protests

Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Damage of over US$1 million was wrought by acts of vandalism by Black Bloc elements during an anniversary march led by the MPL (Free Fare Movement) in the streets of São Paulo on Thursday evening.

As a major World Cup tie between England and Uruguay got underway on the other side of the city, the MPL-coordinated march gathered around 1,300 people in the city centre, according to military police figures.

Although it began peacefully, it ended in a major damage to at least 10 bank branches and a luxury car showroom.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Exactly who brought football to Brazil and precisely when they did it is still a moot point.

Some say it was Charles Miller, the son of a British railway worker who was building train lines in São Paulo, and others point to Thomas Donohue, a dye worker from Busby in Scotland, who sowed the soccer seed in Rio de Janeiro – both sometime around the late 1890s.

However the sport made the 9,000km leap from Britain, some 120 years later Brazil has earned the title of O País do Futebol – the Land of Football – and deservedly so.

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Images and additional reporting from Rio by Steffen Stubager and Asger Mow

Anadolu Agency

RIO DE JANEIRO/SÃO PAULO – Military police in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have clashed with anti-World Cup protesters near the famous Maracanã stadium as the city’s first match of the month-long tournament got underway.

As Argentina faced off against Bosnia and Herzegovina on the pitch, protesters marched in streets near the stadium to voice their anger at World Cup spending by the Brazilian government and what they view as serious underfunding of public services.

The march reunited around 300 people at its height, but riot police ensured they did not breach police lines formed to prevent the protesters from getting to the stadium.

UPDATE: See my report for Mashable on eyewitnesses reports of police using live rounds at protest.

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Mashable

SÃO PAULO – Anti-World Cup protesters had barely started to gather at São Paulo’s Carrão metro station on Thursday when military and riot police began taking action against the planned demonstration.

Stun grenades and tear gas were launched with fury as about 100 protesters grouped and taunted the officers.

Brazilian protesters taunted police, branding them “cowards”, “fascists” and “afraid of democracy”. Some wore gas masks and had vinegar-soaked handkerchiefs to mitigate the effects of the tear gas, fully aware of how the military police could – and did – respond.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – With just a day to go, São Paulo is bracing itself for Thursday’s World Cup opening ceremony and first match of the tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia.

The 25-minute opening ceremony will showcase the host nation’s “treasures: nature, people, football,” its Belgian artistic director Daphne Cornez was quoted by local media as saying.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Police in São Paulo clashed with protesters and striking metro (subway) workers on Monday, just three days before the World Cup kicks off in the city.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, some of whom were blocking access to the Ana Rosa metro station. At least 13 people were detained.

São Paulo’s metro workers have been on strike for five consecutive days, and are threatening to continue their walkout until Thursday’s World Cup opening match.

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