Rio police fire teargas, detain 50 anti-Olympic protesters (VIDEO)
The arrests were made Friday in the Meier district of Rio, located in the north of the city. Dozens of left-wing activists attempted to march to the Engenhao Olympic Stadium.
Ruptly’s video from the demonstration showed police officers yelling and firing tear gas canisters at protesters, who are then seen quickly running away. Some demonstrators wore black masks over their faces to help them breathe as well as to hide their identities.
The crowd, largely made up of students, was seen scattering, as police pursued them with rubber bullets. In response, a volley of stones flew at police.
A group of around 52 people was detained and then forced onto a large police bus to be transported to a local police station.
Following the scuffles, police found stones in the activists’ possessions.
Protesters said they wanted to draw the attention of foreigners who are in Rio for the Olympics toward the poor state of education in Brazil.
One of the local bands speaking out at the protest under the slogan of “Abandoned education” pleaded for aid for Brazilian youth education.
Brazil has been caught up in waves of both anti- and pro-government demonstrations recently. Just on Thursday, students clashed with police in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo over government reforms to the public education system. Police once again used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protesters.
Moreover, earlier this week, protesters took to the streets en masse to support suspended President Dilma Rousseff as the country’s senate voted for her impeachment.
Some believe the Olympics have only exacerbated the situation in Brazil.
“Around $15 billion have been spent on these Olympics, while, at the same time, there have been massive cutbacks in education and in health and in all kinds of public services,” William Robinson, sociology professor at University of California, told RT.
“Brazil is facing the worst crisis in decades. [It] is in economic fee fall. It is a political crisis with removal and impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. And it is a social crisis. The population is in social deterioration,” he added.