search

Pro-Palestinians activists join Rio protest

RIO, Brazil — Pro-Palestinian activists join some 500 protesters on the final day of the World Cup in Rio.

Covering a mile-long tract of Rio’s Tijuca neighborhood on Sunday morning before the tournament concludes at nearby Maracanã Stadium, the protesters are flanked by phalanxes of military police, with groups of police stationed on every side of Praça Saens Pena where the protest terminated.

The protesters represent a diverse group of causes including those against the economic and social cost of the event, and political parties. Of particular note, however, are the handful of large Palestinian flags and a potpourri of protest signs against Israel’s ongoing military action in Gaza.

A Rio protester dons a Messi jersey and a keffiyah, a garment associated with the pro-Palestinian camp. (Greg Scruggs/Times of Israel)
A Rio protester dons a Messi jersey and a keffiyah, a garment associated with the pro-Palestinian camp. (Greg Scruggs/Times of Israel)

Support for Palestinians has long been a cause célèbre of the global left and in Brazil that is no exception. The protest, advertised on social media, was not explicitly billed as a pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel event, and no mention of current events in the Middle East were made in the event description. However, in addition to the flags and signs, some marchers hand out literature decrying the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip. At the conclusion of the march, a group chant in solidarity with victims in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

There are scattered Germany and Argentina jerseys in the crowd and one woman wears a Messi jersey with a keffiyah over her head, a common accessory among the pro-Palestinian supporters.

— Greg Scruggs

comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed