Teachers were on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil again this week, protesting the fact that taxpayers' money is being spent on the World Cup, enriching construction companies and corrupt politicians, while schools and hospitals are desparately short of funding. 

The teachers have been on strike for a month demanding better pay and conditions and more money for the public school system. Brazil's schools have been subject to the same kind of neo-liberal 'reform' as education systems all over the world. Thousands of teachers are hired on low paid, temporary contracts and schools are starved of cash at the same time as more and more draconian accountability measures are introduced. As one education academic taking part in strikes in Rio last October said: “We would like society to understand that our struggle is not just salary…But against this policy that has transformed classrooms into production lines, dehumanizes education and promotes a climate of competition that only harms the young students." 

Teachers have faced the of the riot police in Rio in the past and as demonstrations by them and others, like movements of the homeless and unemployed youth, increase in the build up to the World Cup, no doubt such attacks will increase. On Thursday the teachers blocked roads during rush hour traffic. The government is deployong thousands of riot police to attempt to ensure that Brazil shows a good face to the world. The first match of the tournament is next Thursday in Sao Paulo where teachers and underground transport workers have also been on strike  and large protests are ongoing.