Anti-World Cup protests as Brazil play Cameroon

Brasilia: Activists burned a mock World Cup trophy in protests called to demand more investment in health and education as Brazil played a clutch match against Cameroon.

Yesterday` protests in Brasilia, where the match was being played, and Sao Paulo, the cradle of Brazil`s recent protest movement, drew relatively small crowds amid a heavy police presence.

"I want to see a worker earn the same salary as Neymar," was one of the rallying cries for some 200 protesters in Brasilia who marched from a bus station to the stadium where the star striker led the team to victory and a berth in the round of 16.

One group of protesters burned a replica of the gold World Cup trophy Brazil hope to win for a sixth time.

In Sao Paulo, about 200 protesters -- flanked by 200 riot police on foot and 50 more on horseback -- marched up the economic hub`s central Paulista Avenue, about 25 kilometers from where the Netherlands beat Chile 2-0.

The protesters held a red banner reading "No to repression" and traded insults with several residents of high-rises who were screaming from their balconies while watching Brazil`s 4-1 win on television.

"There aren`t many protesters because of the police repression on the first day of the Cup," said Rodrigo Antonio, 36, referring to the tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets police used to break up protesters on June 12, the day the tournament opened in Sao Paulo.

Police arrested two protesters at the end of the march amid a scuffle, according to AFP reporters.

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets last year to demand more spending on infrastructure and social programs in protests that erupted during the Confederations Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal.

But the protests have been far smaller during the World Cup, drawing crowds in the hundreds at most.

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