By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Demonstrators gathered in Rio and São Paulo on Saturday to protest the country’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup later this year. Police and protesters clashed in São Paulo resulting in more than one hundred demonstrators being detained.

São Paulo Protests, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
In São Paulo, upwards of 2,500 demonstrators reportedly took to the city’s Avenida Paulista, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.

In Rio, approximately fifty protesters assembled near the front of the famed Copacabana Palace hotel in an event dubbed by the organization Anonymous Rio, as “Operation Stop the World Cup.”

While in São Paulo, according to the Military Police (PM), upwards of 2,500 demonstrators took to the city’s Avenida Paulista to protest spending for the upcoming international event.

There they chanted; “If we have no rights, there will be no Cup.” One demonstrator, university student Leonardo Pelegrini dos Santos, explained to the AP; “By rights we mean the people’s right to decent public services. We are against the millions and millions of dollars being spent for the Cup. It is money that should be invested in better health and education services and better transportation and housing.”

Saturday’s chants echoed cries heard round the world during the massive protests of last year and marked the first major demonstrations of this year against the World Cup.

In response to the protests, filmmaker Carla Dauden, creator of the viral sensation, “No, I’m not Going to the World Cup”, told The Rio Times; “Hopefully this is just the beginning of a much bigger movement, people are starting to realize there is still a lot that can be done before the World Cup, and even though most of what we do won’t change the fact that money has been already spent, making real changes will symbolize a lot and will help us define what country we want to be from now on.”

Consisting of some twenty different social movements, the organization behind the São Paulo demonstration released a manifesto before the event, stating in part; “The uprising of June has clearly shown that the Brazilians have realized: the billionaires spent on building stadiums, which do not improve people’s lives, they just take away from investments in social rights. But June was only the beginning!”

As the day wore on and the group made their way from Avenida Paulista towards the city’s Downtown area, members of the anarchist Black Bloc movement reportedly turned the protest violent, smashing the windows of storefronts, banks and cars.

Police and protesters then allegedly clashed with the police releasing rubber bullets and tear gas. By then end of the day, 128 people were arrested during the protest according to the Military Police.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. It would seem that the World Cup coming would be a good thing, to me. I can see the validity of the people wanting better services but the short term investment to the Cup will be a long term payout for the Brazilian people via jobs created by the event and infrastructure improvements that come from the revenues built on hosting it. Unless… the government and big business have reputations for keeping the money and making only a very small percentage of people experience lifestyle improvements. That happens here a lot in America. The public ends up funding sports stadiums through taxes with the premise of added jobs and a “better standard of living” as a result of it. Realistically though, there are athletes who generate more wealth in a year than entire communities in that same time frame. Capitalism, still better than communism, but needs major improvement.

  2. One major problem is that 90% of the money spent on the World Cup has just been given to rich people as graft. Money stolen from the treasury to help the entitled plutocrats at the top.

  3. I would like to know where were the demonstrators in 2007 when Brazil was selected to host the World Cup. Another question: our hospitals, schools and roads would be in better conditions if the tournment wasn’t held in Brazil? Lets stop the hipocrisy!

  4. I agree with you. As a russian (living in Moscow, born in Ukraine and lived 25 years in Kyiv / Kiev – now I’m 37) i can compare the situations and see a lot of similarities.
    The example of SOCHI 2014 success show, that even with some “issues” the major international events can be the nice opportunity to show how good the host nation can implement something big, creative and organized. Yes, I know Putin is (at least) Macciavellian, I’m very upset about the corruption and efficiency of spendings, but at the end of the day russians can be proud of the effect of Sochi winter games placed to the unique sub-tropic environment. At the same time this kind of “efficient spendings”, corrupted feodal system issues surrounds us everywhere, but could it be better, if everyone will strike? I dont think its the right moment for this…
    This days, with all my dissapointment, i hear my friends asking me “Are you still want to go open your business branch in Brazil? Are you sure? No, we will not go there, whatever nice pics of Brazil you show us”…
    I hope, Brazilian gov will make some movements, to calm people down and right conclusions will be made.
    Ordem e progresso to Brazil!


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