Skip to main content

Brazilian police fire tear gas at World Cup protesters

By CNN Staff
updated 1:41 PM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • At least one arrested as protesters make their way to World Cup stadium
  • Critics angry at Brazil's government for spending $11 billion on World Cup
  • Protesters hope to pressure government to provide low-income housing

Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) -- Brazilian police fired tear gas Thursday to hold back a small group trying to work its way through Sao Paulo to the Arena Corinthians stadium to protest the World Cup.

At least one person was arrested, CNN's Shasta Darlington reported from the scene, 7 miles (about 11 kilometers) from the stadium.

Darlington and producer Barbara Arvanitidis were slightly injured when one of the canisters hit them. Darlington suffered a minor cut on her arm, and Arvanitidis was hit on the wrist.

Critics are furious at the Brazilian government for spending $11 billion on the World Cup instead of low-income housing, hospitals and schools.

A patchwork of plastic tents has appeared on an empty piece of land less than 2.5 miles (about 4 kilometers) from the World Cup stadium. More than 3,000 families have joined the squatter settlement known as the "People's Cup," hoping to use the global sporting event as a platform to pressure the government to provide low-income housing.

CNN crew hurt in World Cup protests
Patrolling Rio's most dangerous favelas

Residents said rents began to soar when the stadium was being built. Rents in Sao Paulo have risen by double digits in recent years, far outpacing the increase in minimum wage, which is $360 a month in the city.

In protests leading up to the games, the Homeless Workers Movement has become a major force in Sao Paulo, with marches of more than 10,000.

Weeks ago, there were violent protests in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Demonstrations were staged in 18 cities last month. The biggest and most violent was in Sao Paulo, where police shot tear gas and protesters threw rocks and smashed the windows of a car dealership and a bank.

Taking advantage of the global attention focused on the country for the world soccer championship, other groups have staged protests to air their grievances -- from striking teachers and police officers demanding higher wages to homeless activists.

Brazil 2014: Black Blocs to provide black mark?

Five things to get you ready for the World Cup

Who are the real winners and losers of the 2014 World Cup?

Part of complete coverage on
Keep track of the social buzz at Brazil 2014 with CNN's Facebook Pulse -- find out who the world is talking about.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
It needed 120 minutes to separate the best two teams on the planet, but Mario Gotze's sublime strike gives Germany a fourth World Cup title.
updated 8:34 PM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
After 64 games, some huge shocks and 171 goals scored, now it's time to play fantasy football -- who would you pick in a World Cup dream team?
updated 6:55 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Germany won the World Cup, but these stats suggest that the host nation came top of the table at Brazil 2014 -- despite a crushing semifinal defeat.
updated 8:14 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Bare bellies, an on-pitch streaker, world leaders and superstar selfies -- the World Cup final had it all.
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
Having crushed home hopes of success, Germany prevents Brazil's worst nightmare by beating the World Cup host's South American rival in final.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
One of the joys of watching the World Cup is seeing relative unknowns come to the fore. Here are 11 players to watch at Russia 2018.
updated 5:37 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Stay informed with results of the latest World Cup matches and the full schedule for the month-long tournament in Brazil.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
In the sight of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer, the man who would be king awaits his destiny.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Sat July 12, 2014
Germany's semifinal demolition of World Cup host Brazil in Belo Horizonte is the game that seemingly everyone can't stop talking about.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
One of the joys of the World Cup is seeing relative unknowns come to the fore. Here are 11 players who have made their mark at Brazil 2014:
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
You thought Brazil's home humiliation was bad? Check out the greatest shocks in World Cup history...
ADVERTISEMENT