Friday, July 4, 2014

F--- - The Cup?

Mixed feelings about the World Cup. Totally excited to see Brazil and Colombia play. However, I’m dismayed at the manner in which protests at the start of the cup were brutally put down--to the point that we don’t see such protests now. Military force effectively created a climate of fear, which suppressed protest.

This might not be so worrisome if we hadn’t noticed other recent antidemocratic moves: for example, when the Supreme Federal Tribunal ignored constitutionally required processes of consulting indigenous people before approving enormous hydroelectric projects, including Belo Monte Dam.

According to the People’s Portal of the Cup, “the level of political repression of protestors during the 2014 World Cup, put on by FIFA, has proved to be beyond the level acceptable in a democratic state.” (July 1, 2014) Read more in Portuguese.

Here's a poem by my friend, Alex Simoes, poet & activist. Even before the cup, he and other citizens of Salvador, Bahia, were struck by tear gas as they tried to protest.

hell, I’ll tell ya, fuck the cup! “damn,
you’re messed up.” I’ll tell all, notwithstanding
I have so many reasons for screaming thus,
that it makes me happy to not have near at hand

such a grenade. skin open
& tears spouting are not the whole of the complaint.
it’s that I’m run rough trying to express
myself where, on the contrary,

protest is not possible. only because “in the end
it’s one immense political boondoggle”: coverup.
hell, I’ll tell ya, “there’s no need

for the use of bombs for moral effect
nor deployment of tear gas as a creed.”
yup, I say: fuck the world cup.

This World Cup in 2014 in Brazil has cost more than the last 4 World Cups--why?

ora (direis), foda-se a copa! “certo,
perdeste o senso”. e eu vos direi, no entanto
que para assim gritar eu tenho tantos
motivos, que me alegra não ter perto

de mim uma granada. o peito aberto
e a lágrima escorrendo não é quebranto,
é que tenho passado pelo aperto
de me manifestar onde, no entanto,

não é possível. só porque, “no fundo,
tudo é uma imensa ignorância política”,
ora direis, “que não é nada crítica

a utilização de bombas de efeito
moral e o gás lacrimogênio é bem feito”.
eu digo: foda-se a copa do mundo.