World Cup only benefits outsiders, say Brazil protesters


Story highlights

Protesters and police have battled each other in some Brazilian cities

The protests, sparked by a rise in bus fares, point to deeper discontent

Some protesters say they are unhappy at the cost of next year's World Cup

FIFA president Sepp Blatter booed by crowd at opening ceremony for Confederations Cup

Editor’s Note: James Montague is the author of When Friday Comes: Football, War and Revolution in the Middle East (deCoubertin Books). He is in Brazil for the Confederations Cup. Follow him @JamesPiotr

Belo Horizonte, Brazil CNN —  

At 11 pm, the tired and the injured gathered in Belo Horizonte for one last expression of discontent.

More than a thousand sat in Praca Sete de Setembro, a square in the center of the city, chanting against the government and the police. But they weren’t the crowd’s only enemy. A sign hung from a nearby balcony. It read: “Anti Copa.” On the pavement the words “A FIFA é Foda” had been painted: “F*** You, FIFA,” in Portuguese. The roads had been blocked off by the military police, who watched the protesters from afar. A bank of police horses chewed on piles of hay left for them on the road.

Daniel Sanabria, a technician in his 20s, stood nearby cradling his arm, an ice pack on top of a bloody bandage. He peeled it off to reveal an ugly red welt on his left hand. “A bullet,” he explained.