Anadolu Agency that the protest was meant to be peaceful: "we were just chanting our slogans, but the police were brutal and attacked us,” she said. 

“Things in this country only work for a very small number of elite people and all the other services for the mass are of terrible standard.”

According to police, seven people were injured - two protesters and five police officers.

The protest was a continuation of protests first seen in June last year which saw over a million Brazilians take to the streets.

Protesters have a long list of various grievances, including an end to what they see as gross public spending on international sporting events being held in Brazil to the benefit of a few, despite officials speaking regularly of the events' legacy for the ordinary Brazilian.

The 2013 protests were initially sparked by an increase in public transport fares, and then diversified into protests over the spending on the World Cup and Olympics, police brutality, government corruption and underfunding of public services.

“The protests have been going on since last June, but the media stopped covering them,” 29-year-old student Thiago, from Sao Paulo, told the AA.

“We're not so against the World Cup happening in Brazil, but against the way it's taking place. So much corruption, shameless corruption in front of our very faces.”

Brazil will stage the World Cup in June and July in twelve cities around the country, all of which have seen protests at some stage since last June's million-strong protest turnout.

Some stadiums have yet to be delivered to FIFA despite a December deadline.

AA

Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2014, 18:08
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