For the past few months the World Cup has been facing a major threat and today it was released that threat has been vanquished. The Twitter-verse and other social media sites have taken up arms against the world’s most popular sporting event for the past week, in support of the Brazilian homeless population that was engaging in huge protests. It wasn’t until today, two days before the World Cup officially starts, that the plague of protests has ended with peaceful negotiations.
The protests just started last week, but the population of Brazil has been showing their scorn for the way they have been treated for months. When the Cup of Life was announced to be returning to Brazil for the first time since being canceled due to World War II, Brazil was overrun by drug cartel ruled favelas so the government decided it should take care of that huge problem swiftly. What followed was a brutal cleansing process. BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais), or in English the Battalion of Special Police Operations, is exactly what it sounds like; a crew of Brazilian police officers specially trained to eradicate the threat that drug ruled favelas pose. The problem is the police are becoming more of a threat. The police showed little remorse when entering favelas guns blazing, most of the time simply killing the local cartel and leaving the citizens to fend for themselves. Other raids involved numerous civilian casualties, for things as little as not having proper identification. Vice on HBO has a great piece on the subject with much more detail.
After most of the pacification process was completed many citizens still had a problem with the way the government was treating the preparation process. Their biggest complaint involved how much money was spent improving the already impressive stadium. This inspired many to take up cans, and create large graffiti murals in protest, many included starving children not being able to eat soccer balls.
As the Cup grew nearer, the citizens were becoming increasingly outraged with the ramifications of the global event and found the leap in local coverage would be a perfect time to have their voices heard. On Wednesday multiple groups were finally tipped over the edge when the first surge of fans flooded the streets around the stadium.The surge inspired them to stage a massive peaceful protest. The protest ended when riot police forced them to disperse by the use of tear gas. These protests lasted until today when the plagues of protests finally reached an end, and thankfully just in time with only a few days before the World Cup begins.
The protests were started when massive amounts of homeless people were forced out of the areas where they lived by the rush of fans. More than 10,000 homeless were finally fed up, and used the protests to force the government’s hand. Hashtags from social media sites such as #NoVoyABrasilPorqueThese, helped fuel the fire that was later extinguished by the government agreeing to put up 2,000 cheap houses a few blocks away from the stadium to alleviate the homeless problem. This issue wasn’t resolved until today, but with two days to spare. The World Cup will proceed without the plague of protests.
By Eddie Mejia