Newscast Media RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazilians frustrated with poor public services took
to the streets Thursday across the country, claiming their taxes are spent on
preparations to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup.
The so-called Day of Struggle against the World Cup saw demonstrations in seven of
the 12 state capitals set to host World Cup matches, and dozens of other cities.
Massive public spending on the large-scale sporting event, coupled with a transit fare
hike, first sparked anti-government protests a year ago, but as the June 12 to July
13 World Cup nears, protests have started up again.
The Association of World Cup People’s Committees (Ancop) presented a list of
grievances they want authorities to address, including their demand to protest freely
during the championship, compensation for the families of construction workers who
died building the stadiums and other venues, a guarantee that families displaced to
make way for the new stadiums will be provided with adequate housing, a freer press
and more government spending on public transportation systems and a free fare.
In Sao Paulo, groups of protesters blocked several major avenues, including streets
near the city’s Corinthians Arena, site of the inaugural match between Brazil and
Croatia on June 12.
In Brasilia, the Movement of Workers Without Shelter (MTST) occupied the offices of
a state-run real estate agency and demand the government fulfill its pledge to help
those unable to afford a home.
Demonstrations also took place in Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Belo Horizonte, Porto
Alegre and Salvador, as well as smaller cities.
The protests appear to contradict Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo’s assertion on
Tuesday, that protests during the World Cup will be ” isolated events.”
Newscast Media RIO DE JANEIRO—A planned bus fare increase in Rio de Janeiro has
led to clashes between police and protestors, who also complained about Brazil’s
World Cup spending. Seven people were hurt, including a cameraman. Police used tear
gas and batons to disperse opponents of a bus fare hike in Rio late on Thursday. The
protest had begun peacefully at Rio’s main rail station.
The television channel Band TV said its cameraman Santiago Andrade was in serious
condition after being hit in the head either by a stun grenade launched by police or a
The 10 percent fare increase, due to come into effect on Saturday, stems from a
recent decision by Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes. A similar rise last June was later
withdrawn after mass protests.
An Associated Press correspondent said 800 protestors had marched peacefully to the
station, some holding placards condemning billions being spent to host this summer’s
World Cup instead of boosting social services.
Inside the station, some demonstrators jumped turnstiles. Police pushed the
protestors outside and used tear gas to disperse them. Authorities then closed the
station, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
Deutsche Welle’s Philipp Barth was on the scene for the protests. He reported the
Brazilian police hit his camera out of his hands. Barth said authorities “completely
overreacted” and were totally unprepared for demonstrations of such magnitude.
Protestors demand social improvements
One protestor, Thais Jorao, said the protest was for various reasons.
“If it was a public transportation fare hike when we had good health services and
education, you wouldn’t have this many people on the street,” he said. “On top of this
you see spending with the World Cup, things that we really don’t need. We want
health, education, decent public transportation.”
Cup security checked
Andrei Rodrigues, Brazil’s special secretary for security and safety at major events,
said at least 100,000 security personnel would be deployed across Brazil for the World
Cup – more than double than for the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Rodrigues spoke during a week-long tour of the 12 cities that will host matches in the
32-team World Cup, the biggest sporting event ever staged by Brazil.
The month-long World Cup kicks off on June 12.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media RIO DE JANEIRO—The first batch of tickets for the 2014 World Cup in
Brazil have gone on sale, 295 days before the tournament kicks off. FIFA officials are
hoping for demand comparable to the 2006 tournament in Germany.
Fans can now apply for their tickets to the World Cup on the website of world
football’s governing body FIFA. The first phase of ticket sales for the 2014 World Cup
began at 10.00 GMT Tuesday; but fans did not need to race to the website. All
requests submitted before October 10 will be entered into a random selection draw in
the likely event of demand exceeding supply.
CONTINUE FOR FULL STORY AND 2014 SCHEDULE>>
Newscast Media RIO DE JANEIRO—The United States is working with Brazil to help the nation use its position as host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games to pursue democratic goals, said Thomas Shannon, U.S. ambassador to Brazil.
Democratic goals are “about including all aspects of society in national projects and allowing them a voice in national destiny,” Shannon said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.He added that the upcoming mega–sporting events pose opportunities “to enhance the individual capacity of people to achieve their own destinies — what democracy is all about.” FULL STORY>>