2014 World Cup: Police and protesters clash in Sao Paulo; CNN producer injured

This article originally appeared in The Daily News.
BY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014, 10:43 AM Updated: Friday, June 13, 2014, 4:03 AM
Military police resonded to the World Cup protest and there were with reported injuries as the month-long tournament opens in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday.MARIO TAMA/GETTYMilitary police resonded to the World Cup protest and there were with reported injuries as the month-long tournament opens in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday.

It was a sea of protest and celebration in Brazil Thursday as the World Cup host team won its opening game amid violent clashes between protestors and police in Sao Paulo.

Helicopters whirred over the highway leading to the main soccer arena ahead of Brazil’s match against Croatia while police tried to corral some 300 protestors with tear gas and stun grenades.

Cops also fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, which contained anarchists from the “Black Bloc” movement that used violence and vandalism to help shut down the 1999 World Trade Summit in Seattle.

The Associated Press said one of its photographers suffered a leg injury after a stun grenade exploded nearby, and CNN on its website said two of its journalists were also injured.

“I’m totally against the Cup,” said protester Tameres Mota, a university student at the Sao Paulo demonstration.

CNN producer Barbara Arvanitidis is taken by ambulance after being caught up in clashes Thursday between police in Sao Paulo and World Cup protesters.RICARDO MORAES/REUTERSCNN producer Barbara Arvanitidis is taken by ambulance after being caught up in clashes Thursday between police in Sao Paulo and World Cup protesters.

“We’re in a country where the money doesn’t go to the community, and meanwhile we see all these millions spent on stadiums,” she said.

Another 300 protestors marched near Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, but that gathering was peaceful.

But Brazil also got its samba on. Jennifer Lopez, dressed in a dazzling green, sequined leotard, performed at the opening ceremony.

The 44-year-old Bronx-born entertainer sang the World Cup anthem “We Are One” with rapper Pitbull and singer Claudia Leitte.

Police fire tear gas at protestors during a World Cup protest outside Carrao Metro Station.MARIO TAMA/GETTYPolice fire tear gas at protestors during a World Cup protest outside Carrao Metro Station.

The excitement over the international event was also found in the Big Apple, which was awash in yellow-and-green shirts ahead of kick-off.

Brazil, heavy favorites to go deep into the tournament and possibly win it all, got off to a slow start but then slid into an easy 3-1 win.

Croatian fans wound up as outmanned in local bars as they were on the soccer field.

“The first game is always the most difficult. But we won this one, now I know we are going to take it all,” said a confident Paulo Knobel, 54.

The CNN producer is hit with a canister during the clash Thursday and suffered a 'slight' injury to her arm according to CNN.RICARDO MORAES/REUTERSThe CNN producer is hit with a canister during the clash Thursday and suffered a ‘slight’ injury to her arm according to CNN.

The Brazilian caught the game and knocked back a few cold Caipirinhas at Via Brasil on 46th St. in Manhattan, the heart of the borough’s Little Brazil.

The streets were lined

with screaming fans who craned their necks to watch the games on large-screen TVs hanging from the walls .

The only solemn moment came when the national anthem played at the start of the game — the crowd stopped shouting long enough to sing along.

A protester is detained by police during a demonstration demanding better public services and protesting the money spent on the World Cup.RODRIGO ABD/APA protester is detained by police during a demonstration demanding better public services and protesting the money spent on the World Cup.

The party also was in full swing in Astoria, Queens, where Brazilians invaded the beer garden at Studio Square NYC and small pockets of Croatians joked they had to get bodyguards.

“(Soccer) is in my blood. I can’t fight it. It can’t get any better than hosting. We better win it,” said Sabrina Rodrigues, 32, who is from Brazil.

She said she has “mixed feelings” about the demonstrations back home and the allegations of corruption and misspent money.

One of the few Croatian fans in the bar, Tvrtko Stigler, 30, decided it was safer to cheer in silence when his team took an early lead, scoring the first goal against the Brazilians.

Demonstrators from the anarchist group Black Bloc clash with police during the protest.VICTOR MORIYAMA/GETTY IMAGESDemonstrators from the anarchist group Black Bloc clash with police during the protest.

“I’m staying quiet! If they score, I’m going to cheer for Brazil,” Stigler joked.

The Brazilian team didn’t give him any reason to cheer. By game’s end, they’d racked up their third and final goal, easily clinching the win.

That sent the Brazilians into a frenzy of drumming and table dancing amid Portuguese chants of “I am Brazilian, a proud Brazilian,” while Croatian fans grumbled about a bad call in the second half that set up Brazil to score. “It’s the way it went down. We were hosed. … Brazil got the win but they gotta put their head down about it,” said Andy Nikic, 28.

He pepped himself up by noting that Brazil was in such political disarray that there would have been “riots” if they’d lost.

“We were really trying to keep world peace is what we were doing,” joked his friend Tommy Jelcic, 30.

With News Wire Services

Advertisements

Author: sabrinacaserta

Sabrina Caserta, born and bred in Bronx, New York, is a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News and Street Sense- a homeless-run street paper located in the District. As a member of Roger Williams University’s class of 2016, Sabrina studied Journalism and Political Science. This fueled her passion for social justice reporting, including issues of homelessness, institutionalized racism, poverty, education and the environment. She also served as the Project Director of the nation-brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, and as a Resident Assistant for three years. As an avid reader, health enthusiast and travel addict, Sabrina enjoys yoga, cooking and writing in her spare time. She aspires to one day be an investigative journalist and travel the world. Twitter: @sabrinacaserta Email: sabcaserta AT gmail DOT com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s