As neoliberal policies and monetary hegemony continue to dominate around the globe, protests for democracy and against the political elite are widespread. With the start of the World Cup in Brazil it is, yet again, kicking off everywhere.
Riot police fired percussion grenades and teargas at anti-World Cup protesters in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on Thursday as the countdown to the kick-off was marred by demonstrations in at least 10 Brazilian cities. Just hours before the opening ceremony at the Itaquerão stadium, about 100 protesters started fires and threw rocks at police in an apparent attempt to block a road leading to the venue.
The "Our Cup is on the Street" protests are targeting the high cost of the stadiums, corruption, police brutality and evictions. "The World Cup steals money from healthcare, education and the poor. The homeless are being forced from the streets. This is not for Brazil, it's for the tourists," said Denize Adriana Ferreira in this Guardian report.
The following reading list from Verso suggests books to help us understand the multifaceted histories of uprising in Central and South America, as well as the anti-world cup protests.
Barbaric Sport: A Global Plague
by Marc Perelman
What does hosting the World Cup really mean for Brazil? Marc Perelman explores this, and more, in Barbaric Sport.
Boycott Football and Fifa - read his piece on the world cup here.
Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of A New Architecture
by Justin McGuirk
Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving.
'We want FIFA standard schools and hospitals' - what the World Cup means for Rio: read an extract from Radical Cities here.
In a new article for the Guardian, political theorist Peter Hallward traces the genesis and continuing success of the anti-austerity student demonstrations in Quebec, urging organizers worldwide to take up the same model.
Hallward attributes the rapid growth of the demonstrations to the students' ability not only to articulate an immediate aim--stopping tuition hikes--but also to situate that aim within a larger pushback against heightening neoliberal attacks on public programs. CLASSE, the radical student coalition spearheading the protests, has ballooned in numbers to a membership of over 100,000, and now claims to represent 70% of striking students. CLASSE has called for the unconditional abolition of tuition fees, to be phased out over several years and compensated by a bank tax, at a time of record bank profits.
The hardline roots of the student protests have ensured the creation of a "practical, militant community of interest" that has organized the single biggest act of civil disobedience that Canada has ever seen. The result of months of careful preparation and hundreds of general assemblies, these massive student strikes have become too strong to contain, showing signs of radiating out to other parts of Canada--and, Hallward hopes, the rest of the world. "After a couple memorable springs," he concludes, "it's time to prepare for a momentous autumn."
Visit the Guardian to read the article in full.