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Two members from about 4,000 families facing removal by a World Cup 2014 Light Rail project in Fortaleza, Brazil, managed to present a document to President Dilma Rousseff detailing the atrocities they have experienced in the project’s implementation at an event earlier this month, according to The Movement to Fight in Defense of Housing (MLDM).

Protest to prevent World Cup removals

Protesters outside inauguration of two metro stations. Photo: Mídia Ninja

About a thousand protesters greeted the president who was attending the inauguration ceremony of two metro stations, where the community members had managed to enter the highly-policed event and gain the president’s attention. In addition to those from the threatened communities, their supporters, and various other groups all protesting outside, there was a strong presence of indigenous peoples calling for a politic that values them through the demarcation, recognition, and protection of their traditional territories, according to MLDM. They were also protesting against the high frequency of indigenous deaths throughout Brazil.

Indigenous leaders at protest

Indigenous groups attend in support, along with additional demands. Photo: Mídia Ninja

The state has recently taken steps to begin construction of this World Cup Light Rail project that links the wealthy hotel area of Fortaleza to the soccer stadium despite the organized resistance among the 22 communities affected demanding to remain in their homes. But as the world has seen throughout recent months, thousands of people have taken to the streets throughout Brazil, facing violent police repression, to fight for a change in the priorities of those in power as billions of dollars enter the country for the World Cup and Olympics. The protests upon the president’s arrival in Fortaleza show this momentum is only continuing to build.