About this iReport
  • Not verified by CNN

  • Click to view LucasBorges's profile
    Posted July 2, 2014 by
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    World Cup 2014

    As the World Cup Progresses, Democracy Shies Away in Brazil

    As the land of the free still grieves from its elimination from the World Cup, democracy in Brazil seems to face elimination. Today, a debate was held at Praça Roosevelt (Roosevelt Square), São Paulo, to discuss the detention and imprisonment of two peaceful protesters accused of carrying explosives. Ironically, the square owes its name to one of the greatest US’s presidents of all time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who helped America out of the Great Depression and ordered the withdrawal of American troops from Haiti.

    But it seems that the police wasn’t paying much attention to history, as they surrounded 300 people who listened to the debate with 800 officers, creating a tense atmosphere right from the start. As the first speakers took their turns, the riot police started searching each and every one of the protesters who entered the square, creating animosity in the crowd. When a lawyer who accompanied the movement asked a police officer about his identification (Police officers in Brazil are required by law to display their ID in the uniform), he was arrested for contempt. Another detention followed, as his colleague tried to intervene and was promptly arrested. This created a principle of turmoil, but demonstrators soon calmed themselves down, avoiding confrontation.

    The scene resumed, with the speakers denouncing that the imprisoned protesters weren’t carrying any explosives, as multiple videos available on the internet show, and that the police fabricated the evidence to put them away. As that happened, a street vendor was being arrested by the police, for no reason whatsoever. This caused hell to break loose, as demonstrators tried to free him up from the riot police. Rubber bullets and tear gas ensued, as the crowd remained peaceful and backed away. The debate resumed once again, this time for good, as the tear gas dissipated in the chilly night of São Paulo.

    In the end, four demonstrators were arrested, plus two lawyers, these carrying charges of contempt. It is still not clear what motivated the detention of the other four, neither what charges are being brought against them. Stories like that are not exactly new to Brazilian demonstrators, as police violence and arbitrary arrests became the norm as the World Cup approached.

    The important thing for the world to know is that not all is well in the Cup’s Host, as the government has made it clear that it will not tolerate dissident voices to spoil the so called “World Cup magical atmosphere”.
    Add your Story Add your Story