Prohibited from holding a "March for Marijuana," cannabis advocates in São Paulo had agreed with police to instead hold a generic protest in defense of freedom of expression. But minutes after the march began May 21, the Military Police attacked the some 1,000 unarmed demonstrators with stun bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets. Television images showed riot troops charging toward the protesters when they tried to march down the busy Paulista Avenue. By-standers and journalists covering the event as well as protesters were caught up in the violence, reports Último Segundo.
Henrique Carneiro, a professor of history at the University of São Paulo who was taking part in the march, was injured after being hit in the head with a percussion grenade and was briefly hospitalized. Four were arrested, including students Lucas Gordon and Julio Delmanto, both members of the group Desentorpecendo a Razão (Stretching Reason), which organized the march. (Toke of the Town, May 21)