Again, Riot Police Violently Attack Public Transportation Fare Demo in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo

Image via Media Ninja

Brazil – Riot Police in Sao Paulo have yet again ruthlessly attacked citizens protesting against the rising public transportation fare. At the height of the onslaught, police fired 30 stun grenades in 15 seconds, along with tear gas and less than lethal rounds aimed/fired directly at people.

Reports on social media indicate that dozens were affected by the tear gas assault as they tried to escape. On one street corner alone 6 people were injured by concussion grenade explosions, 4 of them requiring hospital care for their injuries. Roughly a dozen others suffered minor injuries and at least 4 people were detained.

So far this year, seven demonstrations over public transportation fare hikes have taken place in Brazil, five of them in Sao Paulo, two in Rio. All of them ended by police violence. One was repressed by police as people were gathering to begin the protest.

Amnesty International has called the repeated violent dispersals “a threat to constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression ahead of the Olympic Games later this year.”

“It is unfortunate that, instead of promoting a policy debate on the issue of public transport in response to the demonstrations, the State unleashed a violent assault on the right to peaceful protest,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director of Amnesty International Brazil.

As global attention readies to focus on Brazil during the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, the protest organizers Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement) have stated that demonstrations will increase as they did in the lead-up to the World Cup in 2014.

Last night’s demonstration began around the city’s central bus terminal, people marched, chanted, sang and played drums peacefully. When protesters attempted to march towards the Legislative Assembly, a heavy police presence prevented them from doing so, in a clear violation of the right to freedom of assembly.

People sat down in front of the riot police line that was blocking the progression of the march in an attempt to show they are non-violent and de-escalate a standoff that they know from previous demo’s could turn violent.

Image via Media ninja

Image via Media ninja

When protesters raised their arms and tried to move forward shouting, “No violence,” police responded by firing dozens of rounds of tear gas and stun grenades, as well as rubber bullets. Police also used their shields and batons to beat protesters as they have done in previous demonstrations.

The video below shows part of the volley of tear gas and concussion grenades being shot at citizens, as seen from behind police lines.

A correspondent of TV Drone was one of those injured by exploding concussion grenades.
CZSFcovWwAQ2JKXVideo below shows citizens running away to escape being targeted by police shooting concussion grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets at them. As you can see in the video, those who didn’t run fast enough were targeted a second time by riot police.

One of the injured being treated by a medic.

One of the injured being treated by a medic.


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