Olympic Flag Arrives In Rio, Met By Demonstrators
A handful of demonstrators gathered outside the airport as the Olympic flag arrived in Rio Monday, to protest expulsions connected with Olympic projects and others tied to the 2014 soccer World Cup in Brazil.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes waved the flag as he and other officials left the plane. Paes said it was an "important moment" for Rio and for Brazil at large, pledging that the Games will leave a vast legacy for Rio, the beachside metropolis that suffered from decades of neglect after it lost national capital status to Brasilia in 1960.
The Associated Press reports Paes said, "I see the arrival of this Olympic flag as not the start, but the consolidation of an important process of transformation for the city of Rio de Janeiro".
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports the Popular Committee for the Word Cup and Olympics which organized the protest, says as many as 170,000 people risk being removed from their homes, or already have been removed, due to projects related to the two mega-events.
The group says about 4,000 people in the Vila Autodromo, where the Olympic Park is to be constructed, are facing expulsion, and activists have complained of a lack of consultation between the government and the affected communities, and also of low compensation paid to those kicked out of their homes.
Paes responded that nothing would be done without extensive consultations. He said, "no one is going to throw anyone out of anywhere...without there being an alternative. The people will only leave there with lots of consultations, with lots of discussions, with lots of respect".Write or read comments about this article
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