Trecker’s Brazilian Travels Day 4: Worth the fight

June 15th, 2013

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

By Jamie Trecker

BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Brazilian security forces sent out the alert at 8:14 local time: avoid the TV tower and stay off the roads.

Security forces worked to “sanitize” the area around the Garrincha, closing off roads, trying to divert cars and pedestrians. They separated the people into two streams: the folks in yellow, and everyone else. The ones in yellow were going to see their national team play; everyone else was going to sit in the road and block the way in.

Some 57,000 security forces have been deployed across the country. I know, because I got a press release that was supposed to be reassuring. It sounded desperate instead.

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

Brazil’s government and FIFA are trying their best to claw back the narrative of the Confederations Cup. They are trying to put the focus back on the games, and are putting out the fiction that politics have no place in sport. They are failing.

It is, in fact, inspiring to see the young activists and average Brazilians confronting what they see as gross corruption and injustice. They are right to speak out against the billions spent on arenas when only pennies are spent on essentials like clean water and public transport. The Confederations Cup – which is after all a dry run for a World Cup that will apparently cost this nation $4 billion – is an ideal place to speak out. And while the government is – in sinister fashion, given this country’s tangle history – trying to tar the protesters as “professional leftists,” the fact is, I’ve seen far more housewives and husbands out in the streets.

I’ve yet to see any violence. What I’ve read is that 55 people were injured — when police used tear gas and rubber bullets in Sao Paolo. Has there been property damage? Yes, and it’s unacceptable. Would I prefer not to see stacks of burning tires? Yep. But what I’ve seen is wave after wave of average, ordinary Brazilians walking up to lines of police horses, then sitting down in the middle of the street, to keep their colleagues from being trampled. That strikes me as very brave.

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

So, I’d like to hear what these people are saying. I happen to think they are right to ask why so much is spent on circuses for the rich, and so little is spent on housing and women and children. And if it comes at the cost of some inconvenience for a soccer game, so what? It’s just a game. The questions these people are asking deserve answers.

This piece is part of a series of pieces sponsored by the new Samsung Galaxy S4. The pictures that accompany this blog post were taken with it. I’m traveling across Brazil this month, and you should tell me what you’d like to hear about. Tweet me at @JamieTreckerFOX or use the #heytrecker hashtag @FOXSoccer.

  1. universal-duck reblogged this from foxsoccer and added:
    inspiring
  2. dormantlygrowing reblogged this from foxsoccer
  3. klauskantklaphaha reblogged this from foxsoccer
  4. dflemin reblogged this from foxsoccer
  5. antiian reblogged this from foxsoccer and added:
    Crazy stuff
  6. foxsoccer posted this