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Brazil police tear gas protesters

By The Citizen
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Monday’s protests were centred around Ana Rosa station in central Sao Paulo Brazilian riot police have used tear gas against protesters in Sao Paulo, three days before the World Cup opening game in the city’s main stadium.

The protest was called by Sao Paulo metro workers who are striking in support of a 12.2% salary increase.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said she would not allow violent demonstrations to mar the World Cup.

Sao Paulo metro workers have been on strike since Thursday, creating traffic chaos in one of the world’s most congested cities.

Metro workers are incensed at the money spent on the tournament and are demanding a 12.2% pay rise On Sunday, union members voted to continue to strike indefinitely despite a court order for them to return to work and a threat of dismissal by the state governor.

Our correspondent says that police dispersed the protesters but that it was clear there was a great deal of bitterness about the money spent on the tournament.

If the strike runs on until Thursday, it could affect the opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia.

Arena Corinthians stadium is on the outskirts of Sao Paulo and access to the venue without public transport could be a huge challenge for fans.

Preparations for the World Cup have been beset by construction delays and strikes but President Rousseff has said her government would “fully guarantee people’s security” during the tournament.

Thousands of extra police and soldiers will be deployed to ensure the matches get under way smoothly.

Last year, more than a million people took to the streets of major Brazilian cities to vent their anger at what they see as excessive spending on the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The government is keen to prevent a repeat of some of the violence seen at those protests.