FIFA receives a red card from Brazil. In the nation that loves football like no other, an unprecedented firestorm of outrage has been seen for the past year. Millions of students, workers and teachers, people from the middle class and from the slums are rising up together against corruption, greed and destruction of nature in connection with the World Cup. They can no longer stay silent while hundreds of thousands of impoverished people are driven out of their homes to make way for stadiums and infrastructure, while billions of tax dollars are squandered for a short-lived sports event, when at the same time large parts of the population live below the poverty line. There is no adequate health care, no decent schools, no prospects for millions of people.
Anything that might disturb the glossy façade of the World Cup was forcibly removed, driven out and thrown away by the military police in the months of preparation. Children who were abducted and disappeared in brothels or dubious “education homes,” children who were caught off guard and shot in cold blood by roving death squads in the night. (The Danish television correspondent Mikkel Keldorf, who should report in the run-up to the World Cup, resigned from his work, as he was witness to this crackdown. He instead has documented the events in his film “The Price of the World Cup.”) Behind the world-class football, behind the images of cheering fans, smiling Samba beauties and romantic beaches is an immeasurable injustice. Stop all this madness!
The resistance now rising in Brazil needs our international solidarity and support. It could set an example for the global dawn of a new era. Their struggle is not only targeted against FIFA, but against the appropriation of their country by the forces of globalization. The World Cup is in line with destructive mega projects, such as the Belo Monte dam, whereby huge areas of rainforest are being destroyed and tens of thousands of indigenous people expelled. Land area the size of Belgium is covered with nothing other than genetically modified soy, used for animal feed in “developed” countries. How can the fight against this system be won?
Now the government has summoned 200,000 soldiers to be at the venues so the World Cup can be carried out despite the riots. When the protests started a year ago, a policeman threw his pistol into the fire during a demonstration in São Paulo and shouted, “It’s enough! I can’t do it any longer!” The video of his courageous act was widely shared. He could no longer proceed against the protesters because he knew that justice was on their side.
Everywhere in the world two fronts face each other. On both sides there are young people of the same age: the protest movement on one side, police and military on the other. They could be friends! It’s not personal hatred that makes them enemies; it is the logic of a completely twisted system.
The revolution can be won if it is connected to a positive goal.
Instead of repeating the mistakes of capitalism, Brazil, as a rising threshold country, could pioneer a different form of development – one that protects nature and life:
The new life system emerges from a network of autonomous communities. People have become independent from the centralist supply systems. They follow the logic of nature and not the laws of capital. Water, food and energy are thus abundantly available for everyone. They lead a life of solidarity with all fellow human beings, in cooperation with nature and its beings. They have created social systems in which contact, truth and trust are possible again, also between men and women. Children grow up in safety and trust.
Imagine that these new centers would arise in all countries and continents. Even the cities would be transformed in the direction of social and environmental renewal. The policemen would no longer fight against demonstrators, but would ally with them to create the new world together. This world is now within reach because we have the knowledge to make it happen.
For creating a powerful alternative we have initiated the Terra Nova School. It distributes the social, spiritual and ecological foundations for a future without war.
Next meeting point: August 1-10, 2014 in Tamera/Portugal.
For more information please contact:
Institute for Global Peace Work
Monte do Cerro
P-7630-303 Colos / Portugal
eMail: igp (at) tamera.org