2014 World Cup Protests, Strikes Continue In Brazil As Tournament Nears [PHOTOS]

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Street protests held in opposition to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, as well as an ongoing subway workers’ strike, are causing turmoil in Brazil’s biggest city just three days before the international soccer tournament begins.

Police in São Paulo, Brazil, used tear gas to disperse protesters on Monday as the subway workers’ strike enters its fifth day without a resolution. Despite a court order, the workers voted to continue their strike “indefinitely” on Sunday.

The subway workers’ strike and street protests have crippled São Paulo; more than 20 percent of the city remains in gridlock, local newspaper Folha de São Paulo reports. Meanwhile, transit workers and homeless citizens have held similar protests at the city’s center.

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef has vowed not to allow street protests to disrupt the World Cup, but the country’s citizens are largely dissatisfied with a government that spent an estimated $14 billion on a soccer tournament. A recent poll found that 72 percent of Brazilians are unhappy with their country's situation, while six out of 10 citizens believe the World Cup is bad for the Brazilian economy.

Street demonstrations have plagued Brazil for months, as angry citizens protest the decision to spend so much on the World Cup while leaving myriad domestic issues unresolved. In May, more than 20,000 people affiliated with Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem-Teto, or Homeless Workers’ Movement, took to the streets of São Paulo, disrupting traffic for more than 150 miles.

Meanwhile, Brazil remains unprepared to deal with the influx of an estimated 500,000 tourists who will arrive in the country for the World Cup. Airports and stadiums in several of Brazil’s 12 host cities remain unfinished, while droughts have placed a significant strain on the country’s power grid. As dissent mounts, many people now believe that Brazil's World Cup will be a disaster.

World Cup Street Protests

Members of the Roofless Movement (MTST) join metro workers in a protest on the fifth day of a strike in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. Brazilian police used tear gas on Monday to disperse metro workers on strike in Sao Paulo in defiance of a court order to return to work, causing major traffic congestion just three days before the city hosts the opening match of the World Cup soccer tournament. The banner reads, "All support to the workers strikes." REUTERS/Stringer/Brazil

World Cup Street Protests

Demonstrators run from tear gas fired by police outside Ana Rosa subway station during the fifth day of metro workers' strike in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. Brazilian police used tear gas on Monday to disperse metro workers on strike in Sao Paulo in defiance of a court order to return to work, causing major traffic congestion just three days before the city hosts the opening match of the World Cup soccer tournament. REUTERS/Stringer/Brazil

World Cup Street Protests

A boy wrapped in Brazilian national flag stands in front of policemen and listens to speech from a truck during a protest by metro workers in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. Brazilian police used tear gas on Monday to disperse metro workers on strike in Sao Paulo in defiance of a court order to return to work, causing major traffic congestion just three days before the city hosts the opening match of the World Cup soccer tournament. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

World Cup Street Protests

Residents hold up signs that read, "Metro workers: The people support you," outside Ana Rosa subway station during the fifth day of metro worker's strike in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. Brazilian police used tear gas on Monday to disperse metro workers on strike in Sao Paulo in defiance of a court order to return to work, causing major traffic congestion just three days before the city hosts the opening match of the World Cup soccer tournament. REUTERS/Stringer/Brazil

World Cup Street Protests

A man gestures to a riot policemen inside Ana Rosa subway station during the fifth day of metro worker's protest in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. A court set a 500,000 reais penalty ($223,000) for each day metro workers' union members stay off work from Monday and also declared the strike illegal, complicating preparations for the World Cup opening match. REUTERS/Chico Ferreira

World Cup Street Protests

People run away from tear gas fired by police during the fifth day of metro worker's protest in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. A court set a 500,000 reais penalty ($223,000) for each day metro workers' union membersstay off work from Monday and also declared the strike illegal, complicating preparations for the World Cup opening match. REUTERS/Stringer/Brazil

World Cup Street Protests

A man stands in front of riot policemen inside Ana Rosa subway station during the fifth day of metro worker's protest in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. A court set a 500,000 reais penalty ($223,000) for each day the metro workers' union members stay off work from Monday and also declared the strike illegal, complicating preparations for the World Cup opening match. REUTERS/Chico Ferreira

World Cup Street Protests

A morning commuter rushes past protesters outside the closed entrance of Ana Rosa subway station during the fifth day of metro worker's protest in Sao Paulo June 9, 2014. Subway workers went on strike in Sao Paulo for a fifth day on Monday even after a court ruled the stoppage illegal, spreading chaos across Brazil's biggest city just days ahead of the opening match of the World Cup soccer tournament. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

World Cup Street Protests

Street vendors protest as police expel them from the area around the FIFA Fan Fest during the inauguration in Fortaleza, June 8, 2014. Fortaleza will host six soccer matches of the 2014 World Cup. Picture taken June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Davi Pinheiro

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