Protesters march in Brazilian cities, criticize World Cup
Road blocks and marches hit Brazilian cities on Thursday as disparate groups criticized spending on the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament and sought to revive a call for better public services that swept the country last June.
Less than a month before the tournament kicks off, and four months before a presidential election, Thursday’s protests will gauge the ability of demonstrators to once again rally frustrated Brazilians and the competence of police to manage unrest that occasionally escalated over the past year into violence and vandalism.
A main thoroughfare was blocked with burning tires in Brazil’s biggest city of Sao Paulo and protesters stormed a building in the capital Brasilia. Looters also took advantage of a striking military police force in the northeastern city of Recife, a World Cup venue, where security has been handed to the army until the police return.