Welcome to Brazil…


Brazil is a fantastic country, it is a huge country and like all places it has its problems. It has gone through an incredible amount of positive developments in recent years, especially in lifting nearly 40 million people out of poverty, but it still has lots of tensions: crime, drugs, gangs, inequality, deep division and mistrust…

The world cup is coming to Brazil, I’m sure you have heard! You have also probably heard that there has been much anger in the country about a sense of injustice, about pushing poor people out to make way for this Mega event. You probably saw the massive protests last year about the money Brazil has pumped into it, well above the already incredibly high cost. People here feel that an event like this should be used to improve the lives of ALL here.

People will complain and protest, some are even threatening to try to shut down the whole event. The twitter hashtag  (There will not be a cup) covers that.

But some groups, like our campaign #CheerForPeace, are trying to use the event as a tool to make real positive change, all be it on a small scale.

So here are just a selection of some sections of recent articles, to give you a feel of where things stand. (As things develop, we will update this post. Also please add your views in the comments section, or view there for more views)

As the World Cup Looms, Are Brazilians Doing Their Part to Change Their Country? ( in Huff Post)

If I am going to be a part of the change in Brazil then I want my own actions to help create jobs, spread some wealth around to those people who really need a bit more, and I’d love to help preserve some art and craft traditions in the process of doing all this.

That’s my idea of being the change. I’m not going to throw up my arms in disgust and argue that the World Cup is all a waste of money. Maybe it is, but the money is now spent and the eyes of the world are on Brazil. I want them to see that Brazil truly deserves a place in the economic big league. People are going to get better schools and hospitals when they learn how to demand change from their leaders and that is a universal lesson we can all apply the world over.

Politics and Sports: Why the 2014 World Cup can make or break Brazil (, )

The real consequences of the 2014 World Cup will only be seen by the end of the year. It’s innocuous to think the result of the championship will have no political bearing in the choosing of future leaders. But I sincerely hope that the global focus in Brazil will be used for good and that the big political dogs will not win. Maybe a win for Brazil will mean Brazilians recognize they deserve better.

Brazilian elite uses the World Cup to show their discomfort in being Brazilian (Mauricio Savarese)

“Dear foreigners, please, don’t come to the Brazil World Cup because we can’t protect you from the people we hate. Wait for us to visit you, please.”

Hosting the World Cup, which was meant to be a pinnacle of social inclusion, is being twisted into a mere “we spend too much, get too little” event.  The tone used by the wealthy Brazilians isn’t “this needs fixing” — most of them know too little of politics to actually engage with substance. Their message is “screw all this” (as Carla Dauden’s boycott video suggests). It seems the underdeveloped Brazil deserves to be embarrassed by the perpetrators, not by the victims. The latter are critics, but not ashamed of their country.

Elites who criticize the World Cup in Brazil have used well a great chance to show they don’t relate to football as everyone else — they sold the idea that those engaged with the World Cup are actually disengaged with Brazil. They show themselves as agents for real change, when they are quite the opposite — just look at their other suggestions and you will see Brazilian elites couldn’t care any less about people being evicted because of new stadia, for example.

Brazil’s favelas are in big trouble, despite the World Cup marketing push ( in the guardian)

The urban marketing might work during the international events Brazil is hosting, but the lack of long-term solutions to keep the next generation out of crime will result in a never-ending civil war, where the people are forgotten while international visitors drink caipirinhas and watch the football.

Are you feeling moved by the 2014 World Cup? Look at how they are evicting the poor in the “favelas” to prepare the event (reporte24h, in Spanish)

A month before the 2014 World Cup the Brazilian government are evicting thousands of families all over the country so that the world will not have a bad image of the country. What do you think?

Rio world cup evictions

How does Brazil keep the World Cup party going? Send in the army (, The Guardian)

The arbitrary and brutal rule of gangs and militias is an ill that must be addressed in Rio, and some sort of intervention is undoubtedly needed. But it is not clear that replacing one group of armed men with another, albeit uniformed – “we will show them the state is stronger,” Beltrame boasted – is the solution, while the fundamental issues at the core of social problems in favelas, be they education, health or sanitation, are sidelined.

Forensic Experts Scour UPP Crime Scene In Rio De Janeiro

Police guard the crime scene where an officer was shot by criminals on 14 March. Photograph: Fabio Teixeira/Pacific Press/BI- (Guardian UK)

kid with badge

Many kids are still living tough lives in disadvantages areas all over Brazil. #CheerForPeace is a small project to affect positive change.


Brazil’s anti-World Cup protests: which side do you support? | Priced out of Rio’s booming favelas, Brazil’s poor resort to mass squatting | The Brazil favela staging its own World Cup | Anti-World Cup protests across Brazil | Video of Rio gunmen firing hundreds of shots in goal celebration goes viral | Romance of World Cup in Brazil is peppered with an air of conflict | Brasil vive ‘crise de imagem’ às vésperas da Copa | (ROAR)> Autonomy in Brazil: towards a new political culture | Peace is the truth of the Brazilian protests | Autonomy in Brazil: below and behind the June uprising | Brazilian movement takes inspiration from Zapatistas | Brazil explodes in a furious feast of democracy | In Brazil, the mask of democracy is falling | In Brazil, a dual struggle against neoliberalism

Post image for Autonomy in Brazil: towards a new political culture


Fumi Matsubara on World Cup 2014:

Very powerful message posted up on Instagram last week. Dont get me wrong, I am just as excited as you are for the Worldcup but lets be honest, FIFA does not care about education, health and transportation needs in Brazil. Food for thought.



