Thousands protest along Copacabana just hours before Olympic opening ceremony


Thousands of anti-government protesters marched along Rio's Copacabana on Friday - just hours before the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

While there was no hint of violence during the latest show of unrest, the demonstration proved a hugely unwelcome sight for Games organisers as the opening ceremony countdown continued.

The majority of protesters seemed to be supporters of ousted president Dilma Rousseff, chanting "Dilma, ole, ole, ole" repeatedly.

A protester holds a sign while holding a loud speaker to his mouth (Leo Correa/AP)
(Leo Correa/AP)

Michel Temer, a 75-year-old law professor, became acting president after the Senate voted in favour of launching an impeachment trial against Rousseff, suspending her.

One of the posters amid the protests, translated, read: "'Out Temer! The people should decide," while a bin with a spray-painted stencil had the words "stop coup in Brazil."

Despite deep-seated anger among the protesters, the atmosphere remained calm.

The pre-ceremony protest followed ugly scenes on Thursday that marred the Olympic torch's arrival in the Brazilian city.

A demonstrator holds a sign with a message that reads in Portuguese;
(Leo Correa/AP)

Against a backdrop of civil and political unrest in the country, hundreds of people turned out to challenge the torch's arrival in Rio out of anger over the cost of hosting the Games.

More than 80,000 police and security staff are being used in Rio - double the amount used for the London Olympics in 2012.

Away from the protests, the build-up to Rio has seen traffic jams bringing the city to a halt as an express lane for athletes and officials comes into use.