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Transport chaos in Sao Paulo following second day running of metro strike

Saturday, June 7th 2014 - 04:58 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Police clashed with protestors at some closes metro stations Police clashed with protestors at some closes metro stations
Nevertheless 60.000 fans cheered the national team against Serbia Nevertheless 60.000 fans cheered the national team against Serbia
 Rousseff has pledged demonstrations will not disrupt the World Cup Rousseff has pledged demonstrations will not disrupt the World Cup

Police in Brazil have used tear gas to break up protesters on the second day of a metro strike that has left Sao Paulo's transport in chaos. Nearly half of the stations were closed and there was gridlock on the streets of Brazil's largest city, which will host the opening match of the World Cup next Thursday.

 Workers are demanding a pay rise of at least 10%. A new round of negotiations has failed and the strike will continue.

A third of Sao Paulo's metro stations were closed on Friday morning, and there were more than 200km of traffic jams across the city in the morning rush hour.

Police fired tear gas and used batons and shields at a demonstration outside Ana Rosa station in central Sao Paulo. A military police spokesman said officers intervened after clashes broke out between picketing strikers and commuters trying to enter the station.

Brazil beat Serbia 1-0 on Friday afternoon in a friendly played at a Sao Paulo stadium that will not be used during the World Cup, Morumbi. The underground strike and persistent rain tested the patience of some 60,000 fans who turned up for Brazil's last match before the tournament begins.

The World Cup will kick off on 12 June with a match between the hosts Brazil and Croatia at the Itaquerao stadium, or Arena Corinthians, in the outskirts of Sao Paulo.
Football's world governing body, Fifa, said it was confident the World Cup would be a success.

“I'm an optimist. After the tournament kicks off, I think there will be a better mood,” Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.

The Brazilian government is under a huge amount of pressure as the only viable way for fans to reach the Itaquerao stadium for the World Cup is on public transport.

President Dilma Rousseff has defended the country's preparations for the World Cup. “Everywhere in the world, these big engineering projects always go down to the wire,” she told reporters on Friday and was emphatic, “demonstrations would not be allowed to disrupt the tournament”.

Brazil has seen a year of street protests against bad governance and perceived excessive spending in preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics, which Rio de Janeiro will host in 2016.

Many Brazilians say, however, that they are tired of protests and strikes. They say the country should enjoy the unique occasion of hosting the World Cup.

Frustration with broken promises and the ballooning cost of new World Cup stadiums contributed to widespread protests that drew over a million Brazilians into the streets during a warm-up tournament last year. But protests so far this year have lacked the spontaneous energy and scale of 2013.

Instead, the largest demonstrations have been from homeless groups and striking workers using the backdrop of the World Cup to press their causes. Demonstrations directly against the tournament have been marked by flashes of violence between police and hard-line “black bloc” protesters, eroding popular support.

A judge is expected to weigh the legality of the metro workers' strike on Monday.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • golfcronie

    Where oh where will they find a judge sympathetic to the Brazilian government ( he says with tongue in cheek.) LMFAO

    Jun 07th, 2014 - 01:27 pm 0
  • reality check

    The train not leaving platform 2, is not going to the football stadium.

    Taxi drivers are going to make a fortune!

    Jun 08th, 2014 - 05:18 pm 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “Just another day in Paradise”.....

    Jun 14th, 2014 - 05:10 pm 0
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