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Brazil poll shows drop in support for protests

May 22, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — Support for protests in Brazil’s biggest city is waning, a new poll published Thursday said.

The respected Datafolha polling institute said that 52 percent of those asked supported the demonstrations. That’s sharply down from June of last year, when protests were at their peak and 89 percent of the respondents said they favored them.

Last year’s protests were over increases in bus and subway fares, government corruption, poor public services and the billions of dollars spent to host the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Several smaller protest rallies have taken place since.

On Thursday night, protesters demanding low-cost public housing took to the streets on one of Sao Paulo’s busiest streets, blocking traffic, while a similar protest took the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s sixth-largest city.

Last week, protesters and police clashed in Sao Paulo and other cities during demonstrations against the World Cup, and rallies calling for improved public services.

Datafolha surveyed 819 people on May 20, the first day of a 48-hour strike by bus drivers that left hundreds of thousands of people stranded in the city that hosts the opening game of the World Cup on June 12.

The survey It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

The poll also said that 45 percent of the people interviewed favored holding the World Cup in Brazil while 43 percent said they were against it.

For 76 percent of the respondents, Brazil is not ready to host the event.

Construction in some stadiums has not been completed. Not all infrastructure work will be completed on time and the government has said that communications inside stadiums won’t be perfect and unfinished airports remain a big concern.

Update hourly