In a billion dollar Potemkian operation that will fatten the pockets of private contractors with public money of working people, the Brazilian government, host to FIFA’s World Cup, continues to expel its defenseless poor – employing incredible police violence at gunpoint, from the sight of the incoming tourists and football fans. Support the people in Brazil who are resisting the world cup with your voice: Take part in the tweetstorm on 1/23/14 at 3pm cst, 7 pm brst to raise awareness about the protests coming on 1/25/14: Curta Operation World Cup e participe do EVENTO TWITTAÇO GLOBAL dia 23 para divulgar o ATO NACIONAL do dia 25/JAN.
20,000 people are expected to protest just in Sao Paulo, overall protests will take place in 36 cities in Brazil this Saturday. There is a good reason for them: 170,000 people are to be evicted from their homes and communities so that the mega constructions for the World Cup can be erected.
Police violence is nothing new in Brazil, but as FIFA’s WC approaches, it has gotten worse. Officially, Brazilian police are said to be responsible for “a significant portion of the country’s 48,000 homicides” in 2007, when such an analysis was last done. The ruling class seems embarrassed that the tourists might get to see some of the 20 percent of the population it keeps in utter misery, but it has no shame that so many people in Brazil are hungry, homeless, and without running water or electricity; they just want them out of their sight, not “to spoil” the shining upcoming event. The state has already created an even more deadly repressive Praetorian guard to make sure people’s repression during the WC will be mercilessly enforced.
“Brazil invests far less directly into its public services than any other major economy. When taking into account the US $25 billion that Brazil is spending on hosting the World Cup and the Olympics, justified by promises of improvements to public services, infrastructure, and urban mobility, the reasons why so many people have taken to the streets…becomes all too clear,” this analysis explains.
It continues: “Brazil’s last census revealed that the country now has 6,329 favelas (slums) nationwide, and that they are home to 11.4 million Brazilians – six percent of the population. To this day, the slums – which are home to a fifth of Rio’s population alone – are seen by many as lawless, no-go areas and havens for traffickers smuggling mainly drugs and arms. Until not so long ago, even the police feared to enter these favelas, so fearsome the armed gangs that ruled the roost. In 2008, less than a year after being confirmed as host for the 2014 World Cup, the authorities in Rio began “pacifying” these vast swathes of the city – meaning police forces and tactical squads went in, rooted out the gangs and took back these areas, very much by force – with many killed in the process, including many innocent favela residents. One of the first to undergo this process was the favelas immortalized in the famous Brazilian movie “City of God“, which was based on real events from Rio’s Cidade de Deus favela. It was only the second favela to receive a Police Pacification Unit, known locally by its Portuguese acronym – UPP.”
As the government is evicting more and more poor people from their homes for the profits of private contractors, an uproar is progressively growing in Brazil and around the world against FIFA, the World Cup and the capitalist state of Brazil.
People from all over the world are expressing rage and fury at the sight of militarized cops threatening to shoot poor people and children who they throw in the streets, so that parking lots for FIFA’s WC can be built.
People of Brazil are asking the US and other countries who are accomplices in this racist, economic and social war on the poor to issue a travel warning in Brazil during the World Cup as well. One would think they would find police’s violence against defenseless people of Brazil troublesome and potentially dangerous for travelers. They are clearly putting people at risk by ignoring such brutal and violent cops.
FIFA brag about their “anti-discrimination” and “anti-racism,” but they just accept such abuses going on in Brazil because they are done in the name of their profits. FIFA is expected to make 10 billion USD profit on the World Cup. Brazil’s government spends 27 billion USD – this money will enrich private contractors, and two thirds of them will be paid with interest by the working people. No wonder FIFA is silent about this.
FIFA implicitly subscribes to the racist policies of the Brazilian state against poor blacks and indigenous people. The consequences of the stadium will not disappear just because they have said some nice words, and their statement of non discrimination cannot absolve them from their own racist gentrification. By keeping silent on what the government of Brazil does to its victims, FIFA has become an accomplice to the racist policies of the capitalist state of Brazil. Sadly, people living in Brazil are taken for billions so that FIFA can arrogantly justify this because “football is a religion in the country.”
FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter appears to be shocked that people living in Brazil are enraged by the fact that hospitals, schools, and public services are not taken care of and underfunded, while FIFA’s stadium is a top priority. Opponents of the cup are concerned with much more than just public services, and are also against the violent racism and gentrification practices being employed by the Brazilian state.
Through protest and media, activists are making the world aware of the poor and black Brazilians who are being evicted and thrown into the streets for FIFA’s multi-billion stadium. They fight their government and FIFA to stop the incredible injustices being committed. #Stoptheball is a media campaign against the cup, and cites some consequences of the World Cup for people to think about:
“SPECIAL COURTS OF THE WORLD CUP: If Brazil agrees to them, people will be judged under special laws that apply to the World Cup only. An example is that under these conditions simple acts of protest could be judged as terrorism.
EXCLUSION ZONES: These consist of the stadiums plus a 2Km radius around them. In these zones FIFA controls the movement of people, the security apparatus, and monitors the use of brands that it considers to be property of FIFA (such as the name of the event and the mascot.) FIFA also protects the exclusive sale of its sponsors — so Brazilian street vendors cannot get closer than 2Km from the stadiums.
EVICTIONS: In the lead up to the World Cup, negligence can be justified due to a “state of emergency”. Therefore, many of the host countries’ social and environmental laws are trampled on without great resistance. It is estimated that about 170,000 people will lose their homes because of the event.
TAXES: FIFA stands to make up to $5 billion (actually double) in profits from the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament and yet, it receives a comprehensive tax exemption (no corporate tax, no income tax, no VAT, no excise duties, no local tax, nor any other taxes)”
To stop this, they make other people aware of the abuses FIFA stands for and act upon it:
“USE THE HASHTAG #stoptheball
Vote for FIFA as the WORST CORPORATION of 2013 in the Public Eye Awards http://publiceye.ch/en/case/fifa/
COPY AND SEND the email below to the Chief Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Gilberto Carvalho:
email@example.com with copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
To the General Secretariat of the Government of Brazil and to the Chief Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency:
Dear Gilberto Carvalho, I hereby request the Brazilian government to take concrete and immediate actions in regards to the World Cup of 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games.
I ask you the following:
– That the government STOPS forced evictions until they can be publicly discussed and properly negotiated
– That the government COMPENSATES the victims of violations and forced evictions
– That the government SAYS NO to the special courts of the World Cup
– That the government SAYS NO to the exclusion zones around the stadiums
– That the government DEMANDS FIFA to pay taxes and sets the example to future host countries
The video above exposes the government’s lies – such as “Brazil: A rich country with no poverty. Construction of housing and urbanization.” – and quotes Ronaldo cynically saying: “Without stadiums, you can’t make a world cup happen, my friend. You can’t make a world cup happen with hospitals.”
Sadly, the mockery employed by the World Cup propaganda has reached new heights, with a recent Coca Cola ad that uses a photo of a laughing indigenous man to promote the World Cup. This is considered to be highly offensive, as the real situation involves indigenous people being beaten, teargassed, arrested, forcefully evicted from their land, killed or made homeless by the state of Brazil to facilitate the cup.
A sarcastic rage erupted on social media at the sight of this outrageous commercial. Sarcasm and anger were expressed through creative and humorous parodies of the ad.
“Welcome to the World Cup,” says the original ad, released by Coca Cola to promote FIFA’s World Cup.
“Welcome to the World Cup” and see the “Reality,” was one of many replies from social media users, as the image attached to the original ad shows what actually happens to indigenous people in Brazil.
Other modifications exist as well:
This image welcomes you to the world cup on behalf of a poor woman recently evicted together with others at gunpoint from the houses the government demolished to build parking lots for the cup.
Coca Cola “welcomes you to Brazil” – the country where cops make poor people homeless on behalf of the World Cup.
There are more similar sarcastic replies to Coca Cola’s commercial, like this one by Carlos Latuff, depicting Sérgio Cabral, the governor of Rio de Janeiro stating: “Cleaning up the city for the World Cup and the Olympic Games!” The broom is a reference to forced evictions and gentrification.
“After two violent evictions of Village Maracanã, a great symbol of resistance and dignity in the Indian River is the Black Temple of samba, Mangueira, the beholder cut into his flesh a part of themselves. Hundreds of homes become ruins and residents lose what little we have on behalf of a mega-million-dollar event.
To ensure the profits of shareholders of FIFA – a private corporation – and satisfy sponsors and contractors, the ‘new’ improvements around the stadium will be made over the next 150 days.
Accelerated, the works will increase budgets and too much makeup will be needed to sanitize the area and expel the poor from the scene.
In saying this “CUP WON’T BE,” people cry of hope that life can be wonderful: “We’re building on struggles to bloom tomorrow as a new civilization, tropical, mixed-race and proud of herself. More cheerful because more sustained. Better, because it incorporates itself more humanities. More generous, because open for convenience with all races and cultures and because seated in the most beautiful and luminous province of Tierra. #ResisteMangueira”
This video is now more powerful than when it was posted, as it explains that politicians in Brazil, extremely privileged and enjoying total protection from their capitalist ruling classes and the State, pay themselves salaries almost 88 times more than a teacher is making and 116 times more than the minimum wage.
“Eventually the international outlets…, as the national media does, might portray the protesters as criminals and vandals and delinquents.
The recent uprising that is spurring in Brazil is not an act of violence…. It is the result of what happens when a society is forced to put up with luducrious, nonsensical laws that are created only to benefit the lawmakers themselves. This results in a wealth and social gap so outrageous it would be cause for hilarity if it weren’t true. Some of the policies proposed and approved by our representatives are as follows, and I assure you as incredible as they may appear, I am not making them up. They are real and they are being exercised right now.
Politicians have awarded them the privilege of receiving up to 3 extra monthly salaries… They are paid as if their year had 3 extra months.
Their salary, by the way is about 70,000 reals per month, while minimum wage stands at 600.
Politicians have also awarded themselves privileges for pay expenses such as air tickets, ranging from 10,000 to 22,000 reals.
Government provided houses expenses…
This complete disregard for their constituence has resulted in some deplorable situations in health, in safety and education.
It has come to situation where hospitals look like war zones…
Here the country that brags about how wealthy and advanced it is to host the World Cup has such deplorable, and horrible and sad education conditions that people have just given up on it.
Given the fact that the salary of a politician here is 70,000 can you imagine how much the salary of a professor would be? 800!
… While these disgraceful facts still persist they are building… the most expensive soccer stadium to ever host a World Cup event: 1.2 BILLION …
1.2 BILLION (our note: meanwhile the sum became much bigger) while people starve in slums, and die on hospitals’ corridors.
Poor people that live around the areas that are being prepared to host the soccer games of the World Cup and the Olympics have been evicted from their homes in a Gestapo-like fashion.
This has been going on for too long and people are sick of it.
Only that this time something substantial can be done. And that is where you come in. In 2014 Brazil will host the World Cup and in 2016 the Olympics… Brazil cannot afford to have its imaged smeared if there is a world-wide outlash against the things that are happening here the people in control will be forced to do something about it.
We are not asking you to do much, just please post something about the facts that we just told you… Please make some noise about what is going on down here…. The people are always more powerful than the government chosen to preside over them. Always. Thank you and please help us.”
If you live in Brazil, you can explain other people in the world why FIFA’s football is destroying the lives of people there, and if you live outside Brazil you can express solidarity and help put pressure on FIFA and governments to stop the World Cup.
Put people before the World Cup: #Não Vai Ter Copa: Don’t come to the Cup.