Brazil World Cup Street Protests

The ITUC and TUCA, citing violation of the constitutional right to freedom of expression, have condemned the virulence of police repression against demonstrators in Brazil as unacceptable.

Thousands of people have been taking to the streets in cities across Brazil calling for social justice.

In a joint statement, the Brazilian unions said the fight against transport fare increases across the country expressed the dissatisfaction of working people subjected daily to inhumane transport conditions especially in large cities.
The demonstrations show that workers, students and society as a whole will no longer accept a lack of government support for quality public services.

“The union movement supports the fight against the fare increases, against police violence and the right to demonstrate. It is essential that peaceful demonstrations advance for negotiations with the governments of the states and municipalities on the price of fares and conditions offered to public transport users,” said the statement signed by the five largest unions.

Brazil has made historic advances in terms of reduction of inequality and the fight against poverty. However, as hundreds of thousands of people made very clear, government investment in quality public services such as healthcare, education and transport are still lagging behind.

Brazil topped the 13 country ITUC Global Poll 2012 for voter support for government services. The poll found 93 percent of Brazilians wanted the government to provide affordable access to health care and 93 percent of Brazilians wanted the government to provide affordable access to education.

Since 2011, the global campaign PlayFair, coordinated by international unions and NGOs, has been raising issues such as the profit earned by building companies for the construction of “white elephant” stadia at the expense of workers and investments in public services.

“In the case of Brazil, the millions being spent on the World Cup are coming from taxpayers and voters, who are in desperate need of better services.

“Mega sporting events like the football World Cup and the Olympics win public support based on a promise to change lives.

“From Qatar to Brazil all we have seen is broken promises. We will only see more unrest unless governments and FIFA listen to people,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC.