A group of demonstrators concerned with societal inequality, the deportation of those who came to the United States illegally, and the rights of homeless people celebrated the World Cup in a unique way this weekend.
They projected Saturday's third-place game between the Netherlands (which won) and Brazil on a wall outside the federal Metropolitan Detention Center downtown so that undocumented inmates with windows facing the street could watch.
Not only that, but the organizers held a little soccer match of their own — on the streets of downtown:
A pick-up game took place at Sixth and Gladys streets Saturday afternoon in the heart of Skid Row.
Here's why, according to a statement from the demonstrators:
Organizers of the event say they will play in Skid Row because the neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles is Ground Zero for the issues common to a global struggle that has been highlighted by the recent protests in Brazil: mass criminalization, deportation, displacement, surveillance, and incarceration of poor communities, as well as policies that keep those communities in poverty.
After the sun set, the group headed to the detention center at Alameda and Aliso streets to project the World Cup game and, it stated, “share the event with those who are being held inside.”
The organizers called the Saturday events People's Cup L.A.
Flickering lights inside the federal building (seen in the video, above) show that there was acknowledgement and appreciation among those locked up, an organizer told us.
“Now we've reclaimed soccer as the people's sport,” another organizer said.