Protests cast shadow over World Cup games in Brazil

The World Cup kicked off in Brazil this week, and a number of protests were staged around the country over the billions spent on hosting the events. Brazil is deeply conflicted over the increasing controversy.

At a Sao Paulo demonstration, protesters chanted in Portuguese, "We want the end of the military police."

The small group gathered to protest the $11 billion in government spending on the World Cup, which they said could have been spent on housing and education.

On the opening day of the cup, a Sao Paulo demonstration escalated quickly. Police met protesters early in the day, firing tear gas and percussion bombs into the crowd.

The police's show of force was frustrating for demonstrators who said they were not being listened to and people were fed up.

"I was in the eye of the hurricane," said Carlos Weis, a public defender employed by the state but tasked with protecting the interests of the people.

He was at the opening day protests to observe police tactics and was hit by rubber bullets.

Under the Brazilian constitution people have a right to peacefully protest. But this has gone too far, according to Weis.

"This kind of police action is completely against the law," Weis said.

An official note from the Sao Paulo police said they were preventing the rioters from blocking a main road to the stadium.

Amnesty International Brazil issued the military police a "yellow card" for what they say was excessive force.

On Sunday, Rio de Janeiro will host its first World Cup game. Rio police said their goal is to ensure the rights of peaceful demonstrators, to prevent vandalism and allow people to come and go.

While there have been protests, many Brazilians CBS News spoke with said they're happy that their country is hosting the World Cup. One man who lives near the stadium said improved roads and subway stations in his neighborhood have made life easier.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

The Newsroom