People protesting a transport fare hike were fiercely attacked in a counter-insurgency style operation by the military police in Rio de Janeiro. Police attacked some 800 protesters and passengers with teargas grenades they launched inside the building of Central Station, in a closed space (just like in Athens). Apparently, they also used this and other types of ammunition to attack people on the streets.
Witnesses report that one cameraman was hit when uniformed police PMERJ targeted him and fired. He is in a coma, and lost part of one ear. Images are graphic.
The protest was violently crushed by the military police: a total of six people, most of who were not protesters, were severely injured and mutilated. At least 20 people were arrested. This was the bloodiest repression exercised by police since the protests from the last year’s summer against transportation fare hikes. Day by day, Brazilian cops are becoming increasingly more violent against civilians. Scenes of them running civilians over or threatening them with real guns have become a new norm in Brazil. Thursday, the military police beat the elderly… as seen in this video.
Public transportation was shut down after the brutal attack by police. People oppose the decision by the mayor of the city Eduardo Paes to raise bus ticket prices by 9%. His decision is to be enforced on February 8th.
Passengers have gone on no-pay strikes for months now, and many of them demand free public transportation. Yesterday a total of 20,000 people protested the mayor’s decision, which will make their life even more expensive than it already is.
They simply cannot afford to pay so much to be able to go to work and live in the city. “There won’t be any increase” of bus tickets, people promised the mayor, and they have already organized a new massive protest for February 10th.
Protesters complain that this is a result of the upcoming FIFA World Cup, since prices on services frequently used by tourists have increased – sometimes up to 400 times the normal price – in order to extract more money from tourists.
This is another example of how destructive FIFA’s World Cup is to the lives of ordinary Brazilians, who can hardly make ends meet as it is. However the government is not interested in how Brazilians live, but for the ruling elite businesses to cash in huge profits.
To quell protests, the government has brought in the brutal riot police experts from France to train their cops into squashing protests. Special tribunals will be set up, and resistors to the World Cup will be jailed as “terrorists.”
Some 55,000 elite troops (read brutal robots) will be used against any civilian “disturbance” during the World Cup, and it is likely that they will recklessly attack tourists, peaceful protestors, and civilians alike. When you watch those games, you’ll know that there is blood on that ball.