August 5, 2016
Thousands of people from social and political movements in Rio de Janeiro continued to protest against the interim president of Brazil Michel Temer during the second day of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
An estimated 30,000 protesters gathered around the Maracana Stadium on Friday, where the opening ceremony of the games took place, but were met by security forces who managed to stop them from entering the stadium.
Earlier on Friday, Brazilian police used teargas to disperse hundreds of people in Rio de Janeiro that were protesting against the coup government of Temer. Meanwhile, in the city of Sao Paulo, 35 protesters were arrested by police.
After the opening ceremony two people died of gunshots near the stadium. One was alleged to be a thief that was gunned down by police after a shooting. The second person was a woman driving through the Olympic Boulevard, who was shot during an attempted assault.
In recent months protests against the impeachment process that seeks to permanently oust President Dilma Rousseff have increased around the country. Protests are also taking place in opposition to the financial cost of the Olympics as Temer’s coup government continues to slash social programs while a number of corruption cases rock the new government.
Workers’ Party protesters and supporters of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the suspended President Rousseff also marched through the streets of Rio in protest against the new administration.
Since Rousseff was suspended, organizations have led a number of major protests around the country and polls reveal a majority of the Brazilian population wants new elections. Temer is serving as interim president but has been banned from running for public office for eight years.
Days ago, police used tear gas to disperse a small demonstration by students and teachers that blocked the streets of Niteroi, where the Olympic torch was supposed to travel on its way to Rio.
Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer was booed and jeered inside the Maracana stadium Friday after announcing the inauguration
“I declare open the XXXI edition of the Olympic Games,” announced Temer as part of the tradition of heads of state inaugurating the games. But a crowd could be heard whistling and jeering as he uttered the words.
To add further embarrassment to Brazil’s interim leader, organizers and members of the International Olympic Committee did not mention Temer at the beginning of their speeches, despite them saluting United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who was seated in the same area as Temer.
In marked contrast, the first refugee team to ever compete in the Olympics received a loud cheer by athletes, authorities and attendants.
Suspended president Dilma Rousseff had previously said she would not attend the ceremony. “I don’t think it’s appropriate that the ousted president should attend a ceremony that is lead by an illegitimate president.”