Hours Ahead of World Cup, Tear Gas

Police, small group of protesters clash in Sao Paulo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2014 11:11 AM CDT
Hours Ahead of World Cup, Tear Gas
A protester is detained by police during a demonstration demanding better public services and protesting the money spent on the World Cup soccer tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil.   (Nelson Antoine)

Just hours before the first World Cup match was to be played in Sao Paulo, protesters took to the streets in the city shouting "There won't be a Cup." They didn't quite achieve their aim: Live TV images showed Sao Paulo police unleashing tear gas and stun grenades on the protesters as they moved to block a main road leading to the stadium where the Cup opening match will be held, with Brazil taking on Croatia. The protest, which gathered about 100 people, was minuscule in comparison to last year's wave of demonstrations that sent a million people into the streets on a single night. At issue: the more than $11 billion the government put toward the games.

The AFP reports one shirtless protester had rubber bullets fired at him; he was then detained by police. Two CNN journalists were injured in the clash, the network said on its website. One of the journalists had her hand injured by a tear gas canister. The extent of injuries of the other journalist was not clear, nor if any protesters were hurt in the action. At least four other protests were called for in Sao Paulo, along with demonstrations in Rio and at least another five cities. (More World Cup stories.)

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