We are just days away from the start of World Cup in Brazil and there has been a lot of media coverage raising concerns in regards to safety, due to the daily protests that are occurring throughout the country. Not many media outlets are explaining the full reason why the Brazilians are protesting against FIFA and their government and why they are opposing the tournament so ferociously but it is becoming seemingly clear that the Road to Rio is paved with potholes of corruption and greed.
When you look into the history of football, Brazil is right up there as one of the most memorable countries in the world, they frequent the highest place in the world rank on a regular basis and they are the most successful nation having won the World Cup 5 times and the FIFA Confederations Cup 4 times. Over the years they have produced many a talented footballer and played many a great game, arguably some of the best we have ever seen. They were the first nation to play pretty and exciting football as their performances certainly had a samba flair about them and they entertained the world with the way they won their trophies.
There has always been an admiration for Brazilian football around the world but that is nothing compared to the love their nation has for the National team and all football in general, they adore it, it is a big part of their culture and the passion doesn’t only lie with their National team they love their club football too. So for the majority of Brazilian citizens to oppose the World Cup there had to be a drastic reason why?
“We are a people living in a ‘neo-liberal’ dictatorship, and this World Cup only flung open that reality.”
I decided to do some research into situation occurring and why one of the world’s biggest footballing nations no longer want to host the tournament and I was fortunate enough to acquire an interview with Anonymous Rio, a movement that represents the people against the corruption and terrible conditions that the country is being forced to endure. They were able to explain the situation more clearly and highlight the political and humanitarian issues that are being ignored by their government and FIFA.
1) Anonymous Rio are one of the biggest organisations against the World Cup this summer and you were the first group to launch the “Operation Stop the World Cup” can you tell me whether the protest is against the Government, FIFA or both?
First, we would like to stop being classified as an organization, since this cell is made by Anonymous idealists. Anonymous is an idea, not a group.
The motives for rioting in Brazilian society are not recent. The population is daily mistreated by a government that doesn’t give any priority to health, education and public transportation issues. With the 2014 World Cup, this became even more evident. Our government spent billions on stadiums and infrastructure to serve an event that will last least than a month. The total cost of the world cup, so far, is already over R$30 Billion, and about 85% of that amount is public funding.
2) I have researched a lot of the reasons why the World Cup should not go ahead but can we hear from your perspective just how bad things are and why the people of Brazil are determined not to let this competition go ahead?
Thousands of people are suffering; entire families were already removed from their homes without any notice or warning, without any fair agreement or replacement. In a similar fashion as what happened during the nazist regime in Germany, they simply had their houses marked and demolished. Countless people have died in this process. The State’s repression have increased because of the World Cup, unconstitutional laws were sanctioned exclusively to repress protests. For example: the prohibition of any kind of mask in public during protests and the creation of a committee that could gather all kinds of information without a formal court order, named “Comissão Especial de Investigação de Atos de Vandalismo (CEIV)” (Special Investigation Committee for Acts of Vandalism)
Impunity is everywhere, especially within military corporations. Governments are not judged, and when they are, nothing comes out, or they are not arrested. Nobody investigates and disciplines police crimes, who are free to commit murders, torture and kidnappings. Nobody trusts the Public Prosecution, because the bureaucracy takes years, and because your complaint may fall in the ears of militiamen (that act like a mafia).
Because of unnecessary and overpriced spending of public fund, they tell us that “this is what we need to stimulate the economy”. We know very well that Brazil has, and produces, most of material resources and money that it needs. Half of all that capital goes to banks and “damping debts”. The rest is swallowed by the terrible administration of our country.
With a national “idol” (Pele) that says “its normal, go ahead” about the death of construction workers in one of FIFA’s facilities, it’s hard to hide the reason “why” we don’t want this World Cup. We are being used by FIFA, a corporation without any sense of responsibility and social consequence, just to host a sportive event.
3) When we think of Brazil in a footballing aspect we are reminded of the greatness that has emerged in the past such as Pele, Ronaldo, Garrincha, Romario and many others, there is a steep football history and the nation love the sport so to not want to host the World Cup only indicate that something has gone really wrong-can you explain why it has changed.
The Brazilian population still love football. We are still a “footballistic” country. But what is the point watching a game when you are hungry, or lying almost dead without any primary health care? Where is the fun of football when you are dumped of your own home to give place to construction of mega events? Who can enjoy football when a police corporation, that swore to serve and protect the people killed your relatives for completely arbitrary reasons? Yet will born the citizen that unreservedly loves football, even when the major media calls him a tramp and a thug, justifying his death by murder.
