Rio de Janeiro: Rio Olympics organizers threw their weight behind a police crackdown on Brazilians holding up signs in stadiums against unpopular interim president Michel Temer, despite accusations of censorship.
“We are alerting the public that these kinds of manifestations are not allowed inside the venues,” Rio 2016 organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada told journalists yesterday.
In multiple incidents since the Games opened Friday, police have confiscated small signs featuring the words “fora Temer,” Portuguese for “out with Temer.” Some cases involve no more than a sheet of paper displayed in silence until police intervene.
Sometimes the slogan pops up on a placard held behind television news reporters as they film from the street. One man participating in the Olympic torch relay last week painted the words on his buttocks, which he revealed by pulling down his shorts.
Other times people shout “fora Temer” — a cry that erupted en masse at Friday’s ceremony in the Maracana stadium when the interim president declared in a speech lasting just a few seconds that the Games were open.
Temer, the former vice president, took over in May from elected president Dilma Rousseff when she was suspended for an impeachment trial. She faces being removed permanently from office just days after the Olympics if convicted of breaking budgetary laws.
With the political crisis close to climax, organizers have been unable to prevent tensions spilling over into the Olympics.
In a creative version of the anti-Temer movement, a group of people at a US-France women’s football game in Belo Horizonte on Saturday sat in a row with T-shirts that together spelled out “fora Temer.” They were expelled from the stadium, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.
Another incident posted online that has got almost two million views shows four burly officers from an elite branch of the police surrounding and eventually taking a protester from his seat. MORE (AFP)
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