World Cup 2014 – Go Away!

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Don’t think that the street protests contra the World Cup Football 2014, organised by Black Bloc and supported by a wide range of social movements, is a minority affair. It isn’t. Not only the intended goals (education, health care) are very serious matters that are alive in any Brazilian, but the capital waste and corruption with the World Cup and Olympics (which will come in 2 years) is seen as a burden for the people, taken away from them the chances of necessary improvements in society, as the actual needs of the people aren’t benefitting.

And that nationwide support shows. A recent survey of the Instituto MDA revealed that the Brazilian is a bit sniffy about the organisation of the World Cup in his country. To come to this conclusion the analysts took in consideration the answers in the survey related to whether the Brazilian supports the selection of their country by the Fifa in 2007 to host the World Cup. 50% of the answers were negative.

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Commissioned by the Confederação Nacional do Transporte (CNT), the research concluded that 50.7% of the Brazilians didn’t want their country making a bid to host the football tournament. The survey, carried out between 9 and 14 February, asked 2,000 Brazilians in 24 states questions related to the expenses made for the World Cup, the urban infrastructure works and the possibilities of street protests in the cities that host games during the Cup, scheduled to run its course between 12 June and 13 July.

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Of the people interviewed, 75.8% find the investments made for the World Cup out of bounds, while 13.3% think that the expenditures are adequate and 7.3% say the investments are insufficient. The same critical consensus was also found in relation to the urban infrastructure works. 66.6% of the respondents said that the improvements of the metros, trains and busses, let alone the airports, will not be ready in time. In a reportage in the daily newspaper Estado do São Paulo last week the journalist Almir Leite concluded that of the 41 urban infrastructure works in the country, just five were completed.

The preoccupation with street protests contra the organisation of the World Cup also was included in the survey. According to 85.4% of the people interviewed new manifestations have to be expected during the period of the World Cup.
But whatever the contraventions about the exploded expenditures, corruption and the lack of basic social attributes, and his wish to see the World Cup “Go away, out of his country”, the Brazilian has full faith in the Brazilian football team. 56.2% thinks that the team will win the tournament and will be hexa-champion.

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This World Cup already has been typified as the “Cup of Cups”. President Dilma Rousseff characterised the 2014 World Cup as the “The Cup of Peace”.
Ironically the statement came a day after Dilma mentioned the possibility of the Armed Forces getting involved in the security during the event.

In this year of general elections, peace is what Dilma badly needs, as the phantom of the protests will haunt the government. Although the present protests still are far from a reproduction of the impact caused by the demonstrations of June last year, they serve to bring back to President Dilma Rousseff and her allies the memory of the potential political damage they can cause.

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Just remember. After the protesters took to the streets, especially against the poor quality of public services and the corruption of politicians, the popularity of all politicians dropped impressively. In the three year of Dilma’s administration so far, this is the only thing that concretely threatens her chances of re-election. According to Datafolha, in less than a month, Dilma Rousseff fell back twenty-one percentage points in the poll of voting intentions for the 2014 elections.

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The signal the protesters in June 2013 sent was related to their request for higher quality public services and intolerance with high expenses or corruption. The motto of the protests of the end of this week was the excessive expenditure on the organization of the World Cup. Judging by what happened last Saturday, with the reappearance of the Black Blocs, the manifestations will be violent again and can extend up to June, the period of the World Cup event. Adding this to the still effervescent “rolezinhos” *) movement and it will be clear that the streets will be the main arena of the electoral disputes in 2014.

*) Rolezinho (in Brazil’s informal language, it means “go for a little walk” or “strolling”). It is a neologism to define a type of flash mob or coordinated meeting of hundreds of people in places such as squares, parks and shopping centres. The meetings are announced via internet, often through social networks like Facebook.
The phenomenon is, according to sociologists and professors, a social “apartheid” which denounces social and racial inequality in country.