by VINCENT BEVINS, Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2014
Clashes between police and squatters resisting eviction paralyzed Sao Paulo on Tuesday morning, as streets were emptied and the center of South America’s largest city was filled with tear gas and smoke from at least one torched city bus.
Large-scale demonstrations and street conflicts have taken place periodically across Brazil since June 2013, but had largely subsided since the beginning of the World Cup soccer tournament this June.
Chaos returned on Tuesday, however, after the forced eviction of members of the FLM, or Front to Fight for Housing, one of the many groups living in abandoned buildings in the city’s center. More than 70 people were arrested in the melee.
“All of a sudden this morning, this neighborhood was like something out of a terror film,” said Ylma Calixto, 38, who works across the street from the site of the eviction. “The people living in that building, they had nowhere else to go, and so when the police came, they fought back the way I guess they thought they should.” Continue reading