28
Jun

World Cup protests are smaller but still emerging in Brazil

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SAO PAULO —

It took a full two weeks at the World Cup for me to see my first demonstration in Brazil. It had been a long day. Following an early-morning flight on the heels of the USA-Portugal game in Manaus, a four-hour plane ride away, a colleague and I had scurried to the Estadio de Sao Paulo to catch the Netherlands-Chile match — insofar as you can scurry in this snarled metropolis at the edge of this tortuous country.

We caught a media bus back after the game, which would drop us off at a hotel close to our own. But as we pulled along a major thoroughfare taking us into our neighborhood — the swanky Barra Funda — the driver stopped the bus cold and opened the doors. In the middle of the road. This bus was going no further.

It took us a minute to realize why. Up the road, people were marching, protestors surrounded by a human wall of police in full riot gear, barely discernible through the black uniforms. It all looked innocuous enough from afar: A few hundred people, banging drums, chanting, and holding aloft a lone red banner. But there’s no predicting how a protest will turn out. They are lightly flammable. The Brazilians’ rage slumbers just below the surface and rouses at unexpected times. In recent days, people have started taking to the streets again. Some protests have turned violent.

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12
Dec

Topless protesters disrupt German soccer show (video SFW)

FEMEN staged one of their infamous interventions on a German soccer talk show on Wednesday, with two young ladies rushing the stage to protest the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.

The hosts seemed more bemused by the protest than anything, and by FEMEN’s standards, this was positively tame.

The video is SFW — if your workplace also allows you to watch things like The Jerry Springer Show.

28
Aug

Legia Warsaw fans protest UEFA sanctions with intense display

Away goals put Steaua Bucharest into the Champions League Group Stage over Polish side Legia Warsaw after a 2-2 draw on Tuesday. Although Steaua squandered a two-goal lead and let Legia battle back, the real fireworks started well before the opening kick:

UEFA, prompted by what the administrative body deemed “racist behavior by supporters,” sanctioned Legia Warsaw by closing a section of the stands in the team’s home arena, Polish Army Stadium, and fined the team €30,000.

The fans responded with a giant middle finger in the form of this massive demonstration, unfurling a large tifo that read “UEFA Ultra Extreme Fanatical Atmosphere,” before giving way to an onslaught of flares and fire crackers.

It’s certainly impressive and intimidating, and there are plenty of reasons to be upset with UEFA, but it’s important to remember the ban was imposed because of alleged racist behavior. So, no matter how cool it is to “stick it to the man,” maybe Legia fans should put their efforts toward ridding racism from their support section. Maybe.

(h/t Deadspin)

30
Jun

Brazilian Protests Make an Appearance During Closing Ceremony

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While protests are heating up outside the stadium, that doesn’t mean everything inside the stadium is going exactly according to FIFA’s plan.

During the Confederations Cup’s closing ceremonies, dancers in the show unexpectedly unfurled banners with messages protesting the actions of the Brazilian government.

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The organizer’s aren’t going to be happy about that.

26
Jun

Trecker’s Brazilian Travels: Chaos runs supreme

By Jamie Trecker, FOXSoccer.com

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL

Belo Horizonte descended into chaos Wednesday night as protestors clashed with police throughout the town. The Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Uruguay saw over 100,000 people attempt to break the security cordon set up one mile around the perimeter of the Estadio Mineirao, and police and protestors traded blows. One serious injury was reported, and police announced that 15 people had been arrested.

The scenes – with raging fires that claimed businesses, and smoke and tear gas billowing over the sides of the Mineirao – seemed better suited to a war zone than a soccer tournament. Army forces reinforced the police, and ten helicopters were deployed above and around the stadium, creating an eerie scene as kickoff approached.

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Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

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24
Jun

Trecker’s Brazil Travels: Games, protests take time off

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Photo: Jamie Trecker/FOX Soccer

By: Jamie Trecker, FOXSoccer.com

 BOA VIAGEM, BRAZIL

It’s the Festa de Sao Joao this weekend here on the Brazilian coast. Up and down the miles of beachfront, people are setting off fireworks, lighting bonfires, roasting various meats and generally being silly.

The Festa de Sao Joao is nominally a religious holiday. In Portugal, the Feast of Saint John is a major occasion on the calendar; apparently the same day stops traffic in Goa, India. Here, it is a mid-winter party also called the “festa junina,” which translates exactly to what you think it does. Up here, it is a two-week carnival – it rivals Carnival in importance in the state of Pernambuco – and it is celebrated with country festivals and large outdoor concerts. People also dress up in a simulacrum of “country” attire, which in the cases I’ve seen, means wearing hats with fake pigtails and penciling on freckles.

While there may be some religion involved here this weekend (and I am perhaps the wrong correspondent to ask about such matters) what I have seen is go-for-it, hoedown partying. Saturday, horse-drawn carts carrying stacks of firewood came into the center of Recife’s beach neighborhoods, and dumped cords right onto the sidewalk. Some of them remained there, to be set alight after sunset. It’s a bit jarring to walk by a blaze on a sidewalk, especially when it’s right outside a welding supply store, but that’s apparently all cool this weekend. They did look festive.

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15
Jun

Trecker’s Brazilian Travels Day 4: Worth the fight

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

By Jamie Trecker

BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Brazilian security forces sent out the alert at 8:14 local time: avoid the TV tower and stay off the roads.

Security forces worked to “sanitize” the area around the Garrincha, closing off roads, trying to divert cars and pedestrians. They separated the people into two streams: the folks in yellow, and everyone else. The ones in yellow were going to see their national team play; everyone else was going to sit in the road and block the way in.

Some 57,000 security forces have been deployed across the country. I know, because I got a press release that was supposed to be reassuring. It sounded desperate instead.

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14
Jun

Trecker’s Brazilian Travels, Day 3: Tire Fires and Protests

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

By Jamie Trecker

BRASILIA, BRAZIL

It’s not every day that you walk over to a stadium to be confronted by plumes of black smoke, shooting hundreds of feet into the air. But that was the scene this morning outside the Garrincha, here in Brazil’s capital.

Protests have been roiling Brazil this week, and there’s a good reason for it: the World Cup has cost the public here an incredible amount of money – and Brazil’s cost of living keeps on rising. A hamburger from a chain restaurant costs double what it does in the United States. You don’t want to know how much a bottle of beer is. Even a small fluctuation in prices has a big ripple effect in a country that has only recently lifted 40 million people out of abject poverty.

There is something in the air here, and it’s not just smoke: people are fed up. When the corruption and waste surrounding the World Cup first came to light, it was greeted with a shrug, a sign of business as usual. But when it became apparent that almost all the money was going into stadiums – and very little was going into building things people could actually use on a daily basis – things changed. Many Brazilians – despite their love for the sport – are finding it hard to get on board with an event they see as solely for the rich.

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