Homeless In The Name Of FIFA’s World Cup

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Refugees in FIFA’s land. Poor working people are hunted down and terrorized by the police, after being evicted at gunpoint from their homes. Photo via Black Bloc RJ

This text has been written by people in Rio de Janeiro who fight for the working poor terrorized by the state of Brazil in the name of FIFA‘s World Cup. They are witnesses of this aggression and they help the voices of the people, who came under the military threat of tanks and guns, be heard. This is the real World Cup.

Pacifying” Rio de Janeiro and the exodus of the favela-dwellers

“A procession of children, with their parents, carrying the remnants of abandoned homes, mattresses, blankets and bags on a nocturnal odyssey through Rio’s city centre like refugees crossing borders, are heading for refuge in the Cathedral of the city which will be host to the next World Cup.

Thousands were evicted from the long-abandoned Telerj building in Engenho Novo. From six different favelas of the region, they sought a living space in this city where prices have spiraled and had, in the space of a week, invested their resources to build wooden huts. The shock troops of Rio state’s military police which have violently repressed all political protests since June 2013, were unleashed against families with many small children and old people. They threw bombs from low-flying aircraft, torched huts with flame-throwers and sprayed torrents of chemicals at adults and children alike. Four children were reported dead, but this could not be verified.

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“Hope dies when the will to fight dies”, photo by Tandy Firmino, via Black Bloc RJ

The Rio State UPP (Pacifying Police Units) installed in favelas of the city’s South Zone function as a gradual eviction programme, in the process of gentrification. Other areas have been demolished to make space for stadium parking lots or new freeways. Many evicted from the Telerj building were evicted from other areas.

Some 300 of the evicted, half of them children, set up camp in front of City Hall. The city’s solution once again was the batons and aggression of the Municipal Guard and Military Police.
The refugees at their gate tested the christian tenets of the catholics. All Easter celebrations were cancelled due to “security risks” including the weekend breakfast for the homeless with whom the refugees shared food donated by activists.” (AuthorsSindia Bugiarda and Fabricio Souza , and translated by Elizabeth Maisão Dos Santos and Vik Birkbeck)

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Photo by Paula Kossatz

This video, by  Paula Kossatz and Katja Schiliròtranslated into English, documents the testimony of a homeless woman, who is occupying the City Hall of Rio in protest after being evicted at gunpoint from her home.

“Evicted from Rio de Janeiro:

This is a shame! They’re doing it all over again! Silently, overnight! The politicians ordered it! Eduardo Paes (Rio’s mayor) and Pazao (Rio’s governor) ordered it!

Demand that they evict and hit our children! Instead of providing houses? Instead of talking that UPP shit out of our communities?

You are just oppressing us with this bullshit!

We don’t have any sticks! We don’t have anything to confront you with! You’re a bunch of cowards! You’re worst than a trench!”

In the name of FIFA’s World Cup, the government created the UPP project – unit of pacifying police – in some of Rio’s slums (favelas).

The UPP merely set some military police inside favelas to pretend Rio is not a violent city.

After all, FIFA and the World Cup’s sponsors need this kind of make-up.

With the “pacification” of favelas rent fees have raised so much that poor people have been forced to leave their homes and occupy abandoned buildings over the city.

This woman is one of the new World Cup’s homeless.

Anywhere people go, the government sends its military police to evict them with the use of force and violence. These people were occupying the sidewalk beside the city hall, fighting for their rights after being evicted from an occupation at a telephone company (named Oi) abandoned building.

This is Brazil under a dictatorship in the name of mega-events…”

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“Sick Cup”, photo by Brenda Ortigoza, De Olho na Rua.

Nao Vai Ter Copa. There will be no Cup. But “there will be a fight“, as residents from the street Santo Amaro from Rio de Janeiro announce in their graffiti dedicated to the World Cup. Check out these so-called “extremists”, “anarchists” and “looters” – as they are labeled in this piece of capitalist propaganda – Black Prof (professors).

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at - revnewsmedia@gmail.com