Brazil Against World Cup 2014-2015 Thousands rallied in Sao Paulo
SAO PAULO: Thousands of Brazilians backing a movement to help homeless workers rallied in Sao Paulo late Thursday to protest a lack of housing, shoddy public services and huge spending on the World Cup.
Police put attendance at 15,000 while organizers said it was more than double that.
Despite the rain, the Homeless Workers Movement said the rally was among the biggest in weeks of protests in Brazil as the country prepares to host the World Cup in three weeks’ time and the Summer Olympics in 2016.
“We are here to protest against the Cup, against the huge spending on the World Cup while we do not have housing or healthcare or anything else,” said Luiz Giovani, a member of the movement.
The march was peaceful as it passed through a major commercial district of Brazil’s largest city.
Banners carried by demonstrators included some that said “FIFA go home”, in reference to football’s world governing body.
It was the latest in a series of demonstrations in recent weeks by the homeless movement.
The World Cup will cost Brazilian taxpayers $11 billion (eight billion euros).
Earlier on Thursday commuters in Sao Paulo faced huge traffic jams caused by a paralyzing bus drivers’ strike.
The two-day protest stranded more than a million passengers and unleashed transit chaos on the economic hub of Brazil.
Most buses were running again after city officials and the transport union reached a deal with drivers to end the strike at midnight.