  1. Good questions in from a friend in Ireland who has putout a shoutout to support #CheerForPeace:

    Hey Dunk. Ever since I put up that post I’ve been wondering a couple of things:

    1. Why give a kid a jersey when the World Cup is the reason she/he might not have a home?

    2. Why donate for a meal instead of boycotting and protesting?

    3. Who will plant the trees and are we sure they will be native etc

    4. Does this project not still support the World cup instead of challenging the people behind the evictions for these stadiums and tourist places?


    My initial response:

    Amongst many reasons to getting involved with this campaign, for me is that it acts as a tool to get people:

    A) learning about the REAL situation in Brazil
    B) starting a critical debate about whats going on, how things can be improved, how global solidarity can help…
    C) Opening new spaces, new connections between different peoples (Irish, Brazilian, Spanish…) for new fresh dialogues.
    D) giving money that ALL goes to positive ends
    E) taking SMALL steps, but small steps lead to bigger steps…

    I have my views on how to improve things (hence I’m an activist, going from Dreams > Reality), being involved allows me to make great connections and to try to find spaces, means, groups, projects to affect positive change here in Brazil, bringing with me my own “toolkit” of skills, networks, ideas…

    I’m putting together a longer response, my personal views on the matters raised and my reasons for getting involved with the campaign, so bear with me.
    For now, I’ll direct people to our BRAZIL page on the blog (This page), that already has started this dialogue…

  2. @FBB_Brazil – Football Beyond Borders: #Brazilian projects – Striving to ensure some of #Brazil’s poorest communities share in the gains of the #WorldCup #WC2014

    The Favela World Cup hopes to change that. Organised by Football Beyond Borders – a not-for-profit organisation that uses football to fight prejudice and inequality – the one day event on 15 June aims to bring a small piece of the fun and excitement of the World Cup to members of a football-mad community who are unlikely to be able to afford a match ticket.

  3. Shane Hughes:

    A world cup hypocrite?

    I’m both very excited about the world cup and supportive of the protests… Total hypocrisy?? Yes a little, but screw it, i can live with apparent contradictions.

    What I don’t agree with is those who see the Brazilian world cup as overly simplistic black and white extremes like: they either support the world cup and don’t want any protests or they support the protests and don’t want the world cup.

    Life is much more nuanced, mano!

    Lets be clear, I want the world cup to be an amazing spectacle of emotion and wonder that i and my half-Brazilian kids will never forget.… I’ll be supporting England first and when England get knocked out i’ll support Brazil. I have nothing against the footballers, the spectators, nor do i have a problem (in principle) with mega events.

    But at the same time i also hope that the world cup protests will act as giant amplified speaker for all that needs to change in Brazil. I do have a problem with Brazil’s endemic corruption, police brutality, crime, lack of schooling etc… I am happy that Brazilian people are rising up in response to the unfairness inherent in this world cup and in the daily Brazilian life.

    I’m ok with these contradictions!

    I accept that the protests may cause disruption for football lovers and embarrassment for proud Brazilians. In a perfect world there will be just enough disruption to force change but not enough that it destroys the world cup. This is a difficult tight rope to walk. Especially given that the police will likely respond with overt and covert brutality and the media will likely label it all “anarchy and lawlessness” and the masses will believe these untruths.

    Don’t call me a hypocrite. Do call me naive for believing in possibility of deep rooted change…

    Original post:
    Articles by Shane Hughes:
    VID: TED talk: The unstoppable rise of a collaborative economy: Shane Hughes

  4. Our first event in Vila Torres, Curitiba..

    Article about Brazil and why do the event:

    PDF of article:

    Post event report, photo essay:

    Radio report on Irish media:

  5. So the cup is over. Brazil football team didn’t do as well as hoped for, but the cup has been celebrated all round as a great cup, none of the major fears as to things going wrong happened. There are some things that were not good, but overall, Brazil can be proud that it pulled off what it tried to do. In 2 years time the Olympics will happen in Rio… Here are a few reports from the guardian regarding the impact of the cup on the country and where things go to from here…

    -Brazil’s World Cup run is over but political ramifications still unclear
    Host nation wakes up to worst football hangover in six decades, but analysts are split over its impact on Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign

    – Brazil faces up to the sobering reality of its World Cup hangover
    The Seleção never quite made it to their own party at the Maracanã but despite the massive disappointment on the pitch, the real legacy of 2014 could be a change of attitudes

    – Why 7-1 was the least embarrassing number for Brazil – video
    Carla Dauden argues that this was a World Cup of exclusion and of the few; with evictions, the jailing of protesters, the deaths of workers in stadiums, and Fifa profiteering all highlighting the everyday problems facing Brazilian people

    – Brazil’s true national sport: cheating the people
    At the heart of Brazil’s shame – whether in football or in politics – is the disdain those at the top feel for those at the bottom

    – The Guardian view on the blots and the glories of this World Cup
    For all the ugly business around the beautiful game, the $11bn spent on this tournament has not been in vain

    – World Cup to Brics: Brazil’s hospitality moves from the pitch to politics
    Sixth Brics summit kicks off this week, with sustainable development and the new world banking order on the agenda

    -15 journalists injured as they cover final World Cup demonstration

    – Rio 2016 Olympics organisers confident after Brazil’s World Cup success
    Having played its part in hosting a largely smooth World Cup, Rio is upbeat about doing so again on a grander scale in 2016

    – Brazil proves perfect host to inspire soul-stirring World Cup feast
    Tournament brought home football’s ability to unite and Brazil delivered on its promises, but only time will tell if $13.5bn of public funds was money well spent

    – Adrian Chiles: why the World Cup has been wonderful
    The TV presenter talks about how, contrary to predictions, the fans and the football have made Brazil’s World Cup so special

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