In recent years, government subsidized sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup have drawn a great deal of criticism, due to the horrible treatment of workers, and the negative impact that is sustained by local communities.
This week it was reported by The Washington Times that an estimated 250,000 people were evicted from their homes to make way for the World Cup games in Brazil. Unfortunately, Brazil is one of the many places on Earth where an individual’s right to own and keep property can be overruled by the government at any time.
In response to the mass evictions and the billions of tax dollars that were put into the World Cup, there were massive protests throughout the duration of the World Cup games. The protesters battled elite riot police who were dressed up in “Robocop” suits that were over 20 pounds, flame resistant and built to withstand heavy blows. Members of a special police task force were given 200 of these suits to help with crowd control outside of the World Cup games.
Image: Police in Robocop suits battle protesters and homeless workers outside of the World Cup games in Brazil Credit: WikiMedia
Many of the scenes to emerge from the World Cup games highlight the disparity between the wealthy and the poverty stricken, not just in Brazil, but in the world as a whole. One viral photo showing a girl digging through a trash can, and an oblivious fan throwing trash on top of her has outraged millions, and has helped visually express the dismal situation that this event has exacerbated locally.
This kind of activity is certainly nothing new, and is not limited to the area of Brazil. Every country that one of these large games take place in always commits similar crimes against the local residents, although sometimes the level of oppression will be more serious in some places than in others.
In 2008 for example, as many as 1.25 million people were evicted by the Chinese government from their homes in Beijing. These evictions took place so that the properties could be used to “beautify” the city in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. A similar situation, though on a smaller scale recently took place in Russia for this past winter’s Olympic games.