Brazilian anti-World Cup protests hit Sao Paulo

Brazilian anti-World Cup protests hit Sao Paulo

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Demonstrators protesting against the spending on the football World Cup have blocked a number of key roads in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.
They burned tyres and caused traffic disruption. Activists have called a day of protests in 50 cities across Brazil. The scale of the demonstrations is expected to give an indication of the security challenges the government may face during the World Cup, which will kick off on 12 June. BBC Brasil’s Gary Duffy, in Sao Paulo, says one of the biggest protests so far is taking place near the World Cup stadium in the city’s Itaquera district. He notes that among those taking part in the protests are groups that have occupied land or buildings after being forced from their homes by high rents. The planned demonstrations coincide with a range of strikes, including by the police force in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. The army has been deployed to Pernambuco to provide additional support. Teachers, civil servants, transport workers and street cleaners are also taking industrial action. Last year, more than a million people took to the street in dozens of Brazilian cities over poor public services, corruption and the high cost of the World Cup.
The wave of protests prompted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to propose a referendum on political reform. She also pledged to invest 50 billion reais ($25bn, £16bn) in public transport, one of the protesters’ main grievances. – BBC Sport

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