I had the pleasure to be in Brazil last week, and to participate in a teach-in at the Occupy Sao Paulo camp which was attended by a few hundred people. The group there shared some thoughts about the overall Occupy movements and learn more about the issues in Brazil, which include government corruption, land-grabs and rampant over-development. Now, I hear news from my colleague Biella Coleman, who was with me in Brazil, that the protest is under threat. She’s posted the following news from the camp organizers:
On October 15, a group of nearly 300 activists began an occupation of São Paulo in the Valley of Anhagabau, one of the sites of the first rallies for direct elections during the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship in the 1980s. After a week of peaceful encampment, educational and cultural programs, and creating a sustainable community for not just themselves but many homeless people in downtown São Paulo, the Occupy São Paulo movement is coming under increased police threat. Today, Monday October 24, the governor of the state of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin is holding two special events. First, he is hosting Florida Governor Rick Scott (R). Second, Alckmin has decided to hold a parade of 3000 military police right next to the encampment.
After a week of police harrassment and a pending court case for them to hold the right to pitch their tents, the Occupy São Paulo movement sees this as an escalation of the harassment they have already faced by city police. Further, the presence of 3000 military police next to 300 occupiers is clearly meant to intimidate both occupiers and members of the public who have been coming up to the encampment and learning about the movement. Please take the time to call or email the governor and the secretary of public security of the state of São Paulo to condemn this action. You can also send messages of solidarity to the São Paulo occupation at email@example.com.
To contact Governor Geraldo Alckmin’s office of citizen and organizational relations:
Fill out a comment form at: http://www.saopaulo.sp.gov.br/en/fale/fale.php
To contact the Secretary of Public Security, Antônio Ferreiro Pinto: