Financially speaking, the Olympics are a huge scam that allows Olympic committees, bureaucrats, and contractors to get rich at the expense of Brazil’s government and its citizens. Brazil’s economy is in the toilet, and it has a staggering inequality problem. There have been protests the entire time Brazil has been evicting folks for quixotic construction projects, and as the Olympic Torch has arrived in Rio for the opening ceremony, it has been the subject of a fresh wave of action.
All the official photos of the torch’s passage through Rio show a well-behaved crowd flanking the torch and its envoys as it passes through the street. That is because riot cops have been coming through and violently clearing out protestors. Last week, they actually managed to put the torch out.
Yesterday, in the Rio neighborhood of Niteroi, riot cops pepper sprayed protestors in order to clear the way for the torch to make its way through. The Associated Press managed to capture a minute’s worth of video from the front lines.
This afternoon, cops shot a 10-year-old with a rubber bullet and sent a few others to the hospital, per a report from Globo. Also, this dude showed his ass.
There are still two more days of parades and torch relays until the opening ceremony, and with most all of the athletes and media now in Rio, even more scrutiny will be on the protests and police action (it’s worth pointing out that 1.3 million tickets for events around the city remain unsold). Additionally, traffic has been so bad in Rio that the mayor declared tomorrow a national holiday in a desperate effort to unclog Rio’s famously snarled roads.