Before Thursday’s World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia in Sao Paulo, protesters and police locked horns, and things got ugly.
Police reportedly used tear gas and noise bombs on 100 protesters, forcing them to relocate. After the protesters relocated three blocks away, there was another incident two hours later that featured the protesters throwing rocks at police and setting trash on fire. There was at least one arrest, and a producer for CNN was injured in the incident.
This was expected, especially after the measures that were taken in Sao Paulo to prevent traffic jams before the opening match. A partial holiday was declared, but Brazilian fans still showed team spirit in the streets by waving flags, blowing airhorns, and setting off firecrackers.
The incidents in Sao Paulo on Thursday are just the beginning. Protests as well as labor strikes are planned in all 12 cities that will be hosting matches. One of those cities is Rio de Janeiro, where airport workers are planning a 24-hour slowdown.
Day one is in the books, but we still have a long way to go until the World Cup and these protests are in our rear-view mirror.