To my dear friends in Sao Paulo who I met last year at the meeting of the World Cup protest committees at the Casa Fora do Eixo. And also the journalists and students at the Mediaon conference earlier in the week.
Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil’s famous architect and socialist) would have been so proud last night! The unity of art and political action! His beautiful congress building decorated and enhanced by a new generation of radicals on the roof, demanding change, an end to corruption and no more collaboration with the greedy FIFA Mafia.
The pictures of this respectful occupation were seen in every country. They are more than news photos. They send a signal to the rest of the world; no longer do you have to suffer paying taxes that are stolen by corrupt politicians and crooked contractors and shared with foreign sports officials, the advance guard of global capitalism, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Visa and Castrol, coming to loot your country.
The message was clear: We object to the outrageous profiteering from the World Cup and diversion of money from social needs.
The response of president Dilma Rousseff and Aldo Rebelo was to support the police beating the people on the streets of Brazil’s cities.
I have just completed reading all 676 pages of Aldo Rebelo’s congressional investigation from 2001 into the massive corruption of Ricardo Teixeira, the CBF, the cosy deals with FIFA and the manipulation of the notorious Nike contract that sold the peoples football to a US shoemaker.
Rebelo’s rage against this machine was clear.
Where was Aldo Rebelo yesterday? He was . . . in a favela? Or explaining to fans he had no choice at this late date but to let the corrupt construction contracts go ahead? Maybe meeting and sympathising with the families evicted by speculators making profits out of the World Cup?
No, Rebelo was scheduled to be preferring the company of the enemy. He was advertised as a keynote speaker at the Copacabana Palace in Rio at a conference organised by the voice of international business, the Financial Times.
Advertised as ‘Copacabana lights up to the rhythm of football politics and business’, Rebelo was hugging his new comrade, fellow keynote speaker and FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Alongside them were sponsors, Brazilian and foreign football entrepreneurs, the usual crowd of parasites feasting off the people’s game, the unbelievably wealthy boss of the Qatar 20122 World Cup. And, of course, Globo.
How power has changed a Comrade Rebelo. Whatever happened to Rebelo’s rage?
Has Rebelo been seen on the streets of Rio trying to stop the theft of the Maracana from the people? I have not heard.
Has Rebelo protested at the construction of lavish ‘Hospitality Suites’ that reduce the Maracana’s space for ordinary fans? These suites are being sold at fantastic prices to the international business community.
The other clear image of what is being done to Brazil was the photographs a couple of years ago of FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke embracing ex-Brazil football boss Ricardo Teixeira in Rio. Teixeira is a corrupt thief, believed to be involved in kickbacks from corrupt stadium construction companies.
Valcke is no fool. He has made the most noise about Brazil’s need for these stadiums. Call the cops! Where are the Federal investigators? The work has begun, too slowly, in Sao Paulo but needs to spread to every one of the twelve World Cup stadiums.
Last December in Sao Paulo when the audiences began to applaud me after my presentations I stopped them. No! Boo me, I demanded! Practice for Blatter. Boo me. Louder! Louder still! And you did. Practice makes perfect.
Keep on booing, comrades. Keep on booing Blatter and his FIFA gougers whenever they show their faces during the Confederations Cup.
Drive the thieves from your streets, your hotels, their fancy champagne celebrations and, most of all, drive them out of your soon-to-be white elephant stadiums.
Begin booing and whistling as their limos arrive, boo them in their VIP boxes, boo so loudly that the games cannot start, the referees whistles cannot be heard.
Force Blatter and FIFA to leave the stadiums. Ban FIFA from the World Cup.
And afterwards? Continue your anger and reclaim your country from your own crooks.
Editor’s Note: Read Andrew Jennings’ original blog on the Publico website here