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India/Brazil & World Cup

Support the Struggles of Brazilian Workers

Monday 23 June 2014, by Radical Socialist

Support the Struggles of Brazilian Workers, Condemn the Dilma Rousseff Regime’s Patronage of the Rich in the Name of Promoting the World Cup.

As the “World Cup fever” grips the world, or more accurately, as it is rammed down us through the media, Brazil has erupted in struggles. For a year, popular mobilizations of immense dimensions have been shaking the country.

At its peak, a million people or more have been out protesting. This is not some abstract protest. When in 2007 the Brazilian government of Luis Inacio da Silva (Lula), of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers Party) put forward its bid for the 2014 World Cup and was given it by FIFA, Brazil, like India, was seeing itself as part of a new acronym, BRICS, and imagining that the crisis of capitalism was finished and the country, notably its elite, were on the way to international stardom and the world cup would be the icing on the cake. $11 billion has been spent for the world cup by now. This at a time when the masses of working people are angry at the lack of development of educational and health facilities. As a result, the most visible governmental role over the World Cup has been to augment security repeatedly. 57000 troops, over 1,00,000 law enforcement personnel, even 34 anti-aircraft guns have been reportedly pressed into service.

Meanwhile, every opinion poll shows this growing cost of the World Cup has been viewed as detrimental by ordinary people. Workers, students, have come out, demanding a reorientation of government priorities. Students and teachers have struck, demanding more funding for education. But most worrying for the government in recent times has been the transport workers’ struggles. From 5 June, Metro workers in Sao Paulo have been on strike. In order to achieve its goal of getting political prestige out of the World Cup, the government has taken strong action. The transport workers carry 4,000,000 passengers every day in the city. On 8 June, the courts declared the strike illegal. They demanded that workers must immediately return to work, and declared a fine of US $ 222,000 per day on their union for defying this order.

While Brazil has a Social Democratic regime, whereas in India a party rooted in fascist politics has gained parliamentary majority, what is common to both countries is the determination of the ruling class to use neo-liberalism for its own expansion at the cost of the toiling people. Radical Socialist expresses solidarity with all the fighting militants, especially with the workers of Sao Paulo out on strike and the militants attacked and beaten up by police on the eve of the World Cup. We call on working class, socialist and democratic organisations in India to protest, to express solidarity with the toiling people of Brazil.

Long live working class struggles for emancipation

Full support for the Sao Paulo Metro Workers

Long live proletarian internationalism

12 June 2014

Radical Socialist