As football fans around the world train their sights on the opening of the football World Cup opening, the real story is on the streets of Brazil, where hundreds of thousands of people are calling for affordable housing, better public hospitals and improved public schools.
Forget the World Cup and watch closely what is happening on the streets and witness the emergence of a real people’s movement for social justice. That spectacle is a thousand times more mesmerising than Lionel Messi’s mazy dribbling or Cristiano Ronaldo’s wizardry.
The protesters on the streets are alarmed at the billions of dollars spent on stadiums and other World Cup infrastructure at a time when other desperately needed public infrastructure has not received enough funding.
They are seething at the disconnect between government rhetoric about caring about the needs of the people and the reality on the ground of poverty and hopelessness. It tells you something that only a minority of Brazilians are interested in the World Cup in normally football-crazy Brazil.
This is what happens when a government forgets its promises to meet the real needs of the people for affordable food, housing, education, health care and public transport and instead squanders precious public funds on infrastructure and ‘development’ that do not benefit the teeming masses of humanity living with little hope.