World

Police Use Tear Gas For Olympic Torch Relay (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Brazilian police protestersBrazilian police protesters

Police dispersed protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets on the Olympic torch relay route in Duque de Caxias, a poor section of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 3 (video below).

Video footage from The Caxiense, a local news site, showed riot police firing tear gas and pushing a path through the crowd.

According to police, anti-government protesters got in the way of the torch and tossed rocks, reports The Independent.

The protesters were angry about at the estimated $11 billion cost of hosting the Olympics in Brazil, which has suffered one of its worst economic depressions.

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Local media sources noted that three people, including a 10-year-old girl, suffered injuries from the rubber bullets.

At one point during the torch relay in the troubled city, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes carried the famous flame.

Demonstrators from the Sao Goncalo area threatened to extinguish the flame, while other protesters shouted: "While the torch passes lit in Itaborai [a city nearby], jobs, health and education are put out."

During the torch relay, some torch bearers had to reportedly retreat to a shelter that was near a police department.

There have been numerous protests against the torch relay throughout the country by government employees who have not been paid, despite billions going to the Games.

Many Rio residents have been angered by the massive traffic problems caused by a new express lane for athletes and Olympic officials.

The Olympic torch will appear at the opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 5.

The final torch bearer is a secret, but famed Brazilian soccer player Pele said that he was asked to light the Olympic cauldron, notes Reuters.

Brazil beat out Chicago and other cities for the Games host back in 2009 when the economy was doing well.

About 85,000 police, military soldiers, and other security personnel are working the Rio Games, which is more than twice the number in 2012 during the London Summer Games.

There were about 1.3 million unsold tickets on Aug. 3, but close to half those tickets are for soccer games taking place in other Brazilian cities, according to the Rio organizing committee.

Sources: Reuters, The Independent / Photo credit: RT/YouTube  

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