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17 Aug 2016

Ciara Long and Natalie Southwick, RioonWatch (Brazil)

Brazil: Protesters demonstrate against forced evictions, environmental abuses & police brutality before Olympic opening

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“Rio Residents Protest Olympics Impacts at “Exclusion Games” Demonstration [VIDEO | IMAGES]”, 9 August 2016

On…August 5…protesters gathered in the Saens Peña square…hours before the Olympics opening ceremony was due to take place in nearby Maracanã stadium. Hundreds more joined throughout the afternoon…reaching nearly 1,000 attendees. The protest was the culmination of a week-long series of events organized by the Popular Committee on the World Cup and Olympics. The Military Police presence was intense from the beginning of the event, with heavily armed personnel, helicopters, cavalry and police cars present. Initial proceedings were calm…However, on two occasions…dozens of police formed tight circles around two or three protesters, without evidence of any clear provocation or providing explanation to a tense crowd…Protesters demonstrated against a range of negative impacts felt by Rio residents due to hosting the Olympics, from forced evictions to police brutality, the Games’ disastrous environmental legacy, and generalized misplaced public priorities in spending billions on the Games when the city doesn’t meet its citizens’ basic needs…

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