Police in Sao Paulo are attempting to break up anti-World Cup protests in Sao Paulo, hours before the tournament begins with a game between host Brazil and Croatia at the city’s Corinthians Arena. Reports from the scene say police have fired tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters.
Dozens of protesters had gathered near a Sao Paulo subway station with a red banner reading “If we have no rights, there won’t be a Cup”. They said they planned to march as close as possible to Corinthians Arena, the city’s World Cup stadium, but police forcefully broke them up before they could start. …
One officer fired rubber bullets at a shirtless protester who stood in the middle of the street refusing to disperse. Police then detained the man.
The demonstrators had been chanting “There won’t be a Cup”, the rallying cry of the protest movement against the more than US$11 billion in government spending laid out for the tournament, which opponents say should have been used for education, health, housing and transport instead.
Freelance journalist Ben Tavener is tweeting photos from the scene, including a photo of a CNN producer who was reportedly injured by a stun grenade.
— Ben Tavener (@BenTavener) June 12, 2014
CNN reporter Shasta Darlington reported that the producer was helped by a cordon of protesters.
Protesters are trying to march from the Carrao neighborhood, east of the city’s center, to Corinthians Arena, about seven miles to the east.