Angry Rebellions against World Cup

“Social unrest mars 2014 World Cup”

The Mercury, 23 May 2014

The city of São Paulo has been at the centre of repeated protests against the government’s R114bn spending, writes Lizzie Dearden

viral world cup

Paulo Ito, a street artist, painted the mural of a starving child with only a football to eat on a school in São Paulo on May 10 and a photo of the artwork has since been shared more than 50 000 times on Facebook alone.

The city has been at the centre of repeated and sometimes violent protests against the government’s R114 billion spending on the World Cup when the money is so badly needed elsewhere.

“People already have the feeling and that image condensed this feeling,” Paulo Ito told

“The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,” he said.

“I didn’t mean (to say) nobody is doing anything against poverty, but we need to show the world or ourselves that the situation is still not good.”

Mass street demonstrations against poverty, political corruption, underfunded public services and Brazil’s creaking urban infrastructure started last June during the Confederations Cup.

And the World Cup has galvanised Brazilians’ weariness over the failures in parts of their society, boiling over into violent clashes with the police at protests in São Paulo.

Thousands of teenagers from working-class suburbs have been invading middle-class shopping centres in so-called “rolezinhos”, sparking a heavy-handed response from police and legal attempts by malls to stop them entering. The government was planning to launch a feel-good publicity campaign to convince locals of the benefits of hosting the World Cup. – The Independent

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