Police and Protesters Clash During 2014 World Cup Protests in Brazil

Timothy RappFeatured Columnist IVNovember 18, 2016

Indigenous protesters in traditional headdress clash with military police during a protest against FIFA World Cup outside the National Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Brazil's indigenous communities calling for the federal court to demarcate indigenous lands are also protesting against the 2014 FIFA World Cup that starts in June. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

Just over two weeks from the start of the 2014 World Cup, protests have begun again in Brazil, with approximately 1,500 protesters and police clashing in Brasilia on Tuesday evening, per BBC News.    

Julian Robinson of the Daily Mail has more details on the situation:

Indigenous people armed with bows and arrows have clashed with mounted police armed with tear gas, helmets and riot shields—just weeks before the World Cup begins. Protestors wearing traditional tribal dress squared up to police in Brazil's capital, Brasilia—and one officer ended up being shot in the leg with an arrow.

The violent scenes unfolded next to the Mane Garrincha National Stadium, amid a climate of increasing civil disobedience by groups looking to disrupt the event saying it will cost too much for a developing nation.

In clashes broadcast live on television, riot police fired tear gas into small pockets of protesters as they approached Brasilia's new stadium that will host Cup matches. Protesters were seen picking up the gas canisters and throwing them back at officers, along with stones and pieces of wood.

According to Robinson's report, a police officer was struck in the leg with an arrow, which required surgery to remove, while two of the indigenous protesters were also reported injured.   

Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

The indigenous group was protesting legislation that would affect the boundaries of their reserves in the country. Several people climbed atop the Brazilian Congress building before joining additional protesters opposed to the costs of hosting this year's World Cup. 

Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

According to BBC News, the group was attempting get to the National Stadium of Brazil Mane Garrincha—where the golden tournament cup is currently on display—but was blocked by police officers on horses.

Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

This is certainly nothing new in Brazil. At last year's Confederations Cup, thousands of Brazilians participated in multiple riots protesting the country's World Cup plans. 

The riots extended far beyond Brasilia this week, as protesters confronted the Brazilian national team when they began their training, per BBC News:

Monday's demonstrations started outside Rio's Linx Hotel, where 22 players met their coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, for the start of their preparations.

Before they left the hotel, it was surrounded by more than 100 protesters, who attached stickers to their bus.

'There will be no World Cup, there will be a strike,' the crowd chanted.

Rio's school teachers have been on strike since 12 May, demanding better pay and working conditions.

Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup have been marred by a number of issues, including protests, security concerns, building delays and missed deadlines, and the death of several stadium construction workers. At this point, it seems unlikely that the tournament will go off without a hitch, with protesters likely becoming a major part of the narrative for the better part of June and July. 

The hope will be that no one is seriously harmed, but also that the country does not brush aside the concerns of its citizens while it hosts a soccer tournament. The World Cup is an international event and eyes all over the world are eager to watch soccer, but the concerns of the Brazilian people have now added a political charge to the event.