By Umila Singh

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Brazil yesterday. Despite the country’s known passion for fútbol, a disregard for both human rights and public service demands has led to much resistance against the tournament. Here are some recent stories and coverage on Brazil’s response to the World Cup.

(Reuters_The Atlantic)
(Reuters_The Atlantic)

Brazil’s Deep Web Battle Over Police Brutality, Vocativ
By posting videos and photos, demonstrators are using social media to fight back against police violence.

…activists say the social media counteroffensive is helping them win the public relations battle by forcing public officials to curb abuse committed in the name of law and order.

The World Cup of Lazy Journalism, Rio on Watch
Community reporters question the sensationalist, problematic portrayal of Brazil and its citizens by foreign news agencies. Providing an alternative perspective, community media outlets report stories focusing on community organizing and amplifying the voices of favela residents.

#SalaSocial: Banco de dados digital cataloga vídeos de violência policial em protestos, BBC
A group of lawyers in São Paulo is collaborating with several local and international NGOs- including WITNESS- to create a database of videos documenting incidents of police brutality. They are asking activists and citizen journalists to share their videos using a form that will help the lawyers verify the content and determine whether or not the video could be used for evidentiary purposes. (Article in Portuguese)

A Cup for Whom?, Huffington Post
Comitê Popular da Copa de SP, an association of social movements and activists, call attention to the many human rights violations and social costs associated with the World Cup, which include forced evictions, destruction of livelihoods, police brutality, and militarization of public security.

(Jefferson Bernardes_AFP_Getty Images)

The Dangerous World of Brazilian Journalism, Slate
According to a recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists,

Brazil is the 11th-deadliest country in the world for journalists since 1992, ranking one spot worse than war-torn Afghanistan.

Brazil’s Dance with the Devil, Democracy Now!
David Zirin, author of Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy, discusses the “People’s Revolt,” a grassroots, parallel event challenging the World Cup.

FIFA and the World Cup, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Don’t have enough reasons to criticize FIFA yet? See how comedian John Oliver takes down the corrupt organization with wit and humor.

‘There Will Be No World Cup’: What’s at stake in Brazil, The Atlantic
The unrest and human rights violations in Brazil may have spearheaded discussion about changes for FIFA.  Due to increased pressure by human rights groups, especially after the Qatar decision, FIFA may consider a country’s human rights record when deciding on future host nations.

‘A World Cup lasts only for a month,’ [President Rousseff] added, but ‘the benefits remain for a lifetime.’ One of those benefits? Brazilians are now deeply engaged in a furious debate about social justice—and the whole world is watching.

See also recent coverage of the World Cup, allegations of FIFA’s corruption and Brazilian’s discontent with the tournament in The New York Times, The GuardianFinancial Times, and PBS.

Featured image courtesy of Davi Pinheiro, Reuters.

Umila Singh is an intern with WITNESS. She has been assisting with the Forced Evictions campaign.

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