Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – “This is Rio!” said one man as he took a photo of the Brazilian city’s famous Copacabana Beach and a group of tourists walking in it.
The man’s caption was clearly intended to be a joke.
The joke came on Thursday as hundreds of Brazilians protested in Rio’s main squares over what they said were racist attacks against people of colour and other groups.
The protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter!” and “No to racism!” and clashed with police, some of whom threw water bottles at the crowd.
One of the protesters was hit by a tear gas canister.
The police said they had arrested one person, and the protests have spread across Rio and the rest of the country.
Rio’s Copacamp is one of the biggest sporting venues in the world, with more than 20 million people taking part in the annual World Cup games.
Many Brazilians are worried about what they say is a rising level of racism in the country and how it has affected their country’s reputation as a global leader.
Rio is seen as one of Africa’s most promising future economic centres and a destination for wealthy tourists.
The protesters said they were not protesting against racism, but were reacting to a wave of racist attacks that have taken place in recent months in the city.
“The police are saying that we’re all racists,” said protester Roberto Fernandes.
“But we are not racists.
We are people of different backgrounds, we have different opinions.
Racism doesn’t exist here.
Racists are criminals.”
Many Brazilians have been protesting against racist attacks in recent weeks against those of different races and ethnicities, which they say are taking place in Rio, including in the streets and in public spaces.
Some of the people of African descent have been attacked in public, as have people of European descent, including journalists and university students.
There have also been reports of police officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
On Thursday, hundreds of police, firefighters and others gathered outside the city’s main cathedral, the Basilica da Gamae, where they also chanted anti-racism slogans.
Ahead of the protests, the president of Brazil’s largest union federation, the Federation of State and Municipal Employees, was also in Rio.
In Rio, the police chief said that police would not tolerate “unacceptable attacks on people of a different race” or other forms of racism.
Protests have also taken place elsewhere in the state, including at a city council meeting and in Sao Paulo, where thousands of people marched in the capital to show their opposition to racism.