World Bulletin / News Desk
Hundreds of Brazilians braved the rain to come out onto the streets of Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo Tuesday evening in a bid to draw attention to problems with the country's public health system.
Under the banner of “Nao Vai Ter Copa” - “There Will Be No World Cup,” crowds gathered at the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) in the business district of the city to show their anger that billions of dollars of public money, even in the form of loans, have been used on preparations for the World Cup.
The demonstrators, who carried fake coffins and banners written in blood-like red paint, believe the government should be spending more on health care, as well as education and public transport.
Slogans seen throughout the series of protests were popular, such as “Go home, FIFA” and demands for certain politicians to resign. Others held flags of a number of far-left parties and LGBT associations (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) traditionally present at the protests.
The protest was peaceful for the majority of the evening, until it passed through the Butanta neighborhood – home to Latin America's top university, the University of Sao Paulo (USP) – where a number of people vandalized two banks.
Some of the 1,000 police and riot troops accompanying the protest detained a group of suspected vandals in the Butanta metro station - 54 people were later confirmed by police to have been arrested.
Police could be seen reinforcing other local businesses, including supermarkets and pharmacies for some time after the suspects had been taken away in police vans.
The next protest in the series has been marked for April 29, organizers confirmed to local media.
An affiliated “Nao Vai Ter Copa” protest act was also held in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, where protesters demanded housing rights for low-income citizens. Among the protesters were members of a group of over 5,000 people evicted this week from a disused building complex belonging to Oi S.A. Telecommunications company, in which they had been squatting for a number of days.Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2014, 11:16