4) In the description of Brazil’s World cup bid they stated that they would spend less than $1billion on renovating the stadium’s but Mané Garrincha’s renovations have cost $750 million already and the proposed figure has risen to $3billion most of which will be taken from the public, would you say this is the main cause of the animosity that is occurring with the people and the government?
This is ONE of the animosities. The actual value is higher than R$30 Billion ($14 Billion dollars). As said before, unpunished authorities, unconstitutional and repressive laws, thousands of families unwittingly removed without any proper and dignified plan of relocation, a partial and omissive major media that only shows the governments “official version” and absolutely state deafness to popular demands, repression against rioters…all of these are motives to animosities. We live in a disguised dictatorship, and whoever sponsors it is keen to tighten the bolts against those who disagree with what is happening.
5) Why have you advised Tourists not too visit during the summer? Will it be protecting them from the violent protests that are occurring or under the premise that they support your vision that the money invested in the World Cup should be spent on repairing the decline you are currently suffering?
It would be rather naive to think this is for altruistic motives, “saving the tourists”. We want a boycott. We don’t want tourists, because we are done with make-up politics of “social hygiene” that makes our population bleed everyday. A tourist would be safer in a protest than casually walking in the streets. Violent protests are the one’s when police turn them into violence. If they don’t show up, they are pacific. Violence ALWAYS comes from repression, resulting in a violent response from the population.
We want to pass a very clear message: do not come. Do not give money to this catastrophe, by coming here you are helping with the mass murders of the poor and marginalized that our government, and the corporations behind it, are promoting. Do you really want to help our country? How about making international pressure to end this extirpation and a mass boycott, instead of coming here to make favela (gang) money and sexual tourism?
6) What do you hope will be the eventual outcome of the campaign against the World Cup?
Any forethought given, our people will pay the price. We can tell that the World Cup will be much less than expected, and we hope our people succeed in transmit the message that really matters:
“We are a people living in a ‘neo-liberal’ dictatorship, and this World Cup only flung open that reality.”
We expect people to fight for their rights and knowing that whilst stationary, those who have the power will do nothing for them.
The current climate in Brazil is dire, the country is in a massive state of decline and their government are refusing to acknowledge the issues that are affecting the day to day living of millions of people.
Anonymous Rio have indicated the seriousness of the situation explained clearly how their country will be affected by this in their interview. This is the worst thing that could happen to their country and that’s why they are against the World Cup so fervently.
The people will not receive any money from this tournament, the money made from the World Cup will not even cover the debt they have accrued from rebuilding the stadiums and preparing for influx of people about to hit their nations. Whatever money is made will go to private corporations, sponsors and Favela so the taxpayers and the poor will see no benefit and they are left in a worse condition as a result.
“Fifa’s excessive greed has damaged many lives once again”
Everyday people are dying in the streets at the hands of the Favela and Brazilian police, people have lost their homes, 70% of the country’s water is untreated, the improvement works to the transport system have been abandoned and workers are striking over low wages and residents are protesting over fare rises.
Only 20% of the countries schools are up to teaching standard and their healthcare system is failing due to closures of hospitals and the only a minimal amount are clean and fully staffed.
None of this has been taken into consideration when FIFA accepted the bid from Brazil, they should never have allowed them to spend that amount of money on stadiums and merchandise for tourists, not when billions of Reais could have been spent on providing a better life for the people of Brazil.
You have to question why FIFA keep doing this year after year when there is no benefit to the country at all, they are already facing corruption allegations in regards to Qatar but the bigger issue isn’t being acknowledged right now, they should have moved this tournament to another country and allowed Brazil to try and repair the crisis that the whole country is in but instead their excessive greed has damaged many lives once again.
So the directive here is: Support the football and your National teams with pride, watch all the games and make memories with your families, celebrate at home or in various other places but don’t travel to Brazil! Don’t spend money on any of the merchandise or anything from the sponsors, do not contribute any money towards the people who are ruining countries that just don’t have the money or the facilities to survive with or without these tournaments.
Football is changing every year as bigger sums of money are involved. Greed, dishonesty and corruption is everything that this current tournament stands for.
When did it become all about the money?
Thank-you for reading and please feel free comment and share the post on.
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