06 June 2012

Dilma, the president

Dilma, the president, signed into Law the Lei Geral da Copa on Tuesday May 5th. This “general law” puts into motion most of the machinery that will make possible FIFA’s anticipated US$3.5 billion in profits for the 30 day football tournament in 2014. The law has been the subject of intense debate in the media and in Brasília, but no one has really questioned the principal workings of the World Cup.

This is, of course, a subject best treated in a book, not a blog, but we can take the Lei Geral as an exemplary “necessity” for hosting a mega-event. The laws of the land have to be changed in order to allow for private hands to more freely plumb the depths of private coffers. While this has been called a “state of exception”, or a condition of governing under emergency conditions that imply a loss of sovereignty, the truth is that the state of exception is permanent and that the implementation of  “laws of exemption” make exceptions to the exceptions.

If we think about, for example, how the United States is continually under some kind of existential threat that allows for the implementation of martial law (to put down occupations), rule by decree, renditions, extra-judicial killings, obnoxious and invasive security measures etc. and then compare those conditions/spaces/tactics with things like the “Global Pass” visa system that allows frequent travelers to skip through immigration, we can see where exceptions to the exception begin to emerge. Some people and institutions deserve preferential treatment and as such will be able to transverse and permeate space at will. 

This condition is a threat to human solidarity and collective enterprise as well as a really annoying, petulant requirement of the globalized blow-hards that foist these hubristic bacchanals on populations. Rio+20 is yet another exercise in the militarization, privatization, and elitization of urban space. Go away and chat over skype if you want to resolve something. It’s a foregone conclusion that no major environmental commitments will come out of this conference. Will Rio+ stop the construction of 20 dams in the Amazon and the impending passage of the new Forest Code? No. Will Rio+20 stop people from buying cars? No. Will all the international visitors get on airplanes and think they’ve done something to improve the world’s environment? Yes.  

And we’ll have the city even more occupied by the military than it already is. Lovely.

Mega-events bring threats that only exist in relation to the event, thus justifying the measures that are put in place to prevent those threats from being realized. Would London be putting missiles on top of blocks of flats if the Olympics weren’t there? Probably not, though the Keystone Cops nature of British security might just. Would the State Government of Rio de Janeiro invest billions in securing the Olympic Ring (O-Ring) if they didn’t perceive the favelas as a symbolic and physical threat to the city? Nope. The nature of risk as an exogeneously defined condition (that is, coming from the outside in) is worth thinking about as more and more cities foolishly line up to host these events. Not only do our “leaders” choose to expose the city to the threat of terrorism by making us into a juicy target, but we also take massive, incalculable financial and social risks that no one is overly concerned with mitigating. Nossa. 

Repeating a theme, the Maracanã has died and is undergoing surgery to be reborn as a shopping mall zombie. I will call it Xaracanã as Brazil’s richest man who always puts an “x” in his companies’ names is the frontrunner to win the 35 year management concession.

Not only has the Maracanã had its capacity diminished from 179,000 in 1999, to 129,000 in 2000, to 85,000 in 2007, to 75,000 in 2014, but the size of the playing field is being reduced by 15%, the number of VIP and hospitality [sic]  suites by a billion, and the air conditioning bill for those sweaty-pitted fat cats and their corporate-government ass-kissers by a trillion tons of CO2..

Did I mention that the current reform is going to cost around R$1,000,000,000? Did I mention that the 2006-2007 reform cost around R$300,000,000? Did I mention that that I wrote a book about this awhile back?

There is increasing recognition that the Maracanã should not be reborn as the Xaracanã. Protests, civil society, journalists, football fans and anyone else with a fistful of righteous indignation about the unacceptable trends towards the privatization of an iconic and fundamental public space are rising up against the privitazation scheme. Sadly, there does not appear to be other such movements in Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Fortaleza, Cuiabá, or Brasilia – each of which saw a historic, public stadium assinated to be re-constructed with public money to be turned over to private companies. 

I wonder what elements of the Lei Geral da Copa Dilma, the Marxist Revolutionary, would have vetoed.

Upcoming talks!
12 June – 9am -12pm Centro Municipal de Cultura, Porto Alegre - Participação da população na construção dos Megaeventos – impactos e legados
16 June – 14h30 Cúpula dos Povos, Aterro do Flamengo, RJ -  Direito Humano à Mobilidade: Crimes de Trânsito e Meio Ambiente

No comments:


2014 World Cup Rio de Janeiro Maracanã FIFA 2016 Olympics 2016 Summer Olympics Eduardo Paes CBF Copa do Mundo 2014 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Ricardo Texeira World Cup 2014 Vasco da Gama 2010 World Cup White Elephants mega-events APO UPP BRT Brazil football Flamengo Lula Orlando Silva violence ANT Aldeia Maracana Carlos Nuzman Dilma Eike Batista Rio 2016 Sergio Cabral 2007 Pan American Games Campeonato Carioca Corruption IOC Jerome Valcke Novo Maracanã stadiums BOPE BRASIL 2016 Brasil 2014 Engenhao Joao Havelange Maracana Policia Militar Vila Autódromo Aldo Rebelo Botafogo Henrique Meirelles Medida Provisoria Metro Revolta do Vinagre Sao Paulo Sepp Blatter World Cup 2010 forced removal Carnaval Elefantes Brancos Fechadao Marcia Lins Minerao Morumbi Odebrecht Porto Maravilha Rio+20 Romario Security Walls South Africa South Africa 2010 TCU Transoeste protests public money public transportation slavery transparency x-Maracana Andrew Jennings Argentina Audiencia Publica Barcelona Brazil Carvalho Hosken Comitê Popular Confederatons Cup Copa do Brasil 2010 Cost overruns Crisis of Capital Accumulation EMOP FERJ Favela do Metro Fluminense Fluminese Fonte Novo IMX Jose Marin Leonel Messi London 2012 Marcelo Freixo Maré Museu do Indio Olympic Delivery Authority Perimetral Rocinha Soccerex Transcarioca bicycles consumer society debt idiocy militarization transportation 1995 Rugby World Cup 2004 Olympics 2015 Copa America Banco Imobiliario Barcas SA Belo Horizonte Bom Senso F.C. Brasilerao CDURP CONMEBOL Champions League. Mourinho Complexo do Alemão Copa Libertadores Cupula dos Povos ESPN England FiFA Fan Fest Istanbul 2020 Jogos Militares John Carioca Kaka Manaus McDonald's Obama Olympic Village PPP Paralympics Providencia Recife Russia Salvador Soccer City Taksim Square Tatu-bola Urban Social Forum Vidigal Vila Olimpica War World Cup Xaracana attendance figures cities corrupcao drugs estadios football frangueiro futebol mafia planejamento urbano police repression porn privitization reforms shock doctrine taxes 201 2010 Elections 2010 Vancouver Olypmics 2013 2018 World Cup 2030 Argentina / Uruguay ABRAJI AGENCO ANPUR ANT-SP Amazonia Ancelmo Gois Andrade Gutierrez Anthony Garotinho Arena Amazonia Arena Pernambucana Athens Atlético Paranaense Avenida das Americas BID Barra de Tijuca Blatter Brasil x Cote d'Iviore Brasileirão 2013 Brasilia Brasilierao Bruno Souza Bus fares COB COI COMLURB CPI CPO Cabral Caixa Economica Canal do Anil Cantagalo Celio de Barros Cesar Maia Chapeu Mangueira Chile 2015 Choque do Ordem Cidade da Copa Class One Powerboat Racing Clint Dempsey Comite Companhia das Docas Copa do Brasil Corinthians Cuiabá Curitiba Dave Zrin David Harvey Der Spiegel Eastwood Edge of Sports Escola Friendenrich Expo Estadio Expo Urbano FGV Fonte Nova Gamboa Garotinho Geostadia Ghana Globo Greek Debt Crisis Greek Olympics HBO Hipoptopoma IMG IPHAN ISL Iniesta Internatinal Football Arena Invictus Istanbul Itaquerao Jacque Rogge Jefferson John Coates Jose Beltrame Julio Grondona Julio Lopes Julio de Lamare Knights Templar Korea Lei Geral da Copa MAR MEX Manchester United Mangabeira Unger Maracanã. Soccerex Marina da Gloria Mexico Milton Santos Molotov Cocktail Mr.Balls Neymar Nicholas Leoz Nilton Santos Olympic Flag Olympic Park Project Oscar Niemeyer Pacaembu Pan American Games Parque Olimpico Pernambuco Plano Popular Plano Popular do Maracana Plano Popular do Maracanã Play the Game Pope Porto Alegre Porto Olimpico Porto Seguro Portuguesa Praca Tiradentes Preview Projeto Morrinho Putin Qatar Quatar 2022 RSA Realengo Regis Fichtner Roberto Dinamite Russia 2018 SETRANS SMH Santa Teresa Santos Sao Raimundo Sargento Pepper Security Cameras Smart City Sochi 2014 South Korea Stormtroopers São Januário São Paulo Teargas Templars Tokyo 2020 Tropa do Elite II Turkey UFRJ/IPPUR URU USA USA! Unidos da Tijuca United States government Urban Age Conference VVIP Via Binário Victory Team Vila Autodromo Vila Cruzeiro Vila do Pan Vilvadao Vivaldao Volta Alice Wasteland Workers' Party World Cup 2018 Xavi Zurich apartments atrazos barrier beer bio-fuels bonde capacities civil society comite popular copa sudamericana crack crime dengue dictatorship estádios favelalógica feira livre fiador flooding freedom of information furos geral graffiti guarda municipal host city agreement identity infrastructure ipanema istoe labor rape riots schedule school shooting security segregation social movements stadium state of exception supervia tear gas ticket prices torcidas organizadas tourism traffic tragedy trash trem-bala velodromo wikileaks xingar