December 19, 2014
World Cup opponents march for homeless
Several thousand demonstrators marched peacefully in Sao Paulo today to demand more low income housing for residents they say were displaced to make way for a World Cup stadium.
Protests and strikes have become an almost daily occurrence in Brazil just over two weeks from the opening match. Groups ranging from indigenous tribes to professors seeking higher salaries are using the costly event as a backdrop to promote their causes.
Today's protest was led by the Homeless Workers Movement on behalf of an encampment of more than 4,000 families living in tents just a few miles from Sao Paulo's 1 billion reais ($448 million) Arena Corinthians.
Protesters urged municipal lawmakers to include the occupied area in a proposal to build more public housing and said they expected a swift answer from authorities.
"They promise the whole project will be voted on before the World Cup," said organizer Jussara Basso.
Unlike a similar protest from the same group last week that shut down stores and snarled traffic, today's protest was far from Sao Paulo's main business district.
Some 600,000 foreign soccer fans are expected to travel to 12 host cities in Brazil for the month-long World Cup starting on June 12.