SAO PAULO – Some 1,500 people on Thursday attacked the headquarters of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, the firm building the stadium that will be the venue for next month’s inaugural match of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.
MTST activists, representing the urban homeless, along with many from the MST, a group that agitates for land reform in the countryside, painted slogans such as “The World Cup of the companies” on the walls of the Sao Paulo office building.
The demonstrators also threw black and red paint on a number of the building’s windows, although no incidents were reported involving the police or Odebrecht workers.
The MTST and the MST agreed to reject the holding of the World Cup in Brazil and to emphasize that Odebrecht’s activities “cause impacts in the life of the public in the country and city.”
The aim of the protest “is to dialogue with society, mainly with the working class, to tell them that the agrarian reform is halted,” the MST’s Delwek Matheus told Efe.
MTST spokespeople, meanwhile, demanded access to “dignified housing” and warned that Odebrecht “is one of those who gains the most” from the World Cup construction projects, which they say were launched under “precarious” labor conditions.
The demonstration came hours before Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday was to make a visit to the Arena Corinthians stadium, the site of the June 12 inaugural World Cup match between Brazil and Croatia.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians protested during the two weeks of the Confederations Cup soccer competition against the high public spending on those events and demanded more investment in education, health, transportation and other social areas.