A maelstrom of malcontent in São Paulo, Brazil, coalesced into large street riots on Thursday just as England and Uruguay ended their World Cup match in the city.
Tensions were high in the city after group of men dressed in black threw explosives -- possibly fireworks -- into a bar crowded with England supporters gearing up for their country's match. The men fled to a bus but were arrested and were found to have knives, more fireworks and brass knuckles on them. No one was seriously injured, according to the U.K. Telegraph.
A couple of hours later, around 2,000 Brazilian protesters took to the streets to mark the anniversary of last year’s public transportation protests. It was organized by Free Fare, the same group that started last year’s massive protests. Thursday's protest began peacefully, but some marchers later turned to violence and vandalism as the England-Uruguay game started on the opposite side of the city, the Associated Press reported.
The protesters broke the windows of banks and broke into a car dealership to smash the cars there. As they did last year, the demonstrators set up burning barricades. Police responded with tear gas and finally quelled the unrest after five hours or so. Eyewitnesses claim the anarchist group “Black Block” was behind much of the violence and destruction of property, AP reported.
So far there have been no reports of international fans who were in São Paulo for the World Cup being caught up in the riots. Protesters spoke out against the World Cup, but frustrations were mostly pointed at the city and its public transportation